Having never met MsBrainy, a frequent commenter on our stories on dailylocal.com, I began to wonder whether perhaps we have been out of line in our reporting on the Coatesville Area School District texting scandal. Or perhaps we were wrong in calling it a scandal at all.
After all, how wrong can it be to send racially-charged text messages? Or how about a school board who from all accounts attempted to keep the matter quiet, stood behind bad legal advice or allowed a superintendent and activities and athletic director to resign instead of firing them for exchanging text messages too horrible to even repeat?
Then there have been the school board meetings with tons of non-answers to residents’ questions or the fact that a bunch of CASD folks have been called to testify before a grand jury?
MsBrainy – whoever you are – man, woman, whatever, is that your point? Because you took issue with the latest story about former Superintendent Richard Como’s effort to collect a pension saying it isn’t news and that it’s time to move on.
Maybe you are a member of the school board, maybe you are the solicitor, and maybe you are Mr. Como or Mr. Donato. The problem is we don’t know because while you slam the newspaper and our efforts to uncover tons of nonsense with this dysfunctional school board and its solicitor you fail to identify yourself.
Why is that exactly? What are you afraid of? We mean you no harm. We have no issue with you. Yet you stand bravely (yet anonymously) behind the school board and all of its actions without a lick of concern. Why is that?
For those responsible residents of the Coatesville School District, here’s the story on Mr. Como and his pension:
“Former Coatesville Area School District Superintendent Richard Como recently filed an application to receive his pension with the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System.
“According to retirement system representatives, Como filed for his pension on Oct. 30, but his application has yet to be completed.
“Retirement system press secretary Evelyn Tatkovski said most retirement benefits take four to six weeks to process if the state agency receives the properly completed application, date of termination, and the last salary and services reported from the school district.
“The Daily Local News received a list of school district employee salaries last month. Como’s most recent salary was listed at $224,995. He started working in the school district in 1986, spending close to half of his 42-year career in public education.
“Under the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act, any individual who has a right to receive retirement is subjected to a pension forfeiture if that employee is “convicted of, pleads guilty or no defense to any of the crimes listed under the Pension Forfeiture Act,” during his or her time as a public employee.
“Theft by deception or extortion, theft of services, tampering with public records or information, is a few state crimes listed under the forfeiture act that could cause Como to forfeit his pension.
“According to Tatkovski, since Como’s application is still being processed there is no way to determine how much he will make, but as of Nov. 5 he has not received any monies from the retirement system.”
We are sorry MsBrainy but we have a big problem with this.
Yes, Mr. Como is entitled under the law to file the necessary paperwork for his pension. So far nothing has happened to stop or delay that process.
The bigger question here is should he get his pension?
From where I sit the text messages between Como and Donato are not something that just happened recently. This sort of language indicates to me what these men feel in their hearts. And that’s a damn shame for every good person in that district and especially for the kids that these two men saw day in and day out.
They passed them in the halls and said hello to them – a lot of whom are minority students. Is this the sort of stuff they felt inside? And how would you feel as a parent MsBrainy if that was your kid?
Well, judging from your comments – and your anonymity – it doesn’t bother you, it’s no big deal and it’s time to move on.
That’s a big, fat no. Mr. Como doesn’t deserve a pension in my eyes. He may escape criminal and civil court problems but his hidden agenda over many years I say sure excludes him from one cent of pension.
Donate it to a non-profit that helps minority students. Now that would be the right thing to do. But we all know that will never happen.
— Andy Hachadorian