RAVENA In a narrow vote, the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District Board of Education appointed an interim superintendent who left another area district in disgrace.
On Tuesday, Oct. 9, the Board of Education selected former Voorheesville Superintendent Alan McCartney to replace Elisabeth Smith as head of the district. McCartney left his previous post after an audit from the state comptroller’s office found he was misappropriating district funds.
The board voted 5-4 in favor of the appointment. Smith was expected to stay on with the district until Nov. 20, but because a replacement was found, her last day was Oct. 19. McCartney has since been undergoing training with district officials.
“I was involved in the interview process and got to meet all of the candidates,” said board member Michael Robbins. “Obviously, everyone takes something a little different away from a 40-minute interview, but I felt (McCartney) was the best fit for our district and that’s why I’ll be supporting him.”
The 2005 audit found McCartney and his former assistant superintendent Anthony Marturano improperly paid themselves $216,000 for leave and other employment benefits. Another $11,500 was also found to have been charged to or reimbursed by the district for various “personal expenses,” like hotel rooms, food gifts and alcohol.
McCartney only paid back $600 at the time, including $357 he charged at a strip club on Dec. 17, 2004.
The Albany County District Attorney’s office eventually decided not to pursue criminal charges, but the Voorheesville Central School District sued in an attempt to recoup some of the lost funds. In April of 2007, a settlement of $40,000 was reached.
“In comparison, I feel this is not the best person for RCS now or in the future,” said board member Alice Whalen. “We need someone to move us forward and I don’t agree that this is the best person.”