Hempstead School Board takes step toward removing superintendent

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HEMPSTEAD -

The Hempstead School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to take steps against Superintendent Shimon Waronker that could lead to his dismissal.

The board voted to have its labor law firm look into Waronker’s conduct as an employee. That moves the district a step closer to firing Waronker.

It was not immediately clear what the board is accusing Waronker of. The district told News 12 that it can’t comment on personnel matters.

MORE: Superintendent's battle with board members laid bare in open letter

Waronker has been on paid administrative leave since January. Last month, the board voted to extend that leave through the end of this month.

Waronker sued the district, claiming he was being ousted because of his allegations of corruption within the district. He says he uncovered theft, no-show jobs and paid contractors who have no contracts.

Former Brentwood School Superintendent Michael Cohen says the allegations made by the superintendent go back decades, and haven't ever been fully investigated.

“As long as this cloud hangs over Hempstead, I don't think you can ever really have progress,” says Cohen.

The state-appointed advisor to the district, Jack Bierwirth, disagreed with that assessment, saying he has seen progress in multiple areas.

“I'm seeing things that I'm very encouraged by. The district just needs to keep going. There's a lot to do and it's going to take time. But they've got to keep working at it,” said Bierwirth.

According to the school board spokesperson, the board will determine if there is cause to move toward a hearing, where a hearing officer will be agreed upon between the district and Waronker’s attorney. During that hearing, Waronker would be able to call witnesses.

If Waronker is found guilty of anything by the hearing officer, the board can terminate him without paying the rest of his contract.

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