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New buyout for deputy superintendent under wraps

When the Board of Ed meets tomorrow afternoon, it will consider a revised buyout package for Deputy Superintendent Folasade Oladele.

The previous settlement -- a year's pay and benefits, or about $215,000 -- didn't fly, as you might recall. Although the board approved the settlement on a 5-3 vote, community opposition was strong, as her contract entitled her to three month's pay, or $42,000.

So while Oladele used up some accumulated vacation time in July, the district got busy renegotiating with her. The word is that the new package involves three months' pay and benefits, as well as a payout for unused benefit time.

But Board President Lou Petrucci will not disclose the terms of the settlement.

Not yet, anyway.

He says that according to the terms of the separation agreement with Oladele, the board cannot release the terms until after it is approved.

In other words, the public will have no way to know for sure what the board is voting on until after it's a done deal.

Bob Freeman, executive director of the state's Committee on Open Government, says despite the confidentiality clause in the separation agreement, the board could disclose the terms of the buyout if it chose to.

"Clearly, if the board wants to disclose this proposed agreement, it may do so," he said.

"This clause in my opinion has no legal weight. A promise of confidentiality doesn't mean a thing," he said. "The only time a promise of confidentiality must be honored is a situation in which a statute forbids disclosure. There's no obligation to disclose, but there's nothing in law that would prohibit disclosure."

- Mary Pasciak

E-mail me at mpasciak@buffnews.com or follow me on Follow  SchoolZoneBlog on Twitter Twitter. Check out the Buffalo News' education page at www.buffalonews.com/schools.

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