A couple weeks ago Phil Rison, of Montgomery County Schools, discovered during a school board meeting that his position would be eliminated at the end of the school year. Shortly after that he requested a due process hearing with the board. Why on earth someone facing problems with EPSB, ongoing lawsuits and Title IX messes would request such a thing is beyond us but he did it anyway.
Rison was informed that the district would likely grant such a hearing and that was that.
Until a few days later when he was shown a document containing minimal information regarding charges that would be brought up against him during any due process hearing. You can use your imagination (spending without approval, Title IX scandals, what was effectively bid rigging, the iPad mess, construction problems) as to what those charges may be.
After Rison was shown the document by acting superintendent Donald Pace, who is apparently an administrative force to be reckoned with, he muttered that he’d been with the district for 29 (?) years, wasn’t going to take it and was retiring. So Pace presented him the paperwork to retire at the end of last week and he signed them.
Rison retired. But only after discovering what the district would be bringing against him.
According to central office sources, he’s using up vacation time and such to finish out the month.
Here’s the May 31 letter Rison gave to Pace:
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Text of the letter (bold emphasis ours):
Due to the Montgomery County Board’s decision on May 11, 2015, to abolish my position and thus demote me to a lesser position, I am notifying you of my intent to retire effective June 30, 2015.
This is not a decision I have reached lightly. The board’s retaliatory action against me is the exclusive basis for my decision to retire. Had the board not abolished my position I would have gladly continued my faithful service to the school district. I will suffer economic harm by retiring now, as I have not attained age 55.
But the board’s arbitrary and punitive action, if carried out, would have imposed even more significant economic harm upon me and my family for the rest of my life. Thus, I have no choice but to retire now.
Phil Rison, CMAA
Montgomery County Schools
“[R]etaliatory action” and and “arbitrary and punitive action” are apparently code for attempting to hold Rison accountable for admitted bid-rigging, for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars without approval, for various Title IX scandals, for his involvement in the retaliation against iPad whistleblower Jennifer Hall and more.
Stay tuned for the inevitably mind-blowing (numbing?) story you know in your gut the local newspaper is sure to produce.