A top-level executive who took over the Seattle Public School's facilities department after it was rocked by scandal that led to the superintendent's ouster is losing his job in what the district describes as a management reorganization.
William "Bill" Martin, who was promoted into the $142,000-a-year job of executive director only three months ago, acknowledged that his management style is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the district.
What does this all mean? No head of Facilities? Ongoing investigation of a "management" style? But, he might remain with the district. Okay, so too rough for the head of the department, just right somewhere else. Boy, does Pegi McEvoy now have a lot on her plate - COO and now Facilities.
Martin's promotion during the scandal had some scratching their heads. Before joining the district, he was involved in his own contracting scandal at the Seattle Department of Transportation, where he was deputy director of capital projects.
In February 2006, Martin paid a $2,500 fine for giving an $80,000 no-bid contract to a former colleague and friend who had been living with him. At the time, the fine was among the largest levied by Seattle's Ethics and Elections Commission, said Wayne Barnett, the commission's executive director.
The city's ethics code prohibits employees from engaging in activities that are or could be construed as a conflict of interest.
Mr. Martin says settling the case without challenging the facts was a mistake on his part.
Martin was named in two internal civil-rights complaints filed by city employees.
A civil suit filed by a worker also alleged that the division under his leadership discriminated against her because of a medical condition.
The city paid more than $233,000 to settle the three claims. Martin said he was surprised his name appeared in any complaints because he didn't directly supervise the employees who filed them.
Did the district know about this stuff?
Martin said he was not asked about and did not disclose the ethics fine during his interview with the school district. But, he said, he discussed it within weeks of being hired with Stephens and the department's lawyer for facilities. He broached the subject again when the district promoted him to facilities chief.
The fine was reported by The Seattle Times in 2006, although a record of it apparently never made it into Martin's personnel file: The city said there are no "negative findings" in his file.
Let's send up that bat signal to the City's Ethics group. We need help, stat.