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North Allegheny board member resigns over job spat

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 9:48 p.m.
 

A North Allegheny School District board member chose to resign this month rather than give up coaching high school girls' softball.

On Wednesday, the North Alle­gheny board voted 8-0 to accept the resignation of Ralph Pagone, 49, who was serving his third term on the board.

Pagone, who resigned effective July 1, was not at the meeting, but said by phone afterward that he disagreed with the district's policy preventing him from doing both jobs.

“It's a shame for the voters in the North Allegheny School District that I had to resign today because of the politics of the policy,” he said.

Pagone has been the head coach of girls' slow pitch softball at North Allegheny High School for nine years.

In July 2013, the North Allegheny school board enacted a policy that prohibits board members from serving in volunteer roles associated with any of the district's extracurricular programs that involve direct administrative supervision and/or require board action. The policy was the result of complaints from some parents about Pagone serving as a school board member and volunteer coach, and they alleged conflicts of interest, board President Christopher Jacobs said.

Neither of the positions is paid, he said.

The district's policy allows board members to continue to serve as volunteers in their current terms but not during subsequent terms after re-election. Pagone was re-elected in November.

“Naturally, we couldn't be in violation of the policy … so in the context of last month's meeting, it was brought up. And then he made the decision thereafter, and we will be accepting his resignation tonight,” Jacobs said before the meeting.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at tparrish@tribweb.com.

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