District News Roundup
The superintendent of schools in Du Page County, Ill., resigned this month after he was convicted on charges of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and obstructing justice in a case involving a' $1,800 kickback for funneling school funds to his predecessor.
James W. Smith was accused of giving his predecessor, Harold C. Wright, $6,600 from a secret account to pay for visits to a sex club and other personal expenditures, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney David Stetler. Mr. Wright, who pleaded guilty on July 15 to one count of mail fraud and one count of filing a false income-tax return, was the prosecution's chief witness in the trial, Mr. Stetler said.
The federal-court jury failed to reach a verdict on a charge of mail fraud in connection with the kickback arrangement.
According to Mr. Stetler, the convictions resulted from Mr. Smith's request that Mr. Wright lie to government investigators about the payments and the kickback during fbi inquiries into the misuse of school funds.
Mr. Smith faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Three Long Island, N.Y., school districts have asked a state court to overturn a Suffolk County law requiring that all new school buses be equipped with seat belts, according to the districts' lawyer.
The Longwood, Bayshore, and Kings Park school districts contend in their suit that because the state regulates school-bus maintenance and safety, the county does not have the authority to require districts to place seat belts on new buses, said John H. Gross, the lawyer.
Bills that would require new school buses to have seat belts have been introduced in the state legislature, but none have been approved, Mr. Gross said.
"It's not that we are against seatbelts," said Philip S. Milazzo, assistant superintendent for business for the Kings Park district. "We are just trying to figure out who tells us what to do with our school buses."
More than 1,000 people lined up to apply for 40 jobs as substitute janitors for the Cincinnati public schools late last month.
The line began forming the night before applications were accepted, and about 35 people spent the night on the sidewalk in front of the board of education building in 40-degree weather.
Interviews were granted on a first-come, first-served basis, said Thomas G. Campbell, personnel analyst for the city schools. Once an applicant is determined to be qualified, he or she is hired, he said.
Substitute janitors earn $5.96 an hour. After a year or so, most substitutes become full-time janitors, positions that currently pay $7.10 an hour, Mr. Campbell said.