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Scandal in the schools

In 42 years of coaching football, George Mangicaro has never missed a game.

Never, that is, until last Friday night.

The Liverpool Central School District's athletic director had to stay home from this year's homecoming game after being placed on paid leave by the district. Mangicaro said the leave is a punishment for bringing allegations against the superintendent. The school board said it was because of the negative environment created by those accusations.

Last spring, Mangicaro brought charges of misconduct against Liverpool Superintendent Jan Matousek before the school board. He also brought the allegations before the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office. The board found the accusations to be without merit and dismissed them. Mangicaro then retained attorney Leslie Savage to represent his interests and continued to pursue the matter with the DA. He was placed on leave starting last Tuesday after refusing to tell the school's attorney, Dennis O'Hara, the names of others who would testify against Matousek.

Barry Weiss of the district attorney's office confirmed that it was conducting an investigation. "Mr. Mangicaro brought some information to us and we are looking into it," he said.

The athletic director

"I went to the DA because I thought it was in the best interest of the district," Mangicaro said. "This is their tactic, trying to get me to back down."

Mangicaro could not discuss the specific accusations he leveled against Matousek, as the district attorney's office has told him not to do so. However, he revealed that the charges concerned "a pattern of deceit, dishonesty and deception on the part of the superintendent over the last two years." Mangicaro said he had evidence to back up his claims, as well as 10 to 15 other employees who would testify in support of the allegations.

Those people asked not to be named unless an independent investigation was conducted.

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