Hempstead district delays vote on contract

Superintendent Susan Johnson addresses the school board during Superintendent Susan Johnson addresses the school board during a meeting at the Hempstead School Board. (July 12, 2005) Photo Credit: Paul J. Bereswill

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The Hempstead School District board of education delayed its vote on a new contract for Superintendent Susan Johnson last night, citing ongoing negotiations.

At a special meeting, the board did not say when the contract would be completed or when a vote on it could be expected. Board members did indicate they plan to approve a contract once the final details are worked out between Johnson's attorney and the district.

"We are expecting that reasonably soon there will be a contract ready," the district's Carle Place-based attorney Jonathan Scher said.

Johnson, a Hempstead graduate, said last week after the State of the School District address that she would come out of retirement and accept a three-year contract to run the school system.

"Our goal is to give the superintendent a contract," board president Betty Cross said.

Last month, the state Education Department denied a request for a waiver that would have allowed Johnson to serve in the superintendent job and collect her $210,000 salary through June 30. A state law requires retirees younger than 65 with state pensions make less than $30,000 in order to collect their pensions. She would not need state approval if she waives her $100,000-plus state pension.

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Johnson would need to repay any pension amounts if she earned more than $30,000 this year while she was getting her pension, state comptroller spokesman Eric Sumberg has said.

Johnson returned to the position she held twice previously after former Superintendent Patricia Garcia abruptly resigned in November. Garcia is set to receive a payout of nearly $320,000 until December.

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