Greensburg Salem releases settlement detailing $225,000 payment to administrator |

Greensburg Salem releases settlement detailing $225,000 payment to administrator

Jacob Tierney
Greensburg Salem Middle School

Greensburg Salem School District has released a settlement agreement to the Tribune-Review that details the payment to a former associate principal totaled $225,000 instead of the $140,000 that the school board voted on publicly this month.

Joey L. Maluchnik sued the district for discrimination in May 2017, claiming officials blackballed him for supporting another administrator in a previous staffing controversy. He said the district refused to promote him to positions for which he was qualified, according to a lawsuit filed in Westmoreland County.

Maluchnik declined to comment.

The district will pay $175,000 to Maluchnik and $50,000 to his lawyer, Edward A. Olds, according to the settlement.

Of the $225,000 total, $140,000 will come from the district. Its insurance company will pay the rest.

The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by the district, according to the agreement.

In return, Maluchnik will drop his lawsuit as well as separate complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice under the Uniform Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Maluchnik is a warrant officer in the Army Reserves. His lawsuit accused the district of violating USERRA, which prohibits employers from discriminating against members of the Armed Forces.

In the settlement, Maluchnik agreed to resign from the district and never seek re-employment there. The agreement bans him from district property, except to pick up his personal belongings.

The settlement includes a confidentiality clause.

When district officials approved the settlement last week, they initially refused to disclose details, including Maluchnik’s identity, citing the confidentiality agreement.

However, such agreements cannot be enforced when settlements involve public agencies, like a school district, according to Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel with the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.

According to Pennsylvania Open Records Law, the settlement is a public document.

The district granted a Right-To-Know request filed by the Tribune-Review seeking details about the settlement.

Superintendent Gary Peiffer and school board President Ron Mellinger declined to comment.

Maluchnik and the district agreed not to make any “statements, written or verbal, that defame, disparage or any way criticize each other,” according to the settlement.

In Maluchnik’s initial lawsuit, he said he supported Lisa Rullo, a former director of student and district services, when the district attempted to demote her to associate principal of the high school in 2013. Rullo filed a discrimination suit, received a $193,000 settlement and left the district.

Maluchnik said district officials discriminated against him for supporting her, twice passing him up for promotions.

The district denied this, saying the candidates they promoted were just as qualified as Maluchnik.

Maluchnik was last at the high school March 29, according to Peiffer. He was on military service leave from April 1 to May 10, used personal, sick and vacation time to go on leave until June 4, and as part of the settlement agreement will be on paid leave until his resignation is made final June 30.

His salary at the time of his resignation was $121,722.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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