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Lawrence, O-ESJ reach settlement

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 - Updated: 9:44 AM


C-S-E Editor

OPPENHEIM -- Laura Lawrence, the former Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville superintendent placed on paid administrative leave in November, will receive about $250,000 plus insurance over the next two years according to a settlement agreement between Lawrence and the district.

The settlement agreement states, "Contemporaneous with the execution of this agreement, the District shall make lump sum payments of $21,250 representing her salary pursuant to the Employment Agreement from April 18, 2014 through June 30, 2014, and $7,500 for payment for her accrued vacation, sick and personal time."

Lawrence, who officially announced her retirement from OESJ April 23, "shall then be paid in accordance with the following schedule: a) $112,500 paid from July 1, 2014 until June 30, 2015; b) $114,500 paid from July 1, 2015 until June 30, 2016."

The settlement states that should Lawrence accept "other full time employment at an equal or greater salary than $112,500 … on or after December 31, 2015, then the District's obligation to remit payments to Lawrence shall cease for the period of said comparable employment except for payment of the difference in salary, if any between the comparable employment salary and $114,500."

Should Lawrence die prior to June 30, 2016, the payments would be made to her beneficiaries. The settlement agreement also states that Lawrence shall make "good faith efforts" to obtain comparable employment within a 50 mile radius of her Mohawk home.

Lawrence is also "entitled to insurance coverage under the District's or an equal or greater health insurance plan with individual, two-person or family health insurance coverage, whichever is selected by Lawrence."

The district has agreed to pay 90 percent of the health insurance cost until Lawrence obtains comparable employment also willing to pay 90 percent of her insurance. The agreement states, "This benefit shall continue upon the effective date of Lawrence's resignation and retirement aforesaid from the District and continue thereafter until her death."

She is also entitled to a dental plan, optical and prescription coverage with terms identical to her health insurance agreement, all valid until Lawrence obtains 90 percent coverage from a future employer or until her death.

The settlement agreement also states that neither Lawrence or the district "shall disparage the other either in written or oral remarks."

From the time she was placed on paid administrative leave in November, for still-undisclosed reasons by a vote of 4 to 3, Lawrence continued to receive her current $110,500 annual salary. Acting Superintendent Thomas Gallagher will continue to be paid $500 a day until a permanent replacement is hired.


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