A Connecticut superintendent accused of failing to report child abuse recently inked a separation agreement that will cost taxpayers more than $230,000, not including continued health insurance benefits.
Montville superintendent Brian Levesque voluntarily resigned last month after he reached a deal with the school district that will pay him a year’s salary of $194,271 and $38,000 in unused sick time in two installments before Jan. 10, 2019, The Day reports.
Levesque’s health insurance will also continue through 2019 as part of the arrangement, which both the superintendent and school officials agreed not to discuss publicly.
The deal came one day after Norwich Superior Court Judge Nuala Droney dismissed a pending criminal charge of failing to report child abuse that stemmed from investigations by the State Attorney’s Office and Department of Children and Families.
Authorities contend Levesque and two other administrators did not take the proper steps in response to allegations former substitute teacher Ryan Fish allowed slapboxing matches in class in 2017, according to the news site.
Levesque was just over half way through a three year contract. Droney dismissed a charge against Montville High School Principal Jeffrey Theodoss in September, one month after he retired. Assistant Principal Tatiana Patten’s case continues through the courts.
“The Montville Board of Education thanks Mr. Levesque for his service as Superintendent since September 1, 2013,” the district wrote in a statement published by the Norwich Bulletin. “Based on the decision of Mr. Levesque to resign from his employment as Superintendent, the Montville Board of Education will move forward to identify a process for conducting a search for a new Superintendent of Schools.”
The agreement contains a lot of legal jargon that ensures the school board won’t sue or disparage the superintendent, and he agreed to do likewise. Both sides also agreed not to sue each other.
Essentially, Levesque gets more than $230,000 from taxpayers and avoids serious real consequences from the scandal, aside from losing his job.
Fish, the teacher involved with the so-called student “fight club,” also escape relatively unscathed when Droney accepted his application into an “accelerated rehabilitation” program that will erase his criminal charges.
“As part of the two-year program, Fish will be required to complete 40 hours of community service and undergo any mental health treatment deemed necessary by the state Department of Probation” the Bulletin reports. “If the requirements are met, the two charges of risk of injury to a child, four misdemeanor counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and one misdemeanor count of second-degree breach of peace will be dismissed.”
Levesque’s sweet settlement in Connecticut is only the latest example of how high level school administrators who reign under a cloud of shame often pocket fat checks on their way out.
Jose Diaz, former superintendent of Phoenix’s Murphy Elementary School District, “retired” earlier this year as state officials probed a long list of financial and other issues, walking away with a $12,000 performance bonus.
Months later, in October, a state audit revealed how poorly the district was actually managed and detailed issues with rats biting children in class, suspected mold in several schools, school vendors bilking taxpayers for services they didn’t perform, and district employees scalping donated NFL tickets online, EAGnews reports.
Kenilworth, New Jersey superintendent Thomas Tramaglini’s case also resolved in October. Tramaglini resigned in July, but continued to collect a check into September while on leave following his arrest for public defecation, littering and lewdness.
Homdel High School officials set up surveillance when they discovered human feces near the school track “on a daily basis” and they allegedly nabbed Tramaglini coping a squat during a break from running before school.
Tramaglini collected more than $61,000 while on paid leave, as well as another $48,000 in payouts for unused vacation days and other contractual obligations as part of his separation agreement, The Ashbury Park Press reports.
Dubbed the “pooperintendent” by the media, Tramaglini told the court he suffers from a medical condition known as “runner’s diarrhea” that results in an “immediate or urgent need to defecate while running” when he pleaded guilty to a single count of public defecation last month.
He’s now suing the local police for releasing his mugshot, which allegedly maligned his reputation.