New Castle News

April 12, 2012

Former Shenango superintendent given severance pay

John K. Manna
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Former Shenango schools superintendent Eugene M. Thomas has received a $50,000 final severance payment from the district.

The payment was made Tuesday through a voluntary separation agreement and release entered into by Thomas and the district last Friday.

The Shenango school board unanimously approved the agreement and Thomas’ resignation at a special meeting Monday. His resignation took effect that night.

The severance payment is free of all payroll taxes and withholding, which will be paid by the district.

Thomas also will receive health insurance coverage for himself and his dependents, including family health, dental and vision coverage, through June 30.

The district also made a payment Tuesday of $7,057.65 to Thomas’ retirement fund account. The figure represents 15 accrued vacation days at a rate of $470.51 per day.

All other employment related benefits terminated upon the effective date of the separation agreement and Thomas’ resignation letter.

Thomas’ employment contract with the district — that ran from Jan. 4, 2010, through June 30, 2014 — was rescinded by the separation agreement.

His contract called for a salary of $116,687 for the 2011-12 fiscal year, $120,451 for the 2012-13 fiscal year and $124,215 for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The salary, plus benefits through the life of the contract, totaled $327,919. Taking into account the severance and retirement fund payments and the health care coverage for Thomas through June 30, the net savings to the district is $247,345, according to board president Albert Burick.

The separation agreement also releases the district and Thomas from any claims of any nature with the exception of enforcing the agreement. Also, Thomas specifically agrees “to waive and release any right or claims that he may have arising under any state or federal statute or common law principle” regarding employment claims.

Thomas must return any district property. He is not required to reimburse the district for any tuition it has paid. The district also acknowledges the iPad issued to him by the Laurel School District is his property and not the property of Shenango.

The parties also agree to defend, hold harmless and indemnify the other party for any claims.

Both also agree “that neither shall disparage the other in any public communication from and after the date this agreement is signed.”

(Contact John K. Manna at (724) 654-6651, extension 624, or email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)