King Would Drop Suit For No-Show School Job

Amy McConnell Schaarsmith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 29

Andrew King, former interim superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, has promised to drop his threatened lawsuit against the district in exchange for being given what amounts to a no-show job for at least three years.

King would waive all legal claims against the district and leave his current post as chief academic officer—the district’s No. 2 position—in exchange for appointment as special assistant to the superintendent in charge of complying with federal No Child Left Behind Act, according to an e-mail message his lawyer sent the district yesterday.

Unless informed otherwise, King’s only duty would be to receive reports from current employees on whether the district is obeying the law, the message stated. He would be paid a starting salary of $150,000 a year, an increase from the $125,000 a year he currently receives.

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The proposal, which some board members said created hot debate, was rejected behind closed doors before last night’s legislative meeting. Instead, board members approved moving King into a new position, “special assistant to the superintendent on special assignment,” for which he will continue to be paid his current salary of $125,000 a year. The vote was 6-0, with Mark Brentley, Randall Taylor and Floyd McCrea abstaining.

But the duties for that position haven’t been decided, according to schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt, who proposed the transfer that was approved.

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!<)king.jpg! King, a 53-year-old grandfather of six, was arrested in 1999 for having sex with a homeless woman in the back of a parked truck behind Robert L. Vann Elementary School in the Hill District. He was charged with open lewdness but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. King was demoted, but worked his way back up the district’s administrative ladder and became interim superintendent after former superintendent John W. Thompson was ousted in January. King applied for the position of permanent superintendent, but was not among the 10 semifinalists picked by search committee members. As a result, King threatened the board on Sept. 1 with a lawsuit, claiming that racial discrimination had played a part in his rejection.

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