Restitution Paid For Scrap Metal Sales
By: James Kinsella
The former facilities chief for the Barnstable public schools has paid $8,000 in restitution for funds generated through the sale of scrap metal.
The payment by Anthony F. Lacina was ratified in public session at Tuesday’s meeting of the Barnstable School Committee.
The committee previously voted to accept the payment during an executive session at the committee’s April 10 meeting.
Mr. Lacina already has made the payment.
William F. Butler, the school district’s attorney, said at Tuesday’s meeting that the public vote was necessary to ratify the previous vote in April’s executive session.In January,
Mr. Lacina resigned as director of facilities for the Barnstable schools. In December, an internal audit had revealed procurement irregularities in the school facilities office.
A subsequent outside audit confirmed the irregularities, and also found that $11,000 in cash was missing from the sale of scrap metal at the school.
The facilities office allegedly failed to report and turn over to the town treasurer about $11,000 in cash received from the sale of scrap metal between November 2006 and December 2011.
Mr. Lacina served as facilities director from July 2008 to this past January.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Mr. Butler said the Barnstable Police Department investigated what had happened. He said the police department and the Cape & Islands District Attorney’s Office did not consider the situation a criminal matter.
Neither did the state attorney general’s office nor the state inspector general’s office, Mr. Butler said.
Mr. Lacina, in a prior interview, said there was no criminal intent in what had occurred. In an interview yesterday, he said, “Not a nickel was used for personal gain.”
He would use money from the sale of the metal, he said yesterday, for matters such as buying supplies for the schools or paying for employee picnics.
Mr. Lacina said no policy guided the sale of scrap metal.
In other action at Tuesday’s school committee meeting:
• Students from Kathleen Duran’s 2nd-grade class at Hyannis West Elementary School came to the meeting to express their appreciation for the use of Apple iPads obtained this past December through a grant. They included a presentation produced through their iPads about a day in the life of the Barnstable schools superintendent, Mary A. Czajkowski.
• The school committee unanimously voted to provide Dr. Czajkowski with five more vacation days to compensate her for five days that she worked without pay this past August prior to the start of the current school year. She may use the days as vacation days or sell them back to the school committee.
• Dr. Czajkowski informed the committee that the Barnstable schools are exploring the sale of healthier foods to their students, especially in the elementary schools.
The sale of the healthier foods may push up the price of the meals, which now cost about $2.10 in the elementary schools. An overview of the food service program is set to come before the school committee in June.