BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor School Department’s beleaguered assistant superintendent of schools has tendered his resignation, Superintendent Betsy Webb said in a statement released Wednesday night.
“Robert Lucy has resigned from the position of Assistant Superintendent,” Webb wrote. “Last month Mr. Lucy was approved for a family medical leave to attend to the health of a family member and he will continue on family medical leave until March 29, 2013, when his resignation takes effect. On behalf of the Bangor School Committee and our school community, we wish the Lucy family well.”
Webb did not disclose any other information about the medical leave.
Lucy has been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 29, after the Bangor Daily News published details of a 2011 report from the Maine Department of Education which found there was “incontrovertible evidence that some students revisited the [New England Common Assessment Program] test after the time permitted” and that those actions violated “clearly stated” testing rules and guidelines. The incident occurred while Lucy was principal at Orono Middle School.
The Bangor School Department launched an investigation led by Lewiston attorney Daniel Stockford.
“Because of the required confidential nature of all personnel matters, including resignations, I am not going to take questions,” Webb wrote in her statement.
She said the results of Stockford’s investigation were “confidential by statute.” She did say that the fact that the events in question took place more than a year ago in a different school department contributed to the lengthy timeframe of the investigation.
Lucy did not return a phone call Wednesday night.
The assistant superintendent’s annual salary was about $101,000. Webb said Lucy would be paid his salary until the date his resignation becomes effective.
“Questions have arisen regarding the School Department’s need for an assistant superintendent position,” Webb said. The School Department is in the midst of a hiring freeze as a result of the state’s supplemental budget curtailment, so the department will not recommend a replacement this year.
“For the long term, leadership requirements will be analyzed to determine the appropriate recommendation,” Webb said, pointing out that Maine schools with 3,000 students typically have assistant superintendents.
The Bangor school system hired Lucy as assistant superintendent less than a year ago, in May 2012. Webb has said she wasn’t aware of the reported testing violations or Department of Education report before September.
The Department of Education conducted a one-month investigation in 2011 after Orono Middle School staff reported Lucy reviewed test booklets, some of which had been packed into boxes at the conclusion of test sessions, and marked questions students had missed or answered too briefly, according to the report. The department investigated the tests of six students, five of whom had disabilities.
Students with disabilities may be granted several accommodations for timing, setting and response methods on NECAP tests, “but none of them allows for testing beyond the testing period,” said the Department of Education report.
As a result of its investigation, the Department of Education directed Lucy, test administrators, the test coordinator and special education director to undergo training. The department also invalidated scores for some answers on four students’ tests and the entire test of one student.
Lucy maintained in letters submitted to the Department of Education that he didn’t believe he overstepped his bounds and duties as principal and co-test coordinator, and that he was trying to act in the best interests of his students and school.
Webb said that Lucy gave her permission to disclose the fact that family medical issues were related to his leave.
“I’m sure you’ll appreciate that I cannot and will not share any other information in this regard,” Webb wrote. “I would ask that you are respectful of his family’s privacy on this issue. I know that I speak for our school community in sending best wishes to the Lucy family.”