Friday, July 10, 2015

Hush Money

Amherst Regional High School

The recent settlement with Carolyn Gardner that school officials refuse to release any details about is only the most recent example of tax money paid out to, presumably, right a wrong or make an individual whole again so they can get on with their life.

Somewhere other than the Amherst Regional Public Schools.

Over the past four years the Public Schools have paid their attorney Giny Tate $562,066, or an average of $140,516 per year for legal services.  And "Legal Settlements" cost the taxpayers $821,668 over that same time period or an average of $205,417 per year.

Thus legal activity taken as a whole cost taxpayers an average of $345,933 per year for the past four years.

The report to the Regional School Committee is dated March 31 so FY15 was three quarters completed (ends June 30), thus the Carolyn Gardner settlement is not included.

 Chart composed by HR Director Kathy Mazur

A few years ago I requested all the (former) employees who were paid a settlement greater than $5,000 and was given a chart showing 13 individuals (between 2006 and 2013) paid a total of $367,427.

The Schools refused to release the names of the individuals or any further details even though the Secretary of State's Public Records Division clearly told them to do so

Back then I had figures but no names, today we have a name (Carolyn Gardner) but no figure.

Go figure.


Tom Simpson said...

Now that the Commonwealth's Attorney General has decided to start taking enforcement of violations of the Public Records law more seriously, you may have better luck getting your hands on those documents.

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, and never underestimate the Court Of Public Opinion. They are feeling the pressure on this one.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap!! Outrageous, I'm blaming Maria

Anonymous said...

Would hiring a lawyer speed up your request? I have a feeling this could be crowd funded...

Larry Kelley said...

Probably, but that takes time as well as money.

Public pressure can be an amazingly effective tool.

Anonymous said...

What a scam. She should be ashamed of herself.

Sociopathy or bust! said...

When it's not yours, everything is $free.99. Right?

Hey Amherst, howr the opiates?


I know,





Whatever, I'm sure Barak Insane-o-rama still loves you.

-Squeaky Squeaks


Anonymous said...

There are too much money flowing into Amherst public school district. You may be surprise to believe that can be the issue when central office pumping out news of budget shortfalls in the millions in high school, etc.

With budget of 20k per student, and the qualify of k-12 education is nowhere comparable to a good private school, Residents in school district need to wake up to the new reality we are stuck with. With that money in the pots, all vices are attracted into it, litigation is just one of them, and they all suck the blood out of residents.

The Amherst school district needs serious reorganization, and restructuring, streamlining its operation, getting rid of all waste, hype, and politics for the sake of politics.

Anonymous said...

Surprised to see the special education legal costs are down after the historical hype. Larry do you know why? Could it be because of the Supt and the SPED Director?

Larry Kelley said...

Looks to me like the settlement payouts are consistently high.

Maybe the Schools decided to "settle" cases (with a payout) rather than running up legal bills fighting them. Because if you lose, you end up with both a "settlement" and "legal services" bill.