Maria Goodloe-Johnson has issued a public statement about the financial scandal that cost her her job as superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, saying she had no part in the misuse of taxpayer dollars but that the wrongdoing was on her watch "and for that, I am deeply sorry."
Maria Goodloe-Johnson has issued a public statement about the financial scandal that cost her her job as superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, saying she had no part in the misuse of taxpayer dollars but that the wrongdoing was on her watch “and for that, I am deeply sorry.”
Goodloe-Johnson, who had been out of town caring for her mother, did not comment as the scandal unfolded, and she was not present when the Seattle School Board dismissed her a week ago.
In her written statement, issued Tuesday afternoon, she said she accepts and understands the board’s decision “to make a change in the leadership of the district.”
The board also fired her chief financial officer, Don Kennedy.
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Neither Goodloe-Johnson nor Kennedy was directly implicated in a state Auditor’s Office report released two weeks ago that detailed improper activity in the district’s small-business contracting program. But an outside attorney hired by the district to review management’s actions concluded that both knew enough about the problems that they should have acted.
The audit found that $1.8 million of contracts awarded through the program provided no public benefit or were questionable.
In her statement, Goodloe-Johnson said that as leader of the district, she was responsible for a budget of more than half a billion dollars and 8,000 employees.
While a superintendent must delegate major areas of work and responsibility, she wrote, “ultimately the responsibility for success all across the organization rests with the superintendent.”
Hired 3 ½ years ago, she will be paid a severance package of $264,000 — one year’s salary.