Schools chief Christie called ‘poster boy for greed’ back at job, getting pay and pension
The school official Gov. Chris Christie called the "poster boy for greed" is back on the job for the Parsippany-Troy school district.
Dr. LeRoy Seitz was named by the board of education on Thursday to replace former superintendent Scott Rixford on an interim basis after Scott Rixford resigned.
According to the interim superintendent contract, Seitz will be earning a per diem rate of $682 per day, which works out to the equivalent of $3,410 per week or $177,320 per year — just a hair under the most a superintendent can earn under the same salary caps that were at the core of a complex, convoluted battle involving Seitz, the Parsippany school board and state officials.
Seitz will continue to collect a monthly pension of $7,341 or $88,101 annually. While he serves as interim superintendent the district will not contribute to a pension or healthcare. He will be reimbursed for mileage and issued a laptop or computer but he will use his personal cellphone without compensation.
In a statement, the board called Seitz "a true leader in every sense of the word."
"Dr. Seitz knows Parsippany well and is liked and respected by the staff and community. He has a proven track record with our district," the school board wrote, citing his reorganization of the district's technology department, the installation of wireless in all schools and support of a referendum to renovate seven buildings.
Christie first imposed a salary cap on superintendents of $175,000 in February of 2011 — and notoriously criticized the school board and Seitz for a 2009 amendment to his contract that raised his base salary to more than $212,000.
Just months before the cap went into effect — though after Christie had proposed it — the school board OK'd a five-year contract ending June 30, 2015 that would give Seitz a salary of $225,000.
The school board rescinded the contract after Christie said he'd withhold state aid from the district if it didn't scale back Seitz's salary — setting off a legal battle between Seitz and the board.
Ultimately, the state's acting education commissioner upheld an administrative court decision saying the school board was entitled to recoup the "overpayments" it had given Seitz.
He retired from the district in May of 2013.
The Senate in May passed legislation that would rescind the salary cap, but an identical bill has not yet gone before a vote in the Assembly. Opponents say it's responsible for costing New Jersey qualified superintendents who can make more in other states.