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Penn Hills School District hires business manager

| Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, 11:03 p.m.

The business office of the indebted Penn Hills School District is under new management.

The Penn Hills School Board voted 7-0 to hire a business manager Monday night. Board members Linda Molitierno and Donald Kuhn were absent.

The board approved hiring Robert Geletko, 33, of Brookline at a salary of $95,000.

Geletko's contract, effective Nov. 13, runs through June 2018.

Geletko was last employed by the Bethel Park School District, which Superintendent Nancy Hines said has a $20 million surplus.

According to the Penn Hills district, Geletko was employed at the Baldwin-Whitehall School District from 2009 to 2011 and worked as an auditor for private companies.

Hines praised Geletko's “extensive background” and said the district is “happy to have him.”

Geletko earned $48,700 in Bethel Park last year, according to the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System.

The business manager position is not the same as the director of business affairs, which has been vacant since late March when Penn Hills placed Rick Liberto on leave, district spokeswoman Teresita Kolenchak said.

The business manager is the immediate supervisor of employees of the business office, while a director of business affairs generally supervises employees in other departments, such as those dealing with transportation or food service, as well as the business office, Hines said.

With Liberto on leave, James Calabrese has worked for the district as a financial consultant since May at a rate of $400 per day.

The business office was scrutinized this spring when the district announced an $8.9 million deficit from the year before. Most school board members have said they were unaware of the deficit.

Liberto said the board knew but did not address the situation.

The district recently floated $18 million in bonds, which will be paid back over 10 years, to pay for day-to-day expenses.

Wilkinsburg School District hired Liberto to lead its business office in late August, and Liberto said he submitted a letter of resignation in September. Because the resignation has not been approved by the board, Liberto technically remains employed by Penn Hills, but on unpaid leave.

Hines said the situation is “unresolved.”

The board approved an agreement Monday with former assistant director of business affairs Lori McKay to provide after-hours assistance in the business office as needed at a rate of $50 per hour. The district cut McKay's position in spring. McKay accepted an early retirement incentive with several years of continued benefits.

Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7845 or kshea@tribweb.com.

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