Cost in wake of Hamilton superintendent’s departure climbs higher

The bills for the investigation and departure of former Hamilton Schools Superintendent Tony Orr keep adding up, edging closer to a quarter of a million dollars, according to records obtained by the Journal-News.

Earlier this month this news outlet was the first to report that Orr’s resignation — as part of a separation agreement on April 12 — will cost at least $231,587 in paid and future payments to the former superintendent, billing invoices and the agreement show.

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That total, however, did not include legal costs charged to the Butler County school system and its school board for the month of April.

According to invoices from Hamilton Schools attorney William Deters II, the publicly funded city schools were charged $6,618 for services rendered in regard to Orr, making the latest total $238,205.

The Hamilton Board of Education ordered Orr on paid leave Feb. 5 and launched an independent investigation into allegations he had violated school board policies.

Orr never returned to his job and later resigned, citing “personal reasons.”

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In April the Journal-News was the first to obtain and report on a list of allegations against Orr in an attorney’s letter to the school board. In it, two female school employees made allegations against Orr that included sexual harassment and fostering a hostile work place.

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Orr was also accused in the letter of “ordering subordinates to delete district email records” and attempting to influence last fall’s school board election.

Orr has continued to be paid since Feb. 5 and will be paid — per his separation agreement with the board — until July 31 an amount of about $71,874 in salary.

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His annual salary was $156,818.

Moreover, within 30 days of Aug. 1, Orr’s separation agreement stipulates he will receive a lump sum payment of $130,000 from Hamilton Schools.

The 10,000-student Hamilton Schools has an annual operating budget of $100 million.

The Hamilton Board of Education is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. today, May 22, at the district’s central office at 533 Dayton St.

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