Nearly a year after a financial scandal led to the firing of the former top financial officer of Seattle Public Schools, the district announced a permanent replacement for him this week.
Duggan Harman, who previously served as the district’s executive director of finance, has been promoted to assistant superintendent for business and finance, Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield announced earlier this week. Harman takes over for Bob Boesche, who came out of retirement to handle the job on an interim basis.
Boesche will remain on in an advisory role during the transition, district spokeswoman Lesley Rogers said.
Harman has been with the district for 19 years in both academic and financial departments. His work as executive director of finance included monitoring the politics surrounding the state budget.
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The replacement became necessary when the Seattle School Board fired former Chief Financial and Operating Officer Don Kennedy along with former Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson last March. The firings came in response to a state audit that identified $1.8 million in spending with questionable or no public benefit in the district’s small-business program.
That finding has since led to theft charges against the program’s former director, Silas Potter Jr., and two others.
After the scandal, the district split up the chief financial and operating officer job into two positions. Assistant Superintendent for Operations Pegi McEvoy fills the other gig.
The district ended its external search for the position last spring when officials determined there were few candidates with experience in larger urban school districts and knowledge of Washington state school finance, Enfield wrote in a letter to staff members. In Harman, they found both, she said.