It is a complex situation, but one thing remains certain. There will be some changes in key administrative roles for the in the next year.
Tuesday afternoon, after remaining in closed session for more than an hour, the Iowa City School Board unanimously accepted the resignation of Paul Bobek, the district's executive director of administrative services. Bobek had worked in this position since coming to the district in 2002.
The session at the central administration building had been closed, according to a meeting agenda, due to both personnel considerations and other legal complexities that could arise from pending or ongoing litigation.
As the vote to accept the resignation was quickly completed in open session, the board members shuffled out with no comment. Bobek was not present, and he was not in his office and the lights were turned out.
Under his former position, Bobek acted as the CFO for the district, overseeing the district's financial and record keeping systems, developing budgets, and also acting as the district's board secretary.
Superintendent Stephen Murley said after the meeting that the timing of Bobek's resignation was unexpected for him. He said this will add to the challenge for the district as they work to replace the district's human resources director, Jim Pedersen, who is choosing to at the end of this year. Murley said the head of food service will also be leaving the district after this year.
"We will be working to secure a replacement (for Bobek)," Murley said. "We will take this and use it as an opportunity to assess our staff."
Bobek's resignation is effective immediately, and came with a lump sum $83,965 settlement. He was earning $140,000 annually.
Although Murley said Bobek's resignation came as a surprise, Bobek's name had been associated with several district mistakes, including record keeping flaws noted in the Synesi Operations Report, litigation related to record disclosure and collective bargaining that led to the teacher's union seeking legal recourse, and the misplacement of more than $2 million from the school district's budget.
The agreement with Bobek, released by the district, includes an agreement by Bobek not to sue the district in the future. It also "releases and discharges" Bobek from "claims, agreements, causes of action, injunctions, and restraints or liabilities of any kind" that happened during or as a result of Bobek's employment with the district.
These agreements, along with the settlement, which was calculated based on Bobek's remaining salary through the end of the fiscal year (June 30), was intented to create a clear and "amicable" break between Bobek and the district.
Murley was asked after the meeting if these departures would be the end of major staff losses for the district this year from resignation or early retirement.
"I would presume so," Murley said.