Flint, MI—The Michigan State Police (MSP) is launching an investigation into a payout to a retiree of Flint Community Schools (FCS).

“After speaking with legal counsel, it was recommended that we file a report with the state police about this matter and let them investigate for free,” Michael Clack, president of Flint’s Board of Education, said during a Wednesday, April 12, 2023 meeting. “So, there is, or there will be, an unbiased investigation at no cost to the district.” 

The Flint Community Schools Board voted unanimously last month to move forward with investigating a payout to a former Flint Schools executive assistant in unused paid time off upon her retirement, which amounted to $61,347.

“It is extremely irresponsible and untrustworthy for one person to receive a payout that exceeds that of every teacher that has taught in a classroom,” Clack said at the Wednesday board meeting. 

The estimated cost for the Board attorney to conduct the investigation could have been over $15,000, further burdening the district financially, Clack added. 

Clack first raised concerns in a March meeting about the previous Board’s action, citing an independent auditor’s report that highlighted the payout in question. It was approved by the Board that presided over the district in 2022. 

On June 15, 2022, the Board approved the payout 5-0 following a motion by Laura MacIntyre. MacIntyre, Chris Del Morone, Linda Boose, Allen Gilbert and Joyce Ellis-McNeal voted yes. Carol McIntosh and Danielle Green were absent. MacIntyre and Ellis-McNeal are the two remaining members of the previous board that sit on the new board.

“As a Board, we voted to make our employee whole and to compensate her what she deserved,” MacIntyre, who was treasurer at the time, said in an interview. 

During the Wednesday meeting, Jorgina Rubin, who worked in human resources at the district and has since retired, said “the amount of the payment never came from the Board.”

Following the June vote, Rubin said she drew up different options for paying out the individual. That included the figure that was ultimately paid out, but Rubin noted she didn’t recommend that option.

“The final payment does not come from me,” Rubin told the Board. “I presented the options.”

Ultimately, Rubin added, “I don’t have the authority to go into the business office and say, ‘Cut this check.'”

When it comes to the Board’s overall role in the district, Clack said the Board shouldn’t have gotten involved in the district’s day-to-day administrative affairs to begin with. He hopes that the investigation will help uncover the Board’s reasoning in doing so with this particular payout, Clack told Flint Beat. 

Further, Clack said he hopes the investigation will help prevent such incidents from happening again, “so we don’t bankrupt the district by giving people unprecedented amounts of money.”

But MacIntyre questioned the motive behind seeking a police investigation.

“It’s a waste of public resources,” she told Flint Beat. “There’s a lot of other things that can be investigated. I have absolutely nothing to hide. But there is information that already exists and is out there that should be brought to light to the public. This whole process is just very confusing to me. It reeks of … political assassination.”

Carol McIntosh, who was the Board vice president in June 2022, welcomed the involvement of law enforcement in the matter, and she said she had been “blowing the whistle” on the payment.

“I had been complaining about this because it was no question that this was absolutely unethical and unwarranted,” McIntosh said in an interview. 

But then-Secretary Linda Boose criticized the new Board for rehashing something that was already voted on.

“They don’t need to be digging up old dirt,” Boose told Flint Beat, adding that the police investigation is “unnecessary.”

All in all, she said, “It’s a different Board, but same mess.”

Boose, who was appointed to the Board in March 2022, went on to explain her own vote in June.

“I approved the payment because she was entitled to it prior to me getting on the Board, even without me understanding the past practice of the Board and the administration,” Boose said. “The money was entitled to her, as far as I understood.”

On Del Morone’s part, the then-Trustee said in an interview on Wednesday, “We didn’t hash out any numbers. We didn’t look at how many days or anything like that that I know of.”

Though he noted, “I was led to believe that was the amount, that the 61 was the amount, cause it’s not like I’m just hearing about $61,000 today or last week.”

Meanwhile, Clack has contacted the MSP Flint Post regarding the payout and requested the state police to investigate the case.

Lieutenant Kim Vetter, public information officer at the MSP Third District Headquarters, added in an interview, “Troopers will conduct an investigation and once that is complete, [it will be] sent to the prosecutor’s office for review to determine whether or not any criminal activity occurred.” 

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...

One reply on “Michigan State Police investigating payout to former Flint Schools employee”

  1. Wait, I’m confused, I don’t understand what there is to investigate here. It seems to me like the previous board rightly met an obligation they had to a former district employee and now the new board has learned the amount that they owed this person so they’re trying to find a way to cheat the person out of what I’m sure is an entire career worth of unused sick days with there reasoning being that the employees attendance is unprecedented. Sounds to me like they should give the person extra for that and maybe even a plaque or throphy. Not trying to run them through the mud because they were dedicated. But Please let me know if theres something I’m missing here.

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