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A Roberts High School basketball coach accused of kissing a teenage student resigned from the school district Wednesday night.

Roberts School District Superintendent Alex Ator said the district trustees accepted the resignation of John Wayne Payovich at its regular meeting Wednesday night with no discussion. Payovich was not in attendance. 

Payovich is charged with endangering the welfare of children, a misdemeanor, in Carbon County Justice Court.

Payovich's resignation was an agenda item on the Roberts School District Trustees' Wednesday agenda. The meeting was scheduled for 6 p.m.

Payovich submitted his resignation in a brief letter to the district on Wednesday. 

"It is with sincere regret that I submit this letter of resignation from my position as the Robert's High School boys' basketball coach for the school year 2018-2019," Payovich wrote. "In light of the recent misdemeanor charges against me, it is in the best interest of Robert's [sic] High School, its students, and my two children, that I resign from my position as head coach while I go through the judicial process to clear my name." 

Payovich was placed on administrative leave after allegations surfaced in January 2018, but the Roberts School District Trustees voted to rehire him in June after what Ator described as inconclusive results from a private investigation requested by the school district.

Payovich was hired in June 2017 as an assistant coach for the high school boys basketball team and was the head coach for boys and girls junior high teams, according to school board minutes. Payovich was hired as only the high school boys coach in June 2018, school board minutes show.

Charging documents filed on Aug. 16 in Carbon County Justice Court accuse Payovich of kissing a 15-year-old student on the mouth twice over a time period beginning in late December 2017 and extending until Jan. 6, 2018, in incidents that took place at Payovich’s home.

Payovich did not have a job with the district other than coaching, Ator said. The district has roughly two months to fill the vacancy, Ator said. 

A hearing for Payovich is scheduled at 9 a.m. on Oct. 15, and he was barred from contacting the student in any way and ordered to avoid inadvertent contact with her.

On Sept. 5, Carbon County Justice of the Peace Kevin Nichols recused himself from the hearing and appointed Stillwater County Justice of the Peace Lee Cornell to oversee the trial. Court documents do not state why Nichols recused himself.

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