For nearly three years, the Liverpool Central School District has dominated the headlines with sordid tales of scandal.
Now it looks like the district is working to put those days behind it.
The district announced last week that it was dropping 3020a charges against Athletic Director George Mangicaro and Director of Technology Bonnie Ladd. Mangicaro was suspended with pay in September of 2006, Ladd in April of 2007. Disciplinary charges were brought against both in 2007 under Section 3020a of New York State Department of Education law; Mangicaro and Ladd responded by filing a $4 million lawsuit against the district, claiming the charges were retaliation for bringing allegations of impropriety by Superintendent Jan Matousek to light. The suit was settled after the charges were dropped; the district will pay Mangicaro $60,000, Ladd $45,000 and $15,000 to the couple's attorneys. Mangicaro returned to work July 1 and Ladd will return Aug. 3.
So why, after all this time, did the parties finally come to an agreement?
"We had reached a stalemate, and it was likely that the dispute would not be resolved for some time," said former Board of Education President J. Mark Lawson. "So the question before us was not only whether we could prevail, but how much more taxpayer money would we have to spend before we did? We decided that what was best for the district and our community was to end the stalemate and put this matter behind us. We have a new superintendent coming in, and I know he would like for all of us to focus on the future rather than the past."
Mangicaro agreed, noting that his and Ladd's attorneys had been working with some members of the board since December.
"All of us wanted to get this resolved," he said. "Bonnie and I just wanted to get back to work."