The Poughkeepsie City School District’s new finance chief is its fourth since 2015. Video by Nina Schutzman/Poughkeepsie Journal.
The Poughkeepsie City School District’s new finance chief is its fourth since 2015.
At a special meeting Thursday, the board voted in favor of hiring Dawn Cupano as assistant superintendent of finance and operations.
Cupano will replace Joseph Jimick, who has held the job for less than a year. The board voted to approve a “no fault” termination for Jimick at the same meeting.
Cupano spent years as business administrator of the Tuxedo Union Free School District.
In May 2016, the state Comptroller’s Office released an audit of the Tuxedo district, which found the “the Business Administrator did not ensure that the Board received accurate financial information,” according to the report. “We found errors in accounting for financial transactions, resulting in a misleading picture of the district’s financial record.” Tuxedo’s 2015-16 budget was also “structurally imbalanced.”
Cupano submitted her letter of resignation in August 2016, according to Tuxedo board meeting minutes.
Her resignation was effective “as of February 16, 2017,” said Diana Petrosky, Tuxedo school board president. “We do not comment on personnel matters.”
When asked about the circumstances surrounding the audit and her resignation, Cupano said: “Unfortunately, I am unable to speak on any of that.”
Poughkeepsie school board President Ralph Coates did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
Jimick’s contract was supposed to run through July 2019. But under his employment agreement, the board can proceed with a no fault termination for any lawful reason after June 1, 2017, as long as he’s given 90 days of paid notice, according to district records.
His termination will be effective Sept. 14. During the 90-day-period, Jimick will not be required to come to work; he will have to “take all of his available paid leave time.” If he uses it all before Sept. 14, he will be placed on paid administrative leave for the remainder of the 90 days.
While Jimick is on leave, Cupano will hold the job on an interim basis. After Sept. 14, she will take over the “permanent” spot, with a contract that runs through June 2020.
Jimick, who could not be reached for comment, was Poughkeepsie’s third assistant superintendent of finance since 2015. He was appointed to the position last summer.
Stanley Bronski held the spot on an interim basis for most of the 2014-15 year. He was allowed to resign in good standing in the spring of 2015 after allegations surfaced that he asked a prostitute to “service him” in district offices.
Wayne Kurlander took over when Bronski resigned. He held the role on an interim basis and then permanently for less than a year combined. In May 2016, he resigned to avoid being fired by the district, according to Kurlander’s settlement agreement with the district. No reason was provided as to why the board sought to fire him.
School officials have said the district’s failure to file a timely external audit for the past three years — which resulted in millions of dollars in delayed state aid — was due in part to heavy turnover in the district business office.
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