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Settlement agreement ongoing between BOE and ex-superintendent

Saturday, April 12, 2014 - Updated: 11:56 AM

ST. JOHNSVILLE -- According to Joseph DeTraglia, the attorney representing the OESJ School District Board of Education, contract negotiations between district officials and ex-OESJ superintendent Laura Lawrence (represented by attorney Kevin Luibrand), are ongoing.

"A settlement is in progress", DeTraglia stated, explaining that no further details were yet available.

After being hired as superintendent of the merged school district in May, 2014, The OESJ Board of Education placed Lawrence on paid administrative leave during a Nov. 6 board meeting. The board has never publicly cited a cause for the decision, stating repeatedly that no comments could be made regarding personnel. 

Until a settlement is agreed upon, Lawrence will continue to receive her contracted $110,500 annual salary, while interim Superintendent Thomas Gallagher, hired to lead the district in her absence, is paid $500 per day.

During a special meeting Thursday at 4:30 p.m., the board agreed, by a vote of 6 to 1 (with BOE member Cindy Breh voting against the motion) to present Lawrence with a final settlement offer after six months of contract negotiations had stalled. Lawrence's attorney had until 5 p.m. Friday to issue a written response to the settlement offer.

The board also agreed Thursday, by a vote of 4 to 3 (with BOE members Keith Handy, Renee Swartz and Lee Quackenbush voting against the motion) to file unnamed charges against Lawrence if the final settlement offer was declined.

After BOE President Susanne Sammons referred all questions to DeTraglia, he declined to comment on what type of charges could potentially be filed, confirming only that the charges would not be criminal.

     

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