News and Tribune

Education/Schools

April 6, 2012

Tom Galovic speaks out after his termination from GCCS

CLARK COUNTY — His termination left him with questions about how he was treated, the process that led to his getting sacked and whether he’ll ever work in education again.

Tom Galovic, the former chief financial officer for Greater Clark County Schools, has taken to the web with some of his perspectives and opinions on what happened to him and the school district in general on a locally based Internet forum.

But in his interview with the News and Tribune, Galovic said he’s speaking out because he wants to make sure his side of the story gets told.

“I feel like if nobody actually comes forward and discusses how these things are handled in Greater Clark and in education in general, nothing’s going to change,” Galovic said. “Somebody’s got to step forward and give the other side of the story.”

Investigated

Galovic said in the time he worked for Greater Clark County Schools, he had not been formally reprimanded or otherwise disciplined for anything until an investigation was launched against him in January.

Galovic said the investigation was started in part because of a payment he authorized to Robbie Valentine, former board member, for a mentoring program at Parkview Middle School. The $500 payment was donated through EMCOR in October 2011, and paid through the school’s extracurricular account.

But upon approval, Galovic said he was unaware Valentine’s wages were being garnished. Documentation from the district shows the money was refunded in full to GCCS on Dec. 22, 2011.

Though Galovic said he understands he made an oversight with Valentine’s garnishment, he thinks that incident was used by the board as something it  could “hang its hat on” for disciplinary proceedings against him.

“That’s so minor,” Galovic said. “It was an oversight on my part about the garnishment. Everything else was handled properly.”

The day after the money was returned, GCCS board members Kevin Satterly and Mark Pavey, along with board president Christina Gilkey, approached Superintendent Stephen Daeschner with questions about the incident.

Martin Bell, chief operating officer for the district, declined to comment for this story, but said everything the district had to say was in the termination letter provided after the March 20 meeting of the school board.

The termination letter included accusations of staff members feeling intimidated or bullied by Galovic, as well as a “lost of trust and faith” from board and cabinet members.

But Galovic said Daeschner told him that the intimidation complaint could have been something anyone could have said about any person in the district.

“He said that point blank in front of Marty  [Bell] and Sandy [Lewis, district general counsel],” Galovic said. “There are times where people are going to be uncomfortable, where they won’t be sure or feel like they aren’t being treated the way they should, that’s just the way that is.”

Galovic said he didn’t think Bell conducted a fair investigation because he didn’t talk to all of the board members about the incident, only the ones who made the accusations against him.

“[Bell] admitted to me that they didn’t interview everybody that I talked to on the board,” Galovic said. “They had a select number of people they talked to.”

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