PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Public Schools board ordered an independent investigation into Superintendent Anthony Hamlet’s unauthorized trip to Cuba.
After KDKA revealed that Superintendent Anthony Hamlet and four of his top administrators took the unauthorized out-of-the-country trip with a school district vendor called the Flying Classroom — the board ordered an independent investigation.
And according to these invoices provided to KDKA by board solicitor Ira Weiss it cost the district a bundle — $105,000 dollars — for scores of billable hours of interviews and record searches.
It’s a steep price tag, but solicitor Weiss says it was worth the expense to ensure public accountability in the school district.
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The report has never been made public, but KDKA reported it found Hamlet and his administrators in violation of two district policies: failing to get board approval to leave the country and failing to file a report. The investigation left it up to the board to decide if they violated a third: accepting gifts from a district vendor.
Weiss said Flying Classroom failed to deliver on its previous $80,000 contract with the district and was suspected of providing the expense-free trip in the hopes of getting another. In a statement, Weiss said the board had no choice but to authorize the probe.
“The board was unaware of the travel until KDKA reported it in May. While the investigation involved considerable expense, it was necessary to get the facts of the trip and address the apparent issues with the contracting process.”
The board has remained silent on any internal actions taken in the wake of the investigation, but KDKA has learned that it privately reprimanded superintendent hamlet — the least punitive of all disciplined actions.