More Turnover in the Scranton School District

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The Scranton School Board has another vacancy. The board's vice president, Robert Casey, submitted his letter of resignation this week.

"I understand that my term is set to run for several more years, but due to conflicts with my position as an auditor for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I feel that it is time for me to step down," he wrote.

Casey's boss, State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has been one of the school district's most outspoken critics. He hired another school director, Paige Cognetti, in December leading to her resignation.

When contacted about the board's turnover, DePasquale's office said, "Moving forward, the auditor general hopes the school board will follow the law in filling the vacancy."

DePasquale was alluding to accusations that the school board disobeyed its own policy last month when a majority appointed a new member to fill Cognetti's seat.

Board member Katie Gilmartin told Newswatch 16 the turnover has led to turmoil.

"I think the school board is set up to be a nine-member board of elected officials, and we're getting to the point where we have, we're going to have, almost a majority that is appointed," Gilmartin said.

In between the two resignations, the state placed more financial restrictions on the Scranton School Board. The district is now in financial recovery status, which means a state official will create a recovery plan for the district.

Gilmartin said that official may be the most important addition to the district.

"This district has to run, day in and day out. And then we're dealing with all of this other stuff on the side, so to have someone whose sole focus is the recovery effort, I believe will really be an asset," she added.

According to the Scranton School Board's rules, the vacancy must be advertised for 10 days before board members can vote on a new director.


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