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Buffalo Board of Ed Hires Fired Consultant as Deputy Superintendent

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - The Buffalo School Board has re-hired controversial consultant Mary Guinn to be the district's Interim Deputy Superintendent, in a surprise move that came late in Wednesday's board session, after most of the public and media had departed for the night.

Guinn's position as a consultant was eliminated in October, when the board of education voted to end the district's contract with Cross & Joftus, the consulting firm that employed Guinn in Buffalo. Her tenure had come under fire when board members began asking if it was wise to be spending over $250,000 of taxpayer money on a consultant.

"This will give me the time to continue the search for a Deputy Superintendent who will be appointed on a permanent basis," District Suprintendent Pamela Brown said on Thursday. "I have not had any discussion at all with Doctor Guinn about even being considered on a permanent basis."

Brown says that the district has been at a sort of disadvantage without a Deputy Superintendent.

"Every day is important for the work that must be done in this district, and I have spent most of the last 20 months doing double duty so that the work could be done, and we have seen positive results as a result."

The move to have Guinn return as a direct district employee was passed by a 5 to 3 vote, splitting the board along racial lines. 

 In her new position, Guinn will be paid $175,000

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Board Member Carl Paladino
Critics of School Board Superintendent Pamela Brown criticized Guinn's earlier stint, in part because of her level of authority and also because of a $290,000 salary that exceeded the Superintendent's own .

"Obviously I was opposed to it and I made every effort to try and adjourn it to another meeting," said Board Member Carl Paladino, who led the failed movement last year to try and terminate Brown.

"Brown needs someone like Mary Guinn to carry her," Paladino said Thursday in an interview on WBEN. 

The district issued no statement on the hiring and a spokesperson failed to return calls Thursday morning.

When Guinn's contract was first terminated, the board allowed for Cross and Joftus' services to be retained for a 90-day "transitional period" to ensure that work being done by the consultants is able to be continued by other district employees. That transitional period ended at the beginning of February.

Filed Under :  
Topics : Labor
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Locations : Buffalo
People : Carl PaladinoMary GuinnPamela BrownSupt
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