Former Montville superintendent to receive one-year salary, health benefits through 2019

Former Montville Superintendent Brian Levesque, left, with his attorney Christian Sarantopoulos, enters his plea of not guilty in Norwich Superior Court on June 7, 2018, in connection with a series of slapboxing bouts that took place in a substitute teacher's classroom in fall of 2017. Levesque resigned Oct. 19, 2018, and on Thursday, Nov. 1, the district released the details of his resignation agreement with the Board of Education. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Former Montville Superintendent Brian Levesque, left, with his attorney Christian Sarantopoulos, enters his plea of not guilty in Norwich Superior Court on June 7, 2018, in connection with a series of slapboxing bouts that took place in a substitute teacher's classroom in fall of 2017. Levesque resigned Oct. 19, 2018, and on Thursday, Nov. 1, the district released the details of his resignation agreement with the Board of Education. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Montville — The Board of Education will pay former Superintendent Brian Levesque more than $230,000 by Jan. 10, 2019, and cover health benefits through next year, according to a resignation agreement released by the school district Thursday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Levesque reached the agreement with the school board and voluntarily resigned Oct. 19, a day before a Norwich judge agreed to dismiss a charge against Levesque of failing to report suspected abuse as a mandated reporter. The case saw two other administrators arrested in the aftermath of investigations by the Department of Children and Families and the State's Attorney's Office into former substitute teacher Ryan Fish, who authorities accuse of supervising multiple slapboxing matches in his class in fall of 2017.

In a separation contract signed by Levesque and Board of Education Chairman Robert Mitchell, the school board agreed to pay Levesque one year's salary of $194,271, along with a quarter of his accrued sick time totaling more than $38,000, in two installments between Nov. 10 and Jan. 10, 2019.

The Board of Education also will provide Levesque the same group health insurance benefits through Dec. 31, 2019, with Levesque still responsible for contributions, co-payments or other payments for the benefits, with premium costs deducted from the two lump-sum payments.

Levesque — who underwent mandated reporter training in September, according to the judge who dismissed his criminal case — agreed to resign and not seek further employment with the district.

He also agreed not to sue the Board of Education or any school officials, claim any costs or seek any damages related to his separation from employment. The Board of Education likewise agreed not to make any claims against Levesque.

While the agreement did not prevent Levesque from filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities concerning claims of discrimination, the agreement notes Levesque waived "the right to recover any damages or other relief in any claim or suit brought by or through the EEOC or the CHRO, except where prohibited by law."

The agreement essentially bars Levesque and the Board of Education from commenting on the contract "and/or the discussions or events that led up to this agreement." The agreement also stipulates that neither Levesque nor the school board will "make any disparaging, negative, false or misleading statements" about each other.

On Thursday, no one picked up at a phone number listing for Levesque, who declined to comment about the criminal case or his employment last week.

Mitchell declined to comment about the agreement.

The agreement does not constitute any admission by the Board of Education that it "is in any way liable to the employee" or harmed Levesque or violated any of his rights, "or in any respect treated (Levesque) unfairly or unlawfully."

Judge Nuala Droney previously agreed to dismiss a failure to report charge against Principal Jeffrey Theodoss, who retired earlier this year. Assistant Principal Tatiana Patten is due back in court for the same charge on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Her attorney, Dado Coric, said this week that the case soon would come to a resolution.

Droney also accepted Fish's application for the state's accelerated rehabilitation program, during which Fish must complete 40 hours of community service and undergo counseling.

b.kail@theday.com

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