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Hps Francesc One Decision

Hps Francesc One Decision

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Published by: EagleTrib on Aug 21, 2013
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American Arbitration Association
VOLUNTARY LABOR ARBITRATION TRIBUNAL
 In the Matter of Arbitration Between
HAVERHILL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION-and-HAVERHILL SCHOOL COMMITTEE
CASE NUMBER:
11 390 01025 12
 
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR 
The UNDERSIGNED ARBITRATOR(S), having been designated in accordance with the arbitration agreement entered into by the above-named Parties, anddated and having been duly sworn and having duly heard the proofs and allegations of the Parties, AWARDS as follows:
The Haverhill Public Schools had just cause within the meaning of M.G.L. c. 71, §42 toterminate the employment of Daniel Francescone. The grievance is denied.Date: August 17, 2013Philip Dunn, Arbitrator 
 
Haverhill Education Assoc. and Haverhill Sch. Comm., AAA# 11 390 01025 12 Page 2
On many factual issues, some collateral and others more central, the grievant’s testimony was at marked
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variance with the testimony offered by several different witnesses. For the reasons discussed at length in the“Discussion” section of this opinion, in these areas of evidentiary conflict, I have almost exclusively credited thetestimony of the Employer’s witnesses, over the conflicting testimony offered by the grievant.
Appearances:Thomas G. Guiney, Esq., counsel for the Haverhill Education AssociationDavid F. Grunebaum, Esq. & William D. Cox, Esq., counsel for theHaverhill School Committee
STIPULATED ISSUE
Did the Haverhill Public Schools have just cause within themeaning of M.G.L. c. 71, §42 to terminate the employment of Daniel Francescone? If not, what shall the remedy be?
SUMMARY OF PROVEN FACTS
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Prior to the termination of his employment in April 2012, the grievant, DanielFrancescone, had served as a science teacher at the J.G. Whittier Middle School in the HaverhillPublic Schools for over 13 years. He had received positive evaluations over the years. He hadnever been disciplined for anything, prior to the events that occurred after the start of the 2010-2011 school year. He had taught at the Whittier under the direction of several different principals, including Principals Powers, Beth Kitsos (fall 2006 to spring 2010), and finally ToniDonais from and after August 2010.In addition to his regular teaching duties, the grievant over the years (and under various principals) also performed a number of advisory and extra-curricular functions. One suchfunction was the organization of student dances that would occur at the Whittier Schoolthroughout the school year. Another was serving as the faculty advisor to the Junior NationalHonor Society. He also supervised the student-run “School Store,” and he further served as one
 
Haverhill Education Assoc. and Haverhill Sch. Comm., AAA# 11 390 01025 12 Page 3
This was an initiative which Kitsos and the staff had developed, to upgrade the technology at the Whittier.
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of the co-advisors of the annual, eighth graders’ trip to Washington D.C. He also oversaw thesales of lollipops at the school, with profits from those sales helping to defray the cost of theWashington D.C. trip. In each of those advisory and extra-curricular roles, the grievant hadfrequent occasion to receive, secure, spend, and account for funds that were generated out of,or/or needed to finance, those various activities. Some of the most serious charges thatultimately were made against Mr. Francescone late in the fall of 2010 involved his handling, or alleged mishandling, of these funds.When Kitsos became principal at the start of the 2006-2007 school year, Francescone andanother teacher, Jennifer Torrisi, basically were running the school dances. Kitsos as principalwould attend, and sell tickets at the door. She relied on the grievant, however, to secure the cashfrom those sales; when she had accumulated a bunch of $20 bills, she would hand a wad of themover to the grievant for safekeeping. Tickets also were sold in advance, by students during thelunch hour. Cash collected from those advance sales went into a cash box, which the grievantlocked in a closet in his classroom. From the cash so collected from advance sales, the grievantwould buy at BJ’s snacks, bottled waters, and other items that would be sold at a snack counter atthe dance. The disc jockey was paid in cash, by Kitsos, so she did count that specific sum beforegiving it to the DJ at the end of the dance.When a dance ended, neither she nor anyone else counted all the other collected cash before the evening ended. Rather, the grievant would take the collected cash home, and count itthere. The grievant then would bring to Kitsos “the profits,” as she understood it, which profitsshe would use to support the school’s technology account.
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