April 13, 2009

A top school administrator abruptly resigns

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.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Once again Bristol Loses someone that is more then qualified, Tom Obrien should learn to keep his mouth shut.Mr Devaux more then qaulified,Bristols lost.

Anonymous said...

And the soap opera continues. Bristol is nothing but a series of drama these days. We are the laughing stalk of Connecticut- if not the entire Northeast!!

Anonymous said...

Something is being hidden from the public here. Employees that resign aren't escorted out of the building by police.

Please keep prying into this story Steve.

Anonymous said...

I have questions....

Why are we hearing about this a week after it happened?

If he resigned, why is he getting paid through the end of the year?

Under what circumstances would a resigning employee be escorted out by police?

People aren't pushed to resign for lack of computer skills. They are trained more. What are they hiding from us?

Why did he leave Monroe?

Anonymous said...

We need a new administration, in City Hall, on church Street.

Anonymous said...

Let me toss a monkey wrench into a "conspiracy based theory" built off Anon (April 13th, 4:42 post). It even mentions in the article that there was a police which was not at all customary for this type of resignation so I am assuming:
His resignation needed one or he requested one.
If he needed one, 4:42 is right, why are we hearing about it a week later. If there were some circumstances either real or implied that he felt a police escort was needed, shouldn't we as taxpayers demand that those issues be investigated and dealt with? Of course, if there was any "alleged" impropriety that caused him to receive a police escort, why is he still getting paid until the end of the year. You don't just up and leave a position liek this with a police escort. Maybe he was harrassed, maybe he did something he wasn't supposed to do. In either case I hope that those are in power deal with this in the proper manner otherwise it will be just more money flushed down the toilet.

Anonymous said...

"We are the laughing stalk of Connecticut"

Need I say more? Not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer here...

Anonymous said...

People that resign don't get paid for the rest of the year. What's up with that? Another bill we have to foot!

Anonymous said...

Smith is back.....hmmmm....double dipping??

Anonymous said...

Smith ,Obrien hands in the cookie jar thats okey call in the bonding! Steve has the bonding dispute as far as construction goes been settled?Make one hell of a story.Schools in question Bristol Eastern ,Bristol Central

Anonymous said...

Is it possible, just possible, that Ward can get O'Brien to get Klocko to resign?

Dull is Dumb said...

8:10 - thank you for stepping up and finally realizing what everyone has known all along - that you aren't the sharpest knife in the drawer - or anyplace else for that matter.