Teacher accused of having sex in school gets $58,000 package
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McKeesport Area School District has reached a $58,000 settlement with a teacher who district investigators said had sex with another teacher in a classroom and a men's room during school hours.
Under the settlement package, Patrick Collins, who has taught for 31 years in the district and was the teachers union president, will retire Nov. 9 after receiving 98 paid unused sick and personal days and a 24-day paid leave. The total comes to $48,260.
In addition, he will receive health insurance worth $10,305.
The Nov. 9 date was set to reduce the impact on his pension.
Mr. Collins will not receive the district's retirement incentive of 10 years of health insurance, valued at about $130,000, said Carl Beard, special counsel for the district.
Following an investigation, school officials concluded that Mr. Collins and Angela DiBattista, a 12-year veteran, had sex several times at Cornell Intermediate School from 1999 to 2001.
The case of Ms. DiBattista, who was suspended, has not been resolved. Two other teachers were said to have stood outside the classroom to watch for others. However, Mr. Beard said the two did not act as sentries. He declined to discuss what, if any, discipline they received.
School district Solicitor Jack Cambest said pursuing the case further could be costly.
"You know how they can drag out with appeals and everything else. If you get the same resolution of getting those individuals out of the classroom, sometimes it's quicker and more economic to do it other ways," he said.
School board member David Donato, who voted against the package, said the settlement is better than teachers with spotless records receive on retirement.
First Published May 26, 2006 12:00 am