Citing a guilty plea to a felony for taking-district related funds, the Dallas School Board fired Guidance Counselor John Wolensky tonight, stripped him of his benefits, and gave the go-ahead for civil action to recoup all the money the state Auditor Generals office says Wolensky took illegally.
Board Member Richard Orlowski read a resolution noting that Wolensky entered his plea on Jan. 25 and calling for him to "be terminated absolutely." The resolution passed unanimously with Board Member Catherine Wega absent. Board President Karen Kyle noted Wega is recovering from heart surgery.
The resolution calls for the administration "to do all things necessary to secure by appropriate civil legal action(s) full restitution of all Dallas School District related funds allegedly unlawfully taken by John C. Wolensky in an amount as calculated by the office of the Auditor General of Pennsylvania.
Through his attorney Frank Nocito, Wolensky has paid back $24,683, Orlowski said after the board work session ended. He said the auditor general has determined the total Wolensky took was "considerably more." Board President Karen Kyle also declined to give the total, saying the auditor general has not yet made the report public.
Wolensky, 53, pleaded guilty to stealing more than $24,000 from a student activity fund and two sports fundraising organizations. He faces a maximum of seven years in jail and a $15,000 fine. He is to be sentenced on theft charges March 26.
County First Assistant District Attorney Jeff Tokach has said Wolensky has cooperated with authorities since the investigation was launched in February 2008 after a school secretary found that students were paying to take practice and actual SAT tests when the organization providing the tests, the Princeton Review, had stopped charging for them in 2001.
Police say Wolensky admitted he endorsed and deposited checks into an account called the "Wyoming Valley Baseball League, and that he removed $21,598 from the account. He also admitted misappropriating $1,500 for athletic meals and $1,585 in proceeds of the Dallas Football team helmet sales.