Pittsburgh Comptroller Calls for PPS Leadership Change After Superintendent’s Ethics Breaches | News | Pittsburgh

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Postcard photo: Rebecca Addison

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet at a 2016 press conference

Following the release of the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission report, which concluded that the principal of Pittsburgh Public Schools Anthony Hamlet broke ethical rulesPittsburgh Comptroller Michael Lamb calls for leadership changes in the city’s school district.

“We are grateful for the work of the State Ethics Commission. This report confirms much of what we suspected, ”says Lamb. “The Pittsburgh Public Education Board must now make the appropriate changes in leadership to allow the district to return to the important task of focusing on student success. The families and children of the city deserve nothing less.

Lamb’s comments diverge from the statement by PPS Board Chair Sylvia Wilson that a change in leadership would not make sense given the existing challenges due to the pandemic. The PPS board has the power to fire Hamlet and hire a new superintendent.

The ethics committee report, released on August 26, found Hamlet negligently received travel reimbursements and payments for work-related appearances and misclassified financial documents. According to the Ethics Commission, Hamlet used time off during the days he was away for non-district travel and postponed unused vacation and personal days for some district employees, including himself, despite his contract forbidding it.

The commission also found that a technical violation of the ethics law occurred when Hamlet accepted honoraria in recognition of appearances, speeches or presentations directly related to his role as superintendent. David Berardinelli, the lawyer who represented Hamlet in the ethics commission investigation, notes that Hamlet’s contract allowed him to receive such fees, which he says is the reason the commission has characterized Hamlet’s actions as a “technical” violation.

While Hamlet denies committing an ethics violation in relation to his trip with The Flying Classroom – an additional PK-12 STEM + company based in Miami, Fla. – he “agrees that if this case were to be heard , the Investigations Division could, by circumstantial evidence, meet the required standard of proof and convince an investigator that he or she has violated [the Ethics Act]. ”

To close the case without further action, the Ethics Board ordered Hamlet to pay PPS $ 2,908.89 for negligent record keeping, $ 3,250 to PPS for the fees he received – for which he’s also responsible for getting the district to make those payments to the Pittsburgh Promise – as well as $ 1,000 related to investigative expenses and $ 750 for technical errors on paperwork. According to a press release from PPS, Hamlet has already issued the checks for $ 2,908.89 and $ 3,250.

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