‘Critchlow Law’ Introduced in Legislature

15 Jan

Freshman state representative Rob Vescovo (R-112th – district includes part of Arnold) has introduced a bill that would curb the kind of abuses of paid administrative leave that we have seen at the Fox C-6 school district in the wake of the scandals of disgraced former superintendent Dianne Critchlow.

Recall that after despicable online comments were found to have emanated from the Critchlow household, Dianne’s husband Jamie was fired, but Dianne was allowed to go on paid administrative leave for about five months, during which time she did no work but continued to rake in her outrageous salary. Recall also that Kelly Nash, controversial food service hire at Fox, was recently placed on admin leave, likely for not passing her certification exam. The duration of her leave has yet to be determined.

Vescovo’s HB 519 would set a 15-day cap on paid administrative leave for employees of the state or its political subdivisions or a school district. After that, the employee’s pay would have to be suspended or he or she would have to draw on his/her accrued annual or sick leave. Fellow Fox scofflaws Dan and Angie Baker were placed on administrative leave, but later had to pay back that time with their accrued leave.

Much of the outrage over the Fox scandals has come from the fact that Critchlow was not fired, and instead allowed to go on what was effectively paid vacation. The Fox school board has been viewed as quivering in fright at the mere mention of Critchlow’s high-powered attorney, Chet Pleban, to explain why Critchlow was not fired, despite the fact that her contract contained a clause allowing for termination for cause (of which there was plenty). This bill would take at least part of the decision out of their hands. If it had been enacted at the time, it would not have gotten Critchlow fired, but it would have reduced the amount of her ill-gotten gains.

Another bill, signed into law in July of last year, will reduce the pension payments to criminal government employees in Missouri (too late for Critchlow, alas).

In a press release, Vescovo said:

“This is a non-partisan bill that will take aim at ending the ongoing problem of this wasteful practice of paid administrative leave for employees who should be terminated,” said Vescovo, R-Arnold. “This is a practice that would never go on in the private sector where employers would refuse to pay ineffective employees to not do their jobs. However, because there is too little accountability when it comes to how taxpayer dollars are utilized, we have seen this blatant misuse of taxpayer funds far too often in the public sector.”

And

“Folks in my district are outraged by what has gone on here as their tax dollars have been thrown away to people who should have been fired, but instead have been paid to not work,” said Vescovo. “The unfortunate truth is that this goes on all over the state and the nation. As someone who believes in government accountability and sincerely wants to protect taxpayers from abuse, I am committed to doing all I can to bring this wasteful practice to an end here in our state.”

Representative John McCaherty (R-97th), who also represents part of Arnold, has stated that he will co-sponsor the bill.

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One Response to “‘Critchlow Law’ Introduced in Legislature”

  1. Bob Hohmeier January 15, 2015 at 11:19 am #

    15 days of paid vacation for these violations would never happen in the private sector either. Why not curtail this reward for wrong doing instantly?

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