STOW — The former school district treasurer has filed legal action against the board of education, claiming breach of contract of her 2015 voluntary resignation and settlement agreement.
Meanwhile, the current treasurer has given the board notice that "there will be future litigation" regarding the board’s decision to non-renew her contract.
In a complaint filed Tuesday in Summit County Common Pleas Court, former treasurer Catherine Bulgrin contends she has not received payment for accrued vacation and sick leave as agreed to in the November 2015 settlement.
School board President Kelly Toppin said he had no comment as he was not aware of the complaint being filed. Attorneys for Bulgrin and the school board could not immediately be reached.
Jack Morrison Jr. and Christine Faranda of Amer Cunningham Co. LPA are the attorneys on file for both Bulgrin and Kristy Stoicoiu, the present treasurer.
Bulgrin was placed on unpaid suspension in February of that year, after the board voted the previous month to give notice that it did not intend to renew her contract when it expired July 31, 2016. The Ohio Revised Code requires districts to inform a treasurer on or before March 1 of the year the contract expires if it does not intend to re-employ that individual.
Obtained in November 2015 by the Stow Sentry with the consent of Faranda, the agreement states Bulgrin would be paid her salary through the expiration date of July 31, 2016, including some of the fringe benefits outlined in her employment agreement.
According to information from the district’s payroll department, Bulgrin’s salary for the 2014-15 fiscal year was $95,619.42 plus a $15,000 stipend.
In addition, she was to be given a $100,000 payment, and at the completion of her contract, she will "utilize her vacation and sick leave benefits consecutively, totaling 416 days."
During those 416 days, she will not be paid fringe benefits except "sick leave, vacation leave, health and life insurance and SERS earned service credit," according to Faranda.
In the complaint, Bulgrin alleges she is owed $25,748.40 for accrued vacation leave and $12,874.20 in accrued sick leave. She says she "has made demands upon the Board for payment ... and the Board has failed or refused to pay."
She is asking for the $38,622.60 plus prejudgement interest from March 2018, post-judgement interest, declaratory relief and/or judgement, reasonable attorney fees and cost as well as any other relief the court may award. No court dates have been set and the complaint has not been assigned to a judge. A trial by jury has been requested.
In the case of Stoicoiu, Morrison presented each of the board members a letter Monday night, stating he and Faranda have been retained in regards to the board’s recent actions regarding the treasurer’s employment contract.
In the letter, it states "it is anticipated there will be future litigation of Ms. Stoicoiu’s employment issues and claims." The letter puts the board "on notice you have a legal obligation to take all necessary steps to preserve all potentially relevant evidence for any future litigation."
Last month, a unanimous vote by the board of education following a lengthy executive session approved a resolution stating "the employment contract of Kristy Stoicoiu as Treasurer shall not be renewed at its expiration."
Stoicoiu’s contract expires July 31; she was hired in May of 2017 with a two-year contract. Her salary is $92,000 annually.
No reasons were given by any board members for the decision to non-renew. When contacted, Toppin said the board had no comment on the decision and added no reasons were being offered publicly "at this time" for the non-renewal.
Stoicoiu did not respond for a request for comment.