School official on administrative leave

Carthage Central School District Superintendent Peter J. Turner speaks at the school in 2016. Watertown Daily Times

CARTHAGE — Although details remain unavailable, it seems Carthage Central School District Superintendent Peter J. Turner is still on the district’s payroll.

Despite being placed on administrative leave last month, Mr. Turner continues to draw his salary, which the records officer for the school district said was $175,500 for the 2019-2020 school year.

According to unapproved minutes on the district’s website, following an executive session during a special meeting of the Board of Education held Dec. 17 at Carthage Area Hospital Professional Building Conference Room, Mr. Turner was placed on administrative leave.

The minutes reflect that only the board members and attorney Dominic S. D’Imperio, director of employer/employee relations for the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Watertown, were present. Board Vice President Anne Rohr was designated as temporary clerk for the meeting.

After a 37-minute executive session “to discuss the employment history of a particular employee,” the board voted 7-0 to approve the administrative leave for Mr. Turner, as superintendent of schools, “effective immediately through June 30, 2020.”

The Board of Education met again on Dec. 23 at the Great Bend District office. According to the agenda, Assistant Superintendent Jennifer L. Premo, who had been appointed acting superintendent, was asked to attend that meeting. The board was to go into executive session to discuss the employment history of a particular employee. However, inquiries as to if that second meeting also concerned Mr. Turner were left unanswered.

“I have attached a link to our website where the notice was posted prior to the December 23rd meeting,” Mrs. Premo wrote in an email Friday. “I have also attached the meeting agenda. Beyond the meeting notice, agenda, and/or minutes, the District will not comment on confidential personnel items. Therefore, there will not be any further comment in response to your other questions.”

As of press time, the minutes of the Dec. 23 meeting were not posted to the school district website.

Mr. Turner was not available for comment.

He had planned to retire Dec. 31, but recently decided to stay on until the end of the school year as the search for a new superintendent continues. A district website notice posted Dec. 18 states the search for a superintendent has been reopened with a deadline of Jan. 31 for applications.

Mr. Turner started in the Carthage School District in 1985 as a social studies teacher. He taught eight years at the high school and three at the middle school. He left the school district, then returned in 2000 and served as the high school principal until 2007. After holding the superintendent position in a Champlain school he was hired here as district head in 2012.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment

Holmes -- the real one

Residents are saying that there is a lot to cover up regarding the Turners and that this is a measure that has been too long in coming.

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