Pittsburgh schools chief resigns in wake of ethics ruling

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — The superintendent of Pittsburgh’s public school system will step down in the wake of an ethics commission finding that he submitted “negligent” reimbursements for travel and was improperly paid for days off when he was not working for the school district.

District officials said Wednesday that Superintendent Anthony Hamlet submitted his resignation, effective Oct. 1. He will get a severance package worth about $400,000, equal to one year of salary and benefits, according to the district solicitor, Ira Weiss.

Last month, the State Ethics Commission said Hamlet also violated ethics rules by taking money for public appearances related to his position at the district. The commission ordered Hamlet to pay $1,750 to the state and $6,200 to the school district and to forfeit 14 vacation days.

Hamlet, who has maintained that he did nothing wrong, said in a resignation letter that it was best for the district’s students and families that he step down and “embark upon a new chapter in my professional life.”

Hamlet’s attorney has said the violations were the result of clerical errors, lack of ethics training and Hamlet’s contract letting him receive pay for speeches even though that type of compensation is not permitted under state law.

The next superintendent’s contract “will be revised to follow the dictates of the ethics commission,” Weiss said Wednesday. He said the district has already taken steps to improve oversight of contracts.

Hamlet has served as Pittsburgh’s superintendent since 2016.

An interim superintendent will be named in late September, with the search for a permanent replacement to begin when a new school board takes office in December.

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