New Castle News

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April 12, 2014

Neshannock approves resignation, agreement, related legal fees

NEW CASTLE — The Neshannock school board accepted the resignation of business manager and board secretary Melissa Morosky Thursday.

Morosky’s resignation is effective Wednesday.

The board voted 7-1 to accept the resignation and an accompanying agreement, prepared by attorney Richard Harper, serving as special counsel, and district solicitor Michael Bonner.

Mark Hasson was opposed and Cathy Snyder was absent.

Hasson also opposed contracting with Kathleen Manickas to serve as a part-time accounting assistant and be paid $35 per hour up to $175 per day at five hours per day for two days a week.

Morosky, hired as district business administrator in August 2008, has not attended the past several board meetings.

The resignation agreement approved by the board and signed by Morosky, stated that differences had arisen between Morosky and the board regarding the performance of her duties as business administrator.

The agreement, the document stated, was needed to resolve outstanding differences without the need for time-consuming and costly litigation.

The agreement does not state the nature of the dispute.

The district agreed to pay Morosky’s salary — less $2,000 for unemployment insurance — and “supplemental compensation” through Tuesday, and her health benefits through the end of the month. The district also will pay Morosky for accumulated vacation days.

Morosky agreed not to pursue any further legal remedies and “... waives any rights or claims she may have arising under but not limited to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of the Civil Rights Act and any other statute which prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, color, age, handicap or ancestry, the Fair Labor Standards Act or any other state of federal regulations or any common law claim or theories of recovery.”

She also agrees to discontinue any unemployment compensation claims currently pending.

The agreement also notes that “... should the district receive inquiries concerning reasons of (Morosky’s) resignation, the district shall respond that (her) contract was due to terminate on June 30, 2014, and she chose to seek other employment.

“Should the district receive requests from potential employers regarding (Morosky’s) employment, the district will provide a letter setting forth the position held by Mrs. Morosky and her dates of employment unless a release or authorization signed by Mrs. Morosky is provided to the district to allow further elaboration.”

The agreement also notes that Morosky’s letter of resignation was submitted voluntarily and does not acknowledge any wrongdoing on her part.

The board voted twice before agreeing to pay bills submitted by Harper for legal work. His bills exceeding the amount initially approved.

The board had agreed to pay Harper up to $7,500 to resolve an issue between the district and McGuire Memorial School in Beaver County.

On Thursday, the board approved a settlement agreement and mutual release between McGuire and the district.

However, Harper’s bill exceeded the figure by $462. The agenda also noted Harper had completed the Morosky resignation agreement at no additional cost to the district.

The board initially voted not to pay Harper the additional $462, with Richard Loudon, James McFarland and Karen Houk approving and David Antuono, P.J. Copple, Amy Na, Jay Vitale and Hasson opposing.

Following an executive session of about 15 minutes, the board voted 6-2, with only Na and Hasson opposing, to pay the bill.

Superintendent Dr. Mary Todora said several board members had commented in the executive session that they had opposed the bill because they had not been informed of the overage prior to the vote.

Todora later took responsibility for having failed to inform the board that the final bill had exceeded the amount approved by the board.

Todora, who earlier this year announced her retirement effective at the end of the school year, said she has been overwhelmed by additional duties.

Last month, the board appointed Todora as acting business manager and school treasurer, two posts formerly held by Morosky, and agreed to pay her an additional $1,000 for them.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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