Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Art Johne leaves

Accepts a separation package

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Art Johnson said his goodbyes to employees Monday afternoon.

He accepted a settlement offer from the school board which was announced in a news release late Monday afternoon.

While relieved of all duties, for the next 90 days he will be responsible for certain "transitional activities as directed by the acting superintendent."

Johnson came under fire for allegedly supporting a former administrator who was doing contract work while still on the district's payroll.

The school board voted to terminate Johnson's contract, and had been working with Johnson on a separation agreement which allowed him to resign.

Interim Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Bill Malone is set to begin work on Tuesday.

“While this has been a difficult process for everyone for a number of reasons, I believe my fellow Board members and I have respected the public and taxpayers, the district employees, the superintendent and the law throughout the process,” said board chairman Frank Barbieri in a written statement. “We want the healing of the district to begin, and we wish Dr. Johnson well in his future endeavors,” he said.


The mutual separation agreement between the Board and Johnson provides for Johnson to receive the following benefits according to a district news release:


· Unused sick leave pay (891 hours): $114,992.06 - lump sum by March 4, 2011

· Accumulated vacation pay (308 hours): $43,230.93 - lump sum by March 4, 2011

· Severance pay: (six months’ salary) $150,000 - lump sum by March 4, 2011

· Family health insurance coverage until June, 2014


The agreement also provides that:


· Superintendent is prohibited from suing the Board

· Superintendent is prohibited from applying or accepting District employment, unless requested by the Board

· Board will indemnify Johnson individually and in his official capacity in pending and/or future lawsuits provided such acts were committed within the proper course and scope of his employment


There is nothing in the agreement that:


· Prevents the Superintendent from running for the School Board in the future

· Limits the Board’s possible future legal actions against the Superintendent regarding any issue, such as an audit finding or conclusion


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