School board in Groton puts Kadri on paid leave

Groton — The Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to put Superintendent of Schools Paul Kadri on paid administration leave, effective immediately, pending an investigation into his "interactions with and treatment of district employees."

Board Chairman Kirsten Hoyt said the board voted publicly 8-0 after spending more than two hours in executive session with Kadri. The agenda for Monday's special meeting referred only to a "superintendent evaluation/board assessment."

Hoyt said part of the motion required Kadri to "have no contact with district employees or board members, nor should he come on to district property until the completion of the investigation." Hoyt said she had no time frame for the investigation but said the board has authorized her to consult with school district attorney Floyd Dugas "to arrange for the services of an investigator."

Kadri has served as the town's superintendent since 2008.

In February, Beth Horler, president of the Groton Education Association, said the union's recent climate survey revealed "angst" about its relationship with Kadri.

Horler said at the time that a meeting of the liaison committee, which comprises members of the teachers' union, administrators union and the school board, along with Kadri and a facilitator, has been scheduled to talk about their differences.

In 2010, former Assistant Superintendent Dottie Hoyt filed a complaint with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities alleging that she was wrongfully terminated and that her treatment under Kadri over the 2009-10 school year caused an anxiety disorder.

In her complaint, Hoyt said that Kadri had initially recruited her to become the assistant superintendent, but later ignored her and then became outright hostile after a salary dispute.

"Mr. Kadri's treatment of me morphed from lavish praise to indifference to outright hostility and abuse after I pointed out in early winter that I was not being paid according to my contract and insisted that I be so paid," Hoyt wrote in her complaint. "Mr. Kadri's abusive treatment toward me and other older women who have worked in the Central Office constitutes gender and age discrimination."

The status of that complaint was unavailable late Monday night. Kadri said Tuesday he had no comment.


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