KINGSTON — Wyoming Valley West School Board fired two custodians at Wednesday’s meeting, including one who had pleaded guilty to charges he put personal trash in a district Dumpster without permission — though after the meeting board President Gordon Dussinger said there were other reasons for that termination.
The board also approved contracts with four companies totalling $530,424 for work on the Wellness Center project, which is converting a former church near the high school into a fitness and training center.
The board voted unanimously to fire Solomon Mceaddy and Robert Lushefski. Dussinger said the two were fired for unrelated reasons and that he could not explain further because it was a personnel matter. Asked if Lushefski was fired because of his guilty plea to charges filed by the Larksville police for putting personal garbage into a district trash bin at State Street Elementary School, Dussinger said that Lushefski had “done a lot more” than that to prompt his termination.
Dussinger said that, during a state-mandated Loudermill hearing held before the board to give Lushefski a chance to respond to board questions, Lushefski had admitted to other actions that justified the firing. Dussinger said he could not comment further.
During the public comment section before voting, Lushefski’s daughter Denise implored the board not to deprive her father of any benefits he might be entitled to, such as early retirement or accumulated vacation and sick day pay. She said many other employees put personal garbage into district Dumpsters.
“He was honest about what he did,” Denise Lushefski said. “He would bend over backwards for you. Taking away his benefits, if that is in your minds, that is wrong.”
The board took no action regarding benefits for either terminated custodian. Dussinger said that has yet to be decided. “We haven’t denied or granted any at this point,” he said.
The four contracts for the Wellness Center and the amounts were: G.C. Wall Wall Inc., $303,965; Aircon Service Co., $143,620; Scranton Electric Heating and Cooling Service Inc., $31,794, and Apollo Group Inc., $29,421. The board approved another $11,624 in “alternate,” or optional, work that included renovating changing rooms, adding carpet to an office and vestibule, providing a facility management and control system, and adding a security system.
The district was awarded a $250,000 state grant that will pay for nearly half of the total.