New Castle News

New Castle

April 8, 2014

New Castle Schools: Razzano resigns in settlement with district

(Continued)

NEW CASTLE —

Razzano, in an emailed statement yesterday, said he resigned due to political and philosophical differences.  “This was an extremely difficult decision but one that I know is the best for my family and me,” he wrote.

 

“I could have continued to pursue the legal battle, which would have exonerated me of the false allegations made against me; but, to do so, would have put myself, my family, the community and everyone associated with the school district through a lot of embarrassment.”

“I have lived in this community for over 50 years. I have worked at the school district for 20 years. Therefore, I have decided to focus on the positive experiences of the past 20 years. I will always appreciate the relationships that were developed with administrators, faculty and staff.  Most of all, I will cherish the memories with the thousands of students I had the honor and privilege of being their teacher or principal,” Razzano continued.

 “I am enthusiastically looking forward to the next chapter in my life. My father always told us ‘there is a reason for everything.’ My plan is to take my pension and look for opportunities where I can use my God-given abilities and talents to continue to make a positive impact on young people.”

 Razzano’s attorney, Avrum Levicoff of Pittsburgh, said yesterday of the district, “they’re dropping everything. They were trying to fire him and that becomes moot.”

Levicoff contends people in the district who don’t like Razzano were trying to unseat him.

“If they didn’t get him this time, they were going to keep trying. You just realize you have to get out,” Levicoff said.

He maintains the allegations against Razzano were not credible and that “there was an organized effort to put him in a bad light.”

Razzano was worried about continued efforts on the part of his apparent enemies to undermine him, Levicoff said.

He pointed out that nobody lodging the complaints had ever made a contemporaneous complaint to Razzano about his behavior.

“Nobody ever said to him, ‘Don’t do that,’ or ‘I don’t want you to behave like that,’ never,” Levicoff said.

The only incident where anyone contemporaneously complained involved one worker who immediately complained to the administration.

“That incident was investigated by the superintendent, and Bob was exonerated from any misconduct,” Levicoff claims.

District superintendent John J. Sarandrea had placed Razzano on administrative leave with pay Feb. 19 when the complaints came to light.

The district and its attorneys conducted a Loudermill hearing, which is a due-process procedure to allow Razzano to answer to the complaints against him.

Levicoff said the district administrators had informed Razzano they were going to stop paying him while he was on leave, but the settlement resolved everything.

In order for the district to have terminated him, the school board would have had to agree and give him a hearing, which would have been lengthy and would have involved 19 witnesses, Levicoff said, commenting, “On both sides, I think everyone was very happy to avoid that.”

(Email: dwachter @ncnewsonline.com)

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