A former state representative candidate, who is a teacher at Round Lake High School, has been on leave for over a month while police conduct a criminal investigation into him.

Round Lake Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Donn Mendoza sent a message to parents on Monday about the investigation.

Mendoza said the school district was notified in early January that the Round Lake Police Department was investigating Peter Pettorini.

Pettorini was working as an English teacher at Round Lake High School.

The district “immediately” placed Pettorini on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation, Mendoza said.

Mendoza said in the message that the district does not discuss confidential personnel matters.

The only reason the district notified parents a month-and-a-half after Pettorini was placed on leave was because they had received “multiple inquiries about why Mr. Pettorini is on leave.”

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“… we felt it was best at this time to inform our community and staff,” Mendoza said.

The school district did not say what the police department was investigating Pettorini for or whether it involved a student.

“It is important that RLAS-116 allows the Village of Round Lake to complete their investigation without disruption. Due to confidentiality concerns, we will not make further comments on this matter until the investigation has concluded,” Mendoza said.

Pettorini, a Republican, ran in the November election for Illinois House of Representatives District 61, which covers part of Lake County.

He lost to Joyce Mason by almost 3,500 votes.

According to Pettorini’s election campaign website, he is an “experienced teacher and respected leader in education who has dedicated his life to helping the next generation achieve success.”

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He has been a teacher since 2005 and is the vice president of the Millburn District 24 Board of Education.

Pettorini, a Lindenhurst resident, is also the chair of the Lake Villa Township Republican Club.