The assistant school superintendent for business, Steven DeVaux, resigned unexpectedly last week.
Tom O'Brien, a Board of Education member, confirmed this morning that DeVaux had stepped down and that his predecessor, William Smyth, would be filling in for awhile.
Though O'Brien refused to talk about "a personnel matter," others said that DeVaux apparently resigned under pressure after complaints arose about his management style and his inability to use the district's computer system effectively to create necessary financial reports.
DeVaux was escorted out of the Board of Education by police officers following his resignation last week, I'm told, which is not the norm around here.
DeVaux took the job last summer so he's not especially well known in town. He apparently is being paid through at least the rest of the school year.
Here's what the Board of Education sent out last summer when DeVaux was hired:
Mr. Steven DeVaux has been hired as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Business for the Bristol Public Schools effective July 1, 2008. Mr. DeVaux is replacing Mr. William Smyth who is retiring from the position. Mr. DeVaux is an experienced school business official as well as having an extensive background in business and finance in the private sector. Mr. DeVaux’s current position is the Director of Finance and Management Services for the Monroe Public Schools in Monroe, CT. Prior to that position he was the Business Manager for the Derby Public Schools. Mr. DeVaux also served on the Brookfield Board of Education for a number of years completing his term as the Board chair.
I'll have more details as I find out more.
Update at 10:30 a.m. --
Scotty Smyth is on the job.
He told me that Superintendent Philip Streifer asked him last week if he would be willing to fill in on an interim basis until a successor for DeVaux can be found.
Smyth started on Wednesday morning.
He said there's nothing particularly wrong in the office that he's so familiar with, just "a lot of activity" churning out the reports that flow through.
"I just have to keep them running," Smyth said.
Update at 10:40 a.m. --
Mayor Art Ward said that Streifer told him that DeVaux resigned "due to personal reasons" and didn't expound further.
The mayor said he figured there was "someting of a personal nature" involved so he didn't probe the issue.
Ward said that he's happy to work with Smyth in the meantime.
"He was right on top of everything," the mayor said, which may not always have been true for Devaux. But Smyth had the advantage of longevity and the insight it allows.
Smyth "was probably a lot more comfortable given his experience" in dealing with all sorts of education issues, Ward said.
The mayor said that he doesn't think that DeVaux's departure will slow the process of acquiring property for new schools, an issue that DeVaux was heavily involved in. He said that Streifer also knew what was going on and Smyth can step in quickly, too.
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