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Testimony: West Mifflin school chief helped man with murder charge get security job

Megan Guza
| Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, 6:00 p.m.
Daniel Castagna
Daniel Castagna

Embattled West Mifflin Area School District Superintendent Daniel Castagna came under more fire Wednesday night when testimony during a removal hearing revealed he helped a man with a murder charge get a job in school security.

The law allows for superintendents and assistant superintendents to have their contracts terminated by a vote of the school board for “neglect of duty, incompetency, intemperance or immorality.”

Witness testimony can be heard during the hearing, known as an Act 1080 hearing, according to attorney Steven Toprani, who is representing the school district.

He said the school board “basically sits as a court” and can consider evidence.

During the hearing, several district employees testified that Castagna in 2014 asked the district’s contracted security company to hire his friend.

He was fired days later when a background check showed that he’d previously been charged with murder, according to Tribune-Review news partner WPXI-TV.

Castagna has worked for the district since 2007 and served as superintendent since 2011. He was charged in September in Beaver County with driving under the influence and traffic violations. He began a two-week medical leave Jan. 10, and the school board voted Jan. 19 to place him on paid leave.

On July 2, the board voted to place him on unpaid leave. Castagna has since filed a federal lawsuit alleging retaliation and discrimination. The suit names the district and six board members, and it claims the decision to place him on unpaid leave was politically motivated.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, mguza@tribweb.com or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.

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