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Central Falls leadership called into question

May 19, 2011

State Senator John Tassoni, Jr. is calling for the resignation of Central Falls Superintendent Fran Gallo after a local news website alleged financial mismanagement in the district.

The website has been hammering Central Falls this week, first alleging that a member of the state-appointed school board has a felony record and then taking aim at three school administrators who are allegedly on the payroll but not currently working in the district.

At least one of those administrators, middle school Principal Elizabeth Legault, has been on paid administrative leave since October when district officials escorted her out of the school. The district says it cannot give details on the removal because personnel matters are subject to privacy laws. Legault is entitled to a hearing and will continue to be paid pending the outcome of that proceeding.

The two other administrators allegedly still on the payroll include former high school Principal Sonn Sam, who left earlier this year citing personal reasons. District officials say they are not sure why his name continues to appear on the payroll, but they are looking into the matter.

Senator Tassoni calls the management of Central Falls schools “erratic at best and incompetent at worst,” adding that “state money is being used to operate the schools, and some of that money is being wasted and used irresponsibly.”

Central Falls school officials say Tassoni is misinformed. The district has a $2.2 million surplus in its budget this year.

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