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Kadri says Groton shorted him $8,000

By Greg Smith

Published April 03. 2013 10:00AM   Updated April 04. 2013 12:52AM
Fired superintendent files complaint with state Department of Labor

GrotonClaiming he was shorted more than $8,000 in his final paycheck, fired former schools Superintendent Paul Kadri has filed a complaint with the state Department of Labor.

Kadri calculates his final check should have been $18,430, a combination of seven days of pay, or $4,778, and 20 unused sick days, or $13,652.

The Board of Education issued Kadri a check for $10,075 following his March 5 firing. His exit from the school district was prompted by numerous claims he mistreated and harassed employees that led to a termination hearing before an independent arbitrator. While he continued to rejected claims against him, Kadri accepted the arbitrator’s decision.

Kadri says the school district changed the way it calculated his compensation and determined he had been overpaid by $4,000 over the past year. Kadri, who has been receiving his bi-weekly $6,825 paychecks since he was placed on leave in May, said the $4,000 should be a credit.

“They used numbers in a way they are not intended to be used in order to punish me for their hard feelings towards me,” Kadri wrote in the complaint.

School attorney Floyd Dugas said there remains a disagreement on the methodology used to calculate the final paycheck and vacation pay, but he said the school district has not varied from its standard practice.

“Nobody is trying to stick it to him,” Dugas said. “It really comes down to the interpretation of the methodology.”

Dugas said the school offered an explanation and even a concession to Kadri’s attorney that was not accepted.

Kadri’s annual salary is $177,475 — $167,475 plus an additional $10,000 written into his contract as a tax-sheltered annuity.

Kadri has asked the Department of Labor to look at whether the school district should be assessed a penalty for “deceptive actions.”

“It is obvious that their initial attempt was to trick me into giving up money and their ongoing attempts are to create a financial hardship as I struggle to pay my bills after being unexpectedly unemployed,” Kadri wrote in his complaint.

Nancy Steffens, a spokeswoman with the state Department of Labor, said Kadri’s complaint was received on Monday. The department’s Wage and Workplace Standards Division has yet to determine whether the complaint has merit. If it determines it does, the complaint will be assigned an investigator, Steffens said.

Steffens said the labor department could look to recover back pay owed but does not have jurisdiction to assess penalties.

g.smith@theday.com

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