Board of Education President Larry Schmidt wants a legal opinion on the validity of employment contracts made between former Superintendent Joe Hairston and two former senior staff members.
"There are questions about the validity of the contracts, questions about interpretation, questions about education laws" said Schmidt, who kept referring to the contracts as "documents."
"I don't even like to call these contracts," Schmidt said. "I'm not sure what they are."
Typically, contracts dealing with more than $25,000 must be approved by the board. Those of former Assistant Superintendent Don Peccia and Chief Communications Officer Phyllis Reese—who were reassigned earlier this month by Superintendent S. Dallas Dance—contain no salary figures.
Schmidt, an attorney, said the contracts do refer to the salaries of the positions so the argument can be made they should have appeared before the board.
"It's a complicated process," he said.
Peccia and Reese will continue to be paid the salaries they received in their former positions. Peccia is slated to earn $158,652 annually as a high school teacher until his three-year contract ends on June 30, 2014, and Reese will make $142,549 as a copy and print specialist before her two-year contract expires on June 13, 2013.
Schmidt said they are keeping their salaries "in part because of the uncertainty of the contract."
He confirmed there are other contracts made between Hairston and staff that the board did not approve. But—as far as he knows—Reese and Peccia are the only ones who have term dates listed.
"Until recently, I thought Dr. Hairston was the only one with a contract," Schmidt said.
Patch is awaiting a list of contract employees from Charles Herndon, a Baltimore County Public Schools spokesman. The request was made Thursday afternoon.
Reese and Peccia's contracts are attached to this blog as PDF documents.