by David Safier
Kudos to Luke Knipe for giving the details behind the details of Pedicone's new TUSD contract on his pocobravo blog. For me, Knipe's revelations fall into the "I didn't know that" category, even after reading the Star article on the contract.
For instance, giving away his $35,000 bonus was a nice thing, though returning it to TUSD might have been more appropriate. But where did it go? According to Knipe, the organization Pedicone chose, the Educational Enrichment Foundation (EEF), has very well healed connections.
[EEF's Board] President, VP and Treasurer represent Tucson Electric Power, Long Realty, and Pima Community College, respectively. Also represented on the EFF board: Foothills Capital Management, TMC, UBS Financial Service, the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and Raytheon.
So, not only is he helping a big bucks foundation get even more PR for its generosity by giving it $35,000 of TUSD money to spend, but he's cementing his ties to many of the city's most affluent people and corporations.
The post goes on to list the benefits in Pedicone's new contract (which extends his tenure an extra year, to June, 2014) not mentioned in the Star story. According to Knipe:
- Pedicone will get an $11,000 increase in tax-sheltered annuity contributions.
- He’ll get an additional $10,000 in deferred compensation, retroactive to the beginning of his employment.
- He’ll get a ninth week of paid leave (his previous contract entitled him to eight), worth about $4,000.
I've written negative things about the way Pedicone has handled the whole MAS situation, but I've never looked much farther into the way he's run TUSD. But his big bucks connections and his "It'll be my legacy" scheme of closing lots of schools and spending huge amounts of cash to build larger schools makes me wonder whether problems with his leadership extend beyond the bounds of the Mexican American Studies program.