Friday, May 5, 2017

Complaints filed with PA Ethics Commission against Birks and Cappucci UPDATED AGAIN

Press Release

On April 26, 2017, formal complaints were filed with the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission against Mt. Lebanon School Board President, Mary D. Birks and former Mt. Lebanon School Board President/current Mt. Lebanon School Board Director candidate, Elaine Cappucci.

Cappucci, Birks, School Board Director Dan Remely, and newcomer Katie Caste are running on the same slate in the May Primary.

Documentation submitted to the PA Ethics Commission include:





Update May 5, 2017 10:47 AM As I explained to the reporter, the copy of the complaints was not notarized. I scanned the complaints before they were notarized, got them notarized, and then mailed them. Here are copies of the receipts. Track the number 7016 0910 0002 2878 8566 at usps.com for proof of delivery. Notary receipt is also available.
Proof of delivery click here

Notary and postage receipts

Also, I did not file the RTK as stated in the article. It was sent to me by a Lebo Citizens reader.

Update May 6, 2017 7:31 AM A RTK was filed (not by me) for the Statements of Financial Interests for those required to file by May 1 in the School District. It can be found here. Check out page seven. It is the SFI of Elaine Cappucci's neighbor on Roycroft. She was PTA President, and is now Dean of Students. 

42 comments:

E. T. Gillen said...

I will be updating this after my internet is restored.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

This is very disturbing;
"Ms. Birks referred comment to her lawyer, Bill Clifford, who said his client “inadvertently voted” to approve contracts with the agency because approval was lumped into a single vote with a host of other annual contracts. Mr. Clifford said Ms. Birks has voted in favor of the contracts each year since she joined the board eight years ago. The votes were unanimous.

“She won’t vote on it in the future,” he said, including later this month when the next annual contract with the agency is expected to be considered by the board. “She wasn’t aware it was in those materials.”"

Wasn't aware?! Really?! Do all the directors take their responsibilities so lightly?

Anonymous said...

So, can we assume that as the head of Outreach she also had no idea a contract was being submitted to the school board for approval.

Wouldn't you as the director of both operations at some point ask my contract is up for renewal so when do we sign my Outreach contract?

Anonymous said...

From the PG: "... “She won’t vote on it in the future,” he said, including later this month when the next annual contract with the agency is expected to be considered by the board. “She wasn’t aware it was in those materials.”" ... translation ... Using my Official MTLSD Rubber Stamp does not require me to have any idea what I am approving!

E. T. Gillen said...

Of course Mary Birks knew what she was voting on. What else could she say?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

and the German teacher go to trial over $40? Mt. Lebanon an Equal Opportunity District.....

No I think of that place as

MT. DISREGARD....

Anonymous said...

Elaine the residents of Mt. Lebanon owe you a great deal of thanks!

Without you and this outlet these corrupt politicians would never be held accountable!

Thank you ELAINE G.

I wonder if the Timmy ticket will withdraw from the race? All this looks so good for Mt. Lebanon (not)

FYI The people that should be moving out...is the Timmy Ticket along with Timmy!!

Anonymous said...

When will the history job re-open? The Tax paying citizens of Mt. Lebanon deserve the BEST and MOST QUALIFIED teacher in that History position. Not only should the position be re-opened Timmy should NOT be permitted to due the hiring. If Andrew Cappucci wants to throw his name in the hat with ALL the other well qualified candidates good luck!

That position is in a probationary period for three (3) years. We do have time to correct this injustice.

Anonymous said...

Your friend Dan Miller is on the Outreach board, Elaine. Wouldn't he have advised his friend about the conflict ?

Anonymous said...

9:34: Dan Miller is not required or expected to give his opinion on ethical matters to everyone he knows. Lawyers don't just dispense advice voluntarily. Further, I don't know that Rep. Miller is an expert in these types of ethical matters.

S.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find this odd? Why would Mary Birks retain counsel that specializes in Commercial and Construction Law.
Bill Clifford is a partner at Dickie McCamey? I think is is like going to a chiropractor when you are having a heart attack?

Is Mary going to re-imburse Mt. Lebanon for the use of our solicitor for personal use?

Anonymous said...

