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Penn Hills

Penn Hills School District, business manager fired in 2015 agree to settle lawsuits

Michael DiVittorio
| Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, 2:06 p.m.
The Penn Hills School District administration building.
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
The Penn Hills School District administration building.

The Penn Hills school board has agreed to settle a lawsuit with its former business manager, Richard Liberto, who sued the district for wrongful firing after he was let go in 2015.

Board President Erin Vecchio said Liberto's suit and the district's countersuit will be dropped as a result of the settlement. Neither party will receive financial compensation under the agreement, school officials said.

“We can move on,” Vecchio said. “It's not going to cost the taxpayers any money now.”

Liberto sued the district, Superintendent Nancy Hines and then-board President Denise Graham-Shealey, alleging they violated Pennsylvania's whistleblower law. Liberto alleged he was fired after alerting the district that a worker was improperly using sick time in place of vacation days.

Hines and attorneys for the district and Liberto did not return phone calls for comment. Graham-Shealey declined comment.

The school board unanimously approved the settlement at a Monday meeting. Liberto said terms of the agreement did not allow him to talk about the settlement.

“I am happy to be moving forward,” he said.

Liberto was placed on administrative leave in March 2015 and suspended three months later for what school officials said was poor performance. The board voted to fire him in November of that year, three months after he left to take a job as business manager in the Wilkinsburg School District .

A year after Liberto's departure, a state audit turned up financial irregularities during his tenure in the district that sparked an ongoing investigation by the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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