By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet is resigning per an agreement with the school board, School Board Solicitor Ira Weiss announced at a news conference Wednesday morning.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Ethics Commission Cites Pittsburgh Public School Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet For Numerous Violations
He turned in his letter of resignation this morning.
“The board and Dr. Hamlet concur that this action is in the collective best interest of the district, its students and its community,” said Weiss, reading from a statement. He says the board is expected to accept Hamlet’s resignation at a special legislative meeting slated for Sept. 14.
Hamlet will officially step down on Oct. 1. An interim superintendent will be named at the board meeting on Sept. 29.
SOURCES: Pgh. Public School Supt. Anthony Hamlet is stepping down per agreement with the district. Will stay on until Oct. 1st. pic.twitter.com/jsaV38GReQ
— Andy Sheehan (@AndySheehankdka) September 8, 2021
An interim superintendent will be named at the board meeting on September 29th. @KDKA
— Nicole Ford (@NicoleFordTV) September 8, 2021
School Board President Sylvia Wilson says Hamlet wasn’t forced to resign but chose to do it on his own.
“I think it is presently the best thing for students and families,” said a letter from Hamlet. “Now is the time for my tenure to come to an end and embark on a new chapter in my life.”
Last month, the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission released the results of a two-year probe. The investigation results found that Hamlet committed ethics violations with expenses and time off for trips.
The commission found Hamlet violated the ethics code with expenses that should have been returned to district coffers.
Pennsylvania Ethics Commission Executive Director Robert Caruso said last month after releasing the findings, “If it was something that happened once it could be an oversight, but our investigators looked at it for over a year and we believe it constitutes a serious breach of trust.”READ MORE: Pittsburgh Board Of Public Education: Results Of Probe Into Superintendent Anthony Hamlet ‘Concerning’
Despite being cited for multiple ethics violations and ordered to repay thousands of dollars, Hamlet embraced the commission’s findings following their release. He said they cleared him of wrongdoing.
According to the 147-page report, the commission cited Hamlet for the following ethics violations:
- Kept more than $6,000 in honorariums paid to him on various trips
- Received and kept thousands of dollars in travel expense money reimbursements from conference hosts already paid by the school district
- Marked time spent out of the state and country on personal business as work days instead of properly using vacation days
- Received thousands from the district for “unused” vacation days which he should have marked as used
The Pittsburgh Board of Public Education called the findings “concerning” and a “distraction” as the district starts a new school year. The board said they were taking the report’s findings “very seriously.”
“The members of the board reviewed the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission report with diligence, discussed its findings in detail, assessed the overall situation and remain steadfast in the belief that this outcome is unfortunate but necessary,” Weiss said.
Per Hamlet’s contract, he will get one year’s worth of salary plus the actual value of benefits, amounting to $399,687 in severance.
Beginning in December, the incoming School Board will direct the national search for a new Superintendent.
Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb has released this statement on Hamlet’s resignation:
“It is time to turn the page and move forward. With a renewed focus on improving student success and eliminating the racial achievement gap, there are bright days ahead for the children and families of Pittsburgh Public Schools.”MORE NEWS: Western Pennsylvania Black Political Assembly Backs PPS Superintendent Anthony Hamlet After State Ethics Report
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.