I would expect Mr. Miller to be aware of the state's ethics rules, but I wouldn't expect him to know if any school director is following them.
He has enough on his platter just dealing with items as a state rep.

Anonymous said...

As Executive Director of Outreach Birks sent the District the Outreach contract and as a school director she received a copy of the contract for her review but somehow she was unaware that she voted on it?!?

Anonymous said...

It's comforting to know that this president doesn't look at the documents and simply approves everything from Timmy and Jan. What else are they able to hide?

Anonymous said...

They were going to try getting away with another tax hike, which would have been rubber stamped once again.
Fortunately, the Timmy Team were dogged so well here they reconsidered and pledged no tax increase.

Anonymous said...

With all this information coming to light, how can Mary Birks even approve a budget or even sit in on budget meeting if within that budget money is being approved to be sent to Outreach?

Nick M.

E. T. Gillen said...

12:08 PM, gee, why would a Mt. Lebanon School Board director know or need to know an attorney who specializes in construction? ;)

Please check this morning's update. It includes the SFI's for the school district employees. If anyone has any background information on this hire, please let me know.
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

9:45 PM, now you know why I am calling this the Timmy Ticket. Remember, Folks, the common denominator in all this is Timmy.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Is it true McGinty didn't have her certification completed when she was hired to be Dean? What did that job posting say-must have certification vs be in the process of obtaining??

E. T. Gillen said...

Please understand that I am thankful for Carlie McGinty when my husband died. She was in charge of the student directory and saved me the painful telephone call to have my husband's name removed from the directory before it went in print. I have nothing against her personally.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

I'm slightly more concerned about the Cappuci business. With quite a few newer hires in my kid's school, I'd like to know if her son and others were put through the customary 3 rounds of interviews and a demo lesson? Who was at that lesson and who else applied? And was this the fastest track ever for hire? July 13-18? 5 days to do that?? I'm very suspicious.

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to guess that if Birks takes a lackadaisical approach to contracts there is a good possibility that she and others on the board approach things like HS change orders, administration compensation with the same casual attitude.

For instance, did any board member even question the ethics of Cappucci's son being hired or Birks voting on contracts with an entity she makes money from?

Unfortunately, for us it's our hard-earned money that supports all this and worst of all it's how we find educating our kids.

Maybe I'm asking to much, but I want people like DePlato that appears to have a handle on what being a school director is really about.

E. T. Gillen said...

Understood, 8:45 PM. What it comes down to is that Timmy can be bought. He is the problem and the Timmy Ticket is just the symptom. I can't stress enough that the four candidates on the Timmy Ticket, if elected, will enable Timmy to continue his antics. Timmy will be there as long as he has the majority of the school board in his corner. Do a search on this blog for "superintendent increase" and you will find quote after quote from Elaine Cappucci raving about Timmy's performance. Remember this from Janice Crompton of the PG? Mt. Lebanon school board OKs raise, bonus for superintendent

"Mr. Remely said the district has to do whatever is necessary to hold on to Mr. Steinhauer, who was hired in 2009 at a rate of $140,000 per year. He cited a current shortage of superintendents in the state and said the cost of a new superintendent search could top $100,000.

'There is a serious shortage,' said Mr. Remely, who has seen the job turn over four times since he was elected in 2006. “Many would like to take [Mr. Steinhauer] from us and they would pay well over $200,000 for that job.'"

The new superintendent search could top $100,000 is a bunch of BS. Assistant Superinendent Ron Davis is doing the bulk of the superintendent's job now. Get rid of Timmy and promote Ron Davis. Simple.

Strotmeyer and Riemer weren't asked to be on the Timmy Ticket. Why?
Elaine

E. T. Gillen said...

*superintendent.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to disagree. Remember Steinhauer didn't hire the board, the board hires superintendents.
Steinhauer had nothing to do with Sablegate, another MTL debacle.

As for Remely's comment about the lack of Supers, we've been through four of them during his tenure on the board and performance of the district didn't miss a beat.

If Steinhauer's threatening to leave, tell him not to let the door hit 'me on the way out and promote Davis.

E. T. Gillen said...

You disagree that Timmy can be bought, 10:13 AM?
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Oh no, not saying that at all.
I think the board found in Steinhauer a Super that will do exactly what they want him too.

