28 Feb Auditor General Warns Scranton Schools on Nepotism and Conflicts
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale wants the Scranton School Board to steer clear of nepotism and conflicts of interest. With the state’s selection of Dr. Candis Finan as the beleaguered district’s chief recovery officer, DePasquale wants school directors to make sure the committee that advises her does not have a financial interest in the decisions she makes.
“District officials should welcome Dr. Finan’s arrival and view the beginning of this financial recovery process as an opportunity to put the past behind them and focus on what matters most — educating Scranton’s 10,000 public school students, and all of the children who will follow,” said DePasquale. “As the Scranton school board decides who to appoint to the financial recovery advisory committee, I want to remind the directors that the financial recovery process must be a turning point. Selecting the advisory committee members is a critical step in the recovery process.”
DePasquale, a frequent critic of the Scranton School District, cautioned against nepotism and conflicts of interest on the new financial recovery committee. He said, “It is imperative that the committee be free of nepotism and conflicts of interest. Appointees should not be considered if they have immediate family members employed by the district or if they have previously served on the Scranton school board.”
On Monday, Tom Borthwick was selected to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of Robert Casey. Borthwick’s wife is employed as a teacher with the Scranton School District.
The Financial Recovery Advisory Committee will have twelve members. Its task is to examine issues and offer feedback to Dr. Finan as she develops and publishes her plan. In addition to Dr. Alexis Kirijan, schools superintendent, two school directors, one principal, and a district business administrator will sit on the body.
The Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19 will select one district employee, one charter school representative, one special education advocate, one school administrator from a neighboring school district, and two city residents.
Those interested may apply to Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19 by submitting a letter of interest to Bob McTiernan, 1200 Line Street, Archbald, PA 18403 or Rmctiernan@iu19.org.
The Scranton Federation of Teachers will select one member to serve on the committee.
Applications are due on March 1.