After a several-months-long investigation into allegations of harassment, director of facilities for the North Colonie Central School District Tim Bonk returned to work Monday, July 28.
Although some employees had expected it to be an uncomfortable and emotional day, many said they felt optimistic that they can move past the controversy and into the future.
According to John Weismann, a maintenance employee in the district, Bonk had met with the staff to issue a sincere apology, and, he said, it was clear to him that Bonk has been getting a lot of help in the last six months.
Weismann said Bonk apologized for "everything he did" toward employees in the district, and that, "I think his apology was sincere."
Regarding how Bonk's return will affect others in the district, Weismann said, "I think that a lot of positive things can come if what he's said is true."
Pending an investigation into complaints that he had harassed his secretary, as well as other employees in the district, Bonk was put on a leave of absence by the district earlier in the year. Spotlight Newspapers has been following the story for several weeks, and had been approached by several employees in the district with anecdotes of harassment by Bonk, including derogatory language and name-calling. At the time, few individuals working within the district would come forward and speak out against Bonk out of what they said was fear that they would lose their jobs.
Bonk was to be reinstated Monday as part of an agreement he signed with the Superintendent of Schools Randy Ehrenberg on Wednesday, June 16.
After the announcement that Bonk was to be reinstated, the July 9 Board of Education meeting was packed with members of the public and employees of the district, a few of whom voiced their concerns about Bonk's return.