HCPS School Board announces Russo resigns

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The HCPS School Board announced Superintendent Dr. Russo has resigned in a meeting Thursday night.

The Henrico School Board and Dr. Patrick Russo jointly announce that they have reached an agreement for Dr. Russo's separation from HCPS. Henrico School board agrees to $186,434 in severance to Dr. Russo.  His resignation effective November 15.

When reporters asked HCPS School Board chair Beverly Cocke for an explanation as to why this whole ordeal started she said, "You know that was an ongoing personel matter I can't comment on that."  Cocke says she believes the board has done their due diligence.  "While my colleagues and I have made this a top priority we have been limited into what we can say," she said.

She said the resignation is a mutual agreement between both parties. When asked which party suggested the resignation, she said she couldn't comment. When asked if there is a confidentiality agreement, she said she couldn't comment.  When asked if the resignation had anything to do with the Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney's investigation, again, no comment.

Superintendent Patrick Russo was placed on paid annual leave in August following reports of Russo's close relationship to Henrico School Board member Diana Winston. Winston resigned from the board several days later.

Hundreds of emails between Dr. Russo and Winston have been released, showing a close relationship, possibly not equally shared with other board members.

There were also reports of a conflict of interest when it came to Winston's husband's business, Techno Marketing, and the school district. The Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney's Office was called in to investigate. So far, it hasn't released any findings.

During this time, Russo continued to collect a paycheck. According to his contract, he makes almost a quarter of a million dollars a year - breaking it down, that's about $4,700 a week.

Meanwhile, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Patrick Kinlaw has taken on the duties of leading Henrico Schools. Winston's former school board seat has now been filled.

The school board has 180 days to fill the superintendent seat.

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