Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins explains why two top school officials were fired Thursday and the impact on school district leadership.
Two top school administrators in Prince George's County were fired Thursday for arranging for a payout to a former employee, a source close to the investigation told NBC4 Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins.
CFO Matthew Stanski paid out a a six-figure sum to the school system's former Human Resources officer, Synthia Shilling, the source said.
Stanski and Chief Legal Counsel Roger Thomas were fired during a Board of Education executive session Thursday evening.
"I will give them credit on this one," Prince George's County NAACP President Bob Ross said. "They took immediate action, removed the two individuals that were responsible for it, and I hope they do a full investigation to get everybody that was involved, and I mean even bring (former Superintendent Dr. William) Hite back."
Shilling had resigned in August amidst charges of leaving the scene of an accident.
Prince George's County Schools released a statement that reads in part:
Last week, an allegation was brought to the attention of the Board of Education and the interim Superintendent that specific Board directives... regarding severance packages for members of the executive cabinet who resigned from employment were not properly followed.
...Certain personnel actions have been taken. However, because information relating to personnel investigations and actions are confidential, no additional information will be provided at this time. This matter continues to be under review.
Rumors of sweetheart deals and unapproved severance packages prompted Ross to call for a financial audit of the school system, Wilkins reported. According to sources, the same rumors moved the school board to deny any severance packages without the board's approval. That agreement was violated with the direct deposit to Shilling, sources said.
Now the positions of superintendent, CFO, chief legal counsel, chief of student services, chief of facilities and others are open.
"I look at the turnover as an opportunity to move our school system in the direction we said we want to take it in Prince George's County," County Council member Derrick Davis said.
His committee oversees the schools budget says business is still getting done.
"They are in the process of ensuring vacancies are filled and making sure in all situations that they're prudent in making decisions about who to come on and lead our school system," he said.