Milton School District agrees to pay legal fees
MILTON--The Milton School District spent more than $12,000 in legal fees during an investigation of Superintendent Mike Garrow’s conduct, according to a Gazette evaluation of district records.
Fallout from the investigation led to Garrow’s resignation in November.
According to legal invoices, the district was billed:
n $2,669 for an October 2012 investigation by Fennimore law firm Kramer and Brownlee of staff complaints that Garrow had improperly fraternized with staff and used a district computer to show colleagues a photo of a nude or scantily-clad woman. Although the photo apparently never surfaced during the investigation and Garrow denies it was inappropriate, the investigator found that it was “possibly inappropriate.”
The investigation took just under 16 hours, according to the invoice. It also determined that complaints about Garrow’s social conduct were unfounded.
n $9,500 in legal fees from board attorney Shana Lewis to negotiate proposed “disciplinary” measures and ultimately, Garrow’s paid extended leave, resignation and severance.
Those costs include $1,069 in work by Lewis to field open records requests from local media seeking details of Garrow’s leave, according to an invoice.
On top of those legal costs, the district has agreed to pay Garrow his full salary of $122,000 to remain on leave the rest of the school year, along with a severance agreement which pays Garrow $35,000, but crops off the second year of his two-year contract.
Meanwhile, the district must begin looking for a new superintendent, and it’s paying Milton schools Principal Theresa Rusch an extra $20,000 to be interim superintendent.
The costs all came as the district was scrambling to bolster staffing at its elementary schools, some of which have had class sizes that have swelled to as many as 29 students—and amid hints by the board that it could propose a spending referendum later this year.
Garrow’s absence from the district started Oct. 12 after he was put on “approved leave” while complaints about Garrow’s conduct that had surfaced early in October were investigated.
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