That why they got rid of Sable and why what's his name left so quick to go back to Kansas. They were too independent.

Anonymous said...

The more I think about the Cappucci nepotism thing, the worse it seems. She put the Administration in an impossible position. What were Steinhauer and company to do? Reject the son their long time boss, friend and neighbor? And now she wants to serve again after she resigned? Unbelievable. What demand will she make of the Administration next?

E. T. Gillen said...

You know none of this would have come out had Elaine Cappucci stayed out of the campaign race. She is bring this all on herself. Someone told me that a long time ago, the same thing happened with the Walkers. I know nothing about that, so maybe someone can fill me in.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Bingo. Cappacci's ego caused this whole stinking mess right now.

Get rid of Steinhauer...ask any principal and they will rave about Davis and Irving. They are the brains in the district.

Anonymous said...

Steinhauer is only a figure head. He has no power. The board does it wants which he approves, then he gets bonuses. He needs to go. We need someone else for leadership!

Anonymous said...

11:21,

Ditto.

Anonymous said...

How this for a novel idea?

Rather than conducting expensive $100,000 Superintendent searches the board creates an atmosphere where assistants and principals work in environment where the best, brightest, and capable assistant supers and principals see a direct path to higher levels and career growth.

We ran expensive Superintendent searches for Sable and Allison and how long did they last!

Through this environment it'll be easy to see who's hungry for advancement, who places educating our kids as a priority and who is capable of soaring to new heights.
We'll be able to see performance rather than reading some fudged resume.

Supposedly, we hire the best educators - teachers and administrators- money can buy so why do we look outside to find new heads that don't know the district, don't know the players and don't know the community?

PS: Head scratcher!
Why is Remely saying a search will cost $100,000. This appeared in a Bloglebo post when Allison left.

"The school board voted this week to pay Nebraska head-hunting firm McPherson & Jacobson $13,500 plus expenses for a search to replace Superintendent John R. Allison. He is quitting his $156,000-a-year job at the end of June to head Wichita Public Schools in Kansas."

PPS: If Steinhauer can't do his job or accept >2% raises, let him go.

Anonymous said...




"The board voted 7-0 to approve a $20,000 bonus for Mr. Steinhauer for his work in overseeing a massive seven-year renovation project at the high school while maintaining high academic standards. The board split 6-1, though, in approving an annual salary increase to $194,779 for the superintendent." Post Gazette June 24, 2016

According to the contract addendum, this preposterous salary will increase 5.5 pct this July, and 6.0 pct the summer of 2018. Compare this with the salary of Mr. Allison, a high quality educator and administrator.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget they also have granted Steinhauer more vacation time and built him a private bathroom. Perks no Superintendent in MTLSD has ever had.

Anonymous said...

A $20,000 bonus for doing a job he was hired to do in the first place and a job so tough and time-consuming they added an extra week of vacation time to his contract last (?) year.

A job so tough he had time to have monthly lunches with small groups of students.

How many of you can remember in your entire k-12 career sitting down to a lunch with your Superintendent?

Anonymous said...

And all these increases in a stagnant economy and the board crying they didn't have enough money.

Wonder how much a raise Dr. S would've gotten had the PK fund raiser actually raised its expected goals.

Anonymous said...

Like manager McGill, is Mr. Steinhauer able to buy back his unused sick days and unused vacation days for cash in his paycheck? Manager McGill was able to pocket over $7000 in 2016 because of the municipal buy back policy.

Nick M.

E. T. Gillen said...

To bring this back on topic, vote for Birks, Cappucci, Remely , and Caste to make Timmy a lot more money, hire their friends and relatives, and approve more contracts for their businesses.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

And go back to raising taxes for all those perks that have nothing to do with educating the kids.

E. T. Gillen said...

Excellent suggestion, unapproved Anonymous comment. I don't want to tip them off. Hopefully you or someone you know can act on that.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that no one has caught how deftly Mr. Moorhead and his counselor skirted the question of whether Ms. Birks violated state ethics rules.
She did, but Moorhead didn't address the violation, he answered that she could serve on both the school board and Outreach and that is a completely different issue because it will be almost impossible to monitor how much influence she'll be able to exert on money distribution from the SB to Outreach even though she doesn't vote on it.