The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why no 'rubber room' for Gallon?


With a 'rubber room', we would know where Gallon was.
Plainfield's disappeared Superintendent of Schools Steve Gallon III is on my mind today, especially since he is also in the news (see the Courier here, and Maria's blog here).

The Courier's Mark Spivey updates us on the Gallon/Kemp court case, and Maria digs up an email exchange confirming Gallon's suspension (though it goes unacknowledged publicly by the Board of Ed).

What gridges me is that no one knows where the man is.

New York City schools have what are called 'rubber rooms' for teachers and administrators who are suspended pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings.

Whatever else may be said about them, one good point is that as long as the employee is on paid suspension you know where they are every work day.

Since we are paying Dr. Gallon approximately just a hair under $900 PER DAY in salary (not counting benefits), it gridges me that the way the Board and its attorneys have structured things, it appears more like a PERMANENT VACATION than a suspension.

Just where is he every day on our dime?

Lounging in his South Plainfield apartment? Laying on a Miami beach? Working another gig? Who knows?

At least if he were in a 'rubber room', we would know where he was while on our dime. Whether he was playing solitaire, watching the soaps, or working word puzzles.

Call me old-fashioned, but that would give me a little satisfaction in this unsatisfying mess.

NOTE: Those following the proceedings may want to check out the statutes referenced in the email exchange Maria has OPRAed. Title 18A in the NJ Statutes Annotated covers Education (see complete statute, by section, here).

The two specific statutes cited in the emails are --
  • 18A:6-11. Written charges; written statement of evidence; etc., and

  • 18A:17-20.2a. Required actions relative to early termination of superintendent's employment contract.
What puzzles me is the continued secrecy about Gallon despite the fact that so much is discoverable, as Maria shows. Is it the quality of the legal advice the Board is getting? Or is it just quirkiness on the part of Board members?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dan,

The BOE would want to remain silent on this. From all accounts it seemed like the Grand Slam team jumped the gun on actions against Gallon.

The tenure charges were stupidly premature considering he has not been even arraigned not to mention convicted of a crime.

Their overzealous agenda to get rid of him may cost the taxpayers more in the long run.

My bet is the Gallon is somewhere laughing at the mess that has developed since his disappearance. The recent incompetence and public blunders would have to give him some relief. We have unrestrained board members and inept administrators literally running the district into the ground.

He is also developing a "strategic plan" to sue the board for what appears to be violation of his due process rights under the law.

Anonymous said...

you would think obama would have stopped by to see his school

Anonymous said...

Gallon works out at LA fitness. I saw him letting loose on a PPS I mean punching bag!

LOL.

Yep I Said It! said...

I bet most of Plainfield who voted for Grand Slam do NOT have children or their children do NOT attend the Plainfield School system. And so the true Plainfield students suffer or will soon suffer within PPS.

Thanks to Grand Slam's winning campaign all of Gallon, Estevez, and Cox's great work will be for naught. And . . . Gallon is getting what he deserves . . . a long vacation -paid by PPS thanks to Grand Slam.

Anonymous said...

Dan I agree with 8:36am writer. I just hope that when this is all said in done the residents of plainfield will understand the process. This premature action that the board took will cost the children of this great city of plainfield a lot of money. When are we going to put our peronalities aside and get to the business of the children in this district. This is a shame and I as a taxpayer is just in awe. I will be throuwing my hat in the ring whether it be in April or November and you bet I will be running on real issues.

Renee

Anonymous said...

What is a shame is that Plainfield is being run by well meaning, but not smart people. These people have lived here forever and have a base of friends and relatives, but no objective people who ask the hard questions and demand accountability.