SPRING TWP, Pa., - Less than one year after becoming the Wilson School District superintendent, Curtis Baker, has resigned. The resignation was announced at Tuesday's school board meeting.
The move comes a week after a scathing audit by the Pennsylvania auditor general involving the last district where Baker worked.
The performance audit covered July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2015. Baker was the superintendent of the Moon Township School District in western Pennsylvania during some of that time.
The report found "lax board oversight of an unaccountable superintendent" and said that contributed to waste and misuse of public funds. It also found instances of failing to comply with regulations and administrative procedures.
Wilson School Board President Steve Ehrlich said the board was aware of some of the allegations in the report.
"However, since Mr. Baker's status at Moon Township School District was a matter of contested litigation, this board was not privy to several sources and reports, which the new board at Moon Township apparently now shared with the auditor general's office, which made up the majority of the auditor general's report," Ehrlich said at Tuesday's school board meeting. "As such, our board reasonably believed at the time the position was offered to Mr. Baker that the Moon Township's newly elected board of directors sworn into office in December of 2015 had unfairly removed Mr. Baker based upon unpopular decisions and political reasons rather than inappropriate and unauthorized actions."
Ehrlich also said the board went through an extensive vetting process to find a new superintendent.
Baker released a statement Wednesday, saying:
"By almost any possible measure, Wilson is a tremendous school system and it has been an honor to lead this district. I have valued every moment of my time here. We have a great community, a great board, incredible teachers and a student population with exceptional talent.
"In my view, it is a travesty, that the politics of another school system should in any way affect the Wilson School District, but it has.
"I am personally disappointed that the Auditor General would issue a highly unflattering report without bothering to hear both sides of the story. Suffice it say, that I strongly disagree with the Auditor General’s findings.
"Unfortunately, I believe that the district would be adversely affected if I were to attempt to continue to serve as superintendent and at the same time work to clear my name.
"I am saddened by all of this. I wish the Wilson board, community, teachers and students, only good things now and into the future."
Ehrlich noted that Baker is on paid administrative leave and the board is working to restore the public's trust.
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