Coatesville School Board President Resigns

Caln Township, PA – Amid speculation that the Chester County District Attorney’s grand jury investigation of two former district administrators is nearing completion, Coatesville Area School Board President Neil Campbell resigned from his post Tuesday.

“This decision was difficult as I enjoyed representing the district as well as members of the community,” Campbell said in his statement addressed to the school board dated Nov. 25. “I truly appreciate those that elected me to serve and it was an honor.”

Campbell’s resignation was announced before the school board meeting commenced. His resignation was effective immediately, according to school district officials.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20141126/coatesville-school-board-president-resigns

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2 Coatesville Administrators Placed On Leave Amid District Lawsuit Action

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Caln Township, PA – Two Coatesville Area School District employees were placed on administrative leave last week at the same time the school board filed a lawsuit against two former administrators.

Assistant superintendent Angelo Romaniello and facilities worker Matthew Como, the son of former superintendent Richard Como, were placed on administrative leave effective last week.

Romaniello’s attorney, Robert Donatoni of West Chester, declined comment on the employment status of his client Friday. Attorney Paul Rubino, who’s representing Matt Como, also declined comment.

CASD superintendent Cathy Taschner did not release the names of the employees in the message sent to parents Thursday night. School district officials responded Friday to a right-to-know request submitted by the Daily Local News checking on the employment status of Matt Como and Romaniello.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20141122/2-coatesville-administrators-placed-on-leave-amid-district-lawsuit-action

Coatesville Schools Don’t Provide Requested Information

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The clock expired Thursday for the Coatesville Area School District to respond to three Right-to-Know requests submitted last month by the Daily Local News, a sister paper of The Times Herald.

The newspaper made the requests in response to the abrupt departures of former Superintendent Richard Como and former Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato.

Those requests, because the district hadn’t replied within 30 days of when it first said it needed more time to check on the legality of releasing the information, were deemed denied Thursday.

On Sept. 10, school board solicitor and attorney James Ellison advised the Daily Local the district needed an additional 30 calendar days beyond the usual five business days public entities have to respond to the newspaper’s Right to Know request.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/social-affairs/20131014/coatesville-schools-dont-provide-requested-information

Shouts And Accusations At Coatesville Area Board Meeting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CALN — Members of the Coatesville Area School Board continued to bear the brunt of public outrage Tuesday as calls for the removal of the district’s acting superintendent and solicitor dominated a public meeting held over a month after the controversial departure of two former administrators.

At Tuesday night’s regularly scheduled school board committees meeting in the district’s 9/10 Center auditorium, community members again criticized the school board’s handling of the resignations of former Superintendent Richard Como and former Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato.

The highlight of the meeting came when Acting Assistant Superintendent Teresa Powell, one of two whistleblowers who uncovered the racist and sexist text messages exchanged on Como and Donato’s district-issued cell phones, took the podium and accused acting Superintendent Angelo Romaniello of exchanging insensitive text messages about her with his predecessor.

According to Powell, the text message transcripts at the center of the district’s ongoing controversy contained exchanges that referenced her by name, and that the now acting superintendent was a key participant in those conversations.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131009/shouts-and-accusations-at-coatesville-area-board-meeting

Coatesville’s Como A Steady Success – Until The Texting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around noon on Father’s Day, Steve Brazzle texted Rich Como, his onetime principal at Coatesville High School.

“Happy Father’s Day pop pop,” Brazzle wrote, poking fun at Como’s age.

“My son!” replied Como, 67. “Much appreciated and thanks as always for remembering me. That does mean so much.”

Brazzle, who is black, wrote back: “Of course. Thanks for being who you are.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20130929_Coatesville_s_Como_a_steady_success_-_until_the_texting.html#5UA4BoiZe55G1ksd.99

Coatsville Area School District In Crisis After Racially-Charged Rext Messages Surface

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The abrupt departure of the Coatesville Area School District superintendent and another senior administrator came two weeks after numerous exchanges of inappropriate and racially-charged text messages were discovered on their district-issued cell phones, and multiple sources have indicated that school board officials were not only aware of the exchanges, but were prepared to allow the pair to remain in their positions until the conduct prompted a criminal investigation, the Daily Local News has learned.

The Coatesville Area School Board is expected to formally vote to approve the resignations of former Superintendent Richard Como and former Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato at Tuesday’s public meeting.  Como announced his “retirement” through a letter posted on the district’s website on August 29. Reports of Donato’s resignation surfaced several days later.  Both came unexpectedly during the first week of the school year.

Text messages exchanged from school-issued cell phone numbers between Como and Donato contained repeated use of a commonly known derogatory phrase referring to African American or black individuals.  In one instance, the term was used 14 times in one conversation.

The school district has not commented on the resignations, but two sources with knowledge of the situation said the departures were the direct result of discoveries found on Donato’s cell phone. More disturbingly, the sources said the school board was made aware of the text messages and was prepared to allow Como and Donato to remain in their positions until the transcripts were leaked to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, prompting a criminal investigation.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/social-affairs/20130923/coatsville-area-school-district-in-crisis-after-racially-charged-text-messages-surface

West Bradford SPCA Land Sale Raises Objections

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Accusations of high euthanasia rates and lack of management aren’t the only issues officials at the Chester County SPCA are facing these days.

The organization and especially board president Conrad Muhly are hearing the sharp sounds of criticism amid accusations of wrongdoing over a land deal that detractors say was fishy from the start.

Today, in the second installment of a two-part series, the Daily Local News looks into allegations that the nonprofit is acting improperly in selling land it received from the state of Pennsylvania in West Bradford to a developer who has ties to Muhly and, thus, the CCSPCA.  On Sunday, the Daily Local published complaints from former volunteers about practices at the shelter in West Goshen.

The shelter currently holds 20 acres of land that abut the 220-acre Embreeville State Hospital parcel that was purchased by Embreeville Redevelopment, LP.  The group currently has controversial plans of building more than 1,000 new homes and commercial development on that land.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20130915/west-bradford-spca-land-sale-raises-objections