Dr. Russo pushing two months on paid annual leave - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Dr. Russo pushing two months on paid annual leave


Henrico's school superintendent remains suspended, but Dr. Patrick Russo is still getting a paycheck and it's been nearly two months!

NBC12 is talking to education specialist, Dr. Bill Bosher about what's happening behind the scenes.  In the meantime, Ashley Monfort poured through hundreds of emails filed through a very extensive, Freedom of Information request concerning superintendent Dr. Russo. 

The emails between Dr. Russo and former Three Chopt district school board member Diana Winston show a close relationship, possibly not equally shared with other board members.

Certain exchanges have been mentioned before. But we dug a little deeper, asking for emails that go back one year from the day Dr. Russo was put on paid leave.

In September 2012, a school employee anonymously talks about dreading a faculty meeting where Dr. Russo would be present. Winston responds with this, "I think you need to look back through the past three budget cycles and see what the system has accomplished while cutting $58-million...If you don't like the HCPS bus ride, then get off at the next stop and go work somewhere else."

Click here to read emails between Winston and Russo: http://www.nbc12.com/link/660258/read-henrico-school-superintendents-emails

In June 2012, Winston and Russo emailed back and forth about a trip to china for May or October 2014.

The Chinese foreign school only invited Winston, Dr. Russo and their spouses.

There are also emails Russo received from other board members, where he blind copies Winston asking for her opinion.

In addition to the emails, there may also be a conflict of interest at the core of the school leadership shakeup.

Winston's family's company Techno Marketing did business with the school district for years, before and during the time Winston served on the school board.

The school board refuses to elaborate on the shakeup, right now.  But NBC12's education specialist, Dr. Bill Bosher, says this is not unusual.

"It's not unusual for this to be a quiet time," he said.  "On one hand the board could say we'll pay for the rest of the contract which will probably not be acceptable to anyone except the superintendent.  And on the other hand the superintendent could say I want to cut my losses and I want to do something else."

The Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney's office continues to work with State Police on its investigation into the matter.

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