BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - When she was hired in March, Dr. Mary Guinn promised changes to the Buffalo School District, starting at the top.
But five months later, the interim deputy superintendent appears to have done little if anything to help the struggling district turn things around according to School Board member Carl Paladino.
He asserts Dr. Guinn is being paid a hefty salary and alleges there has been a deliberate attempt to hide the exact amount she is paid. But Dr. Guinn denies those claims. Paladino says she is being paid $380,000 a year, but Dr. Guinn disputes that, though she would not divulge her salary amount.
"I became aware that she is receiving a $380,000 base salary. They told the staff to bury that salary in a grant," Paladino claimed.
The grant Paladino references went to consulting firm Cross and Joftus, which was founded by Scott Joftus and has been surveying students and teachers and making recommendations for re-organizing Buffalo schools. Dr. Guinn would not say say how much she is receiving but she is paid through the consulting firm.
Scott Joftus would also not give News 4 a figure for her salary.
"And it includes her meals and her lodging at the Embassy Suites, and I assume it includes all of her local transportation, to get here, there, whatever," Paladino said.
Initially, Dr. Guinn was paid through grants provided to Cross and Joftus. But the latest one year contract with the consulting firm, worth $432,000, is being paid for by the Buffalo School District.
The School Board approved the consulting firm's contract on June 26, one week before Paladino took office. Scott Joftus says Dr. Guinn is getting a large portion of the contract fee.
Joftus says Dr. Guinn is supervising curriculum, and right now all the academic administrators are reporting to her, and she is coordinating the board's response to the state.
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