Greensburg Salem administrator seeks public hearing
By Bob Stiles
Published: Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A Greensburg Salem administrator wants her demotion hearing to be open to the public if a resolution over her employment status can't be reached in the meanwhile, her attorney said.
Lisa Rullo, who has worked for the district since 1996, is scheduled to go before the school board for a reassignment hearing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the middle school.
District officials have questioned Rullo's work performance and are seeking to demote her from director of student and district services to an assistant principal position at the high school.
“Our position is that Lisa has been treated unfairly,” said her attorney, Charles Steele of the Pittsburgh firm of Steele & Schneider.
“I believe every employer — especially in the public sector — has an obligation to treat you fairly.”
The allegations appear to have “a pretext of ... an agenda,” Steele added.
Rullo, who referred questions to her attorney, has the right to demand a public hearing, which she will do, Steele said.
Superintendent Eileen Amato confirmed the time for the hearing and that Rullo can request the hearing be held in public. She declined to comment on the allegations against Rullo or on Steele's comments, saying, “It's a personnel matter.”
Attorney William Andrews of the Pittsburgh firm of Andrews & Price will represent the district at the hearing. He declined comment on most aspects of the case, noting that someone can change their mind about holding such a hearing in public.
“Until it is officially a public hearing, I'm not really in a position to comment,” Andrews said.
District officials allege Rullo didn't do all aspects of her job properly, Steele said.
But he maintained that too many duties were thrust on his client.
“Lisa wore more hats than in a Lids store,” he said.
“Lisa is very good at multi-tasking, but she can only take multi-tasking so far,” Steele added.
With the hearing, the school board will determine the merits of the allegations and the appropriate action.
Rullo can appeal the school board's decision to Westmoreland County court.
Earlier this month, in a 6-2 vote, school directors granted Rullo a second sabbatical leave for health restoration.
The leave will run one-half a school term and be retroactive to Sept. 14, when Rullo's first sabbatical leave ended, district officials said. The first leave for Rullo began May 6.
In March, Rullo filed notice in county court that she might sue the school district, Director Lee Kunkle and President Ron Mellinger.
Former President Nat Pantalone, who Rullo also indicated might be named as a defendant, quit the board in June over the handling of the Rullo case.
Rullo decided not to file her civil complaint and will not sue the district, Steele said.
The district filed papers in county court to dismiss any complaint Rullo might file.
In the days before the demotion hearing, Steele said he plans to seek a resolution.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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