The Minneapolis school district said it is evaluating all issues regarding the Holyoke, Mass., school district before it finalizes a contract with Sergio Paez to become the next superintendent.

According to a statement released Friday, a district attorney is in contact with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding allegations that school staff slapped students, threw students on the floor and restrained one student more than 50 times.

Paez was the superintendent of the district during the time the alleged abuse occurred. He said he launched an internal investigation when the allegations surfaced but found no evidence of abuse.

The allegations surfaced in a report by a non-profit organization Wednesday, just 48 hours after Paez was selected as the preferred candidate for the job in Minneapolis.

The district said a thorough background check and "multiple discussions with professional references for [Paez], including an official from the [state education department] were completed."

"Information about the Holyoke complaints and investigation was not available until after the Dec. 7 vote," the statement said. 

Two board members, Tracine Asberry and Josh Reimnitz, will visit Holyoke next week.