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Hinton school district pays ex-superintendent $96,000 after his resignation in June

Patrick Duffy, the former superintendent of Hinton Public Schools, who left the district June 15 was paid $96,000 after his resignation, payroll records show.
by Andrew Knittle Published: September 17, 2012

— A former Hinton Public Schools administrator, who left his job shortly before an investigation uncovered numerous testing violations at the district, was paid more than $96,000 after he resigned, records show.

Patrick Duffy, the rural district's former superintendent, resigned June 15 as numerous testing violations within the district were being investigated by the state Education Department.

The district's former testing coordinator, Cheryl Garrison, resigned during a recent school board meeting.

As a result of the Education Department's inquiry, 15 current and former Hinton High School students will have end-of-instruction exam scores invalidated.

Students still in Hinton schools will have to retake the exams, current Superintendent Richard Brownen said, while those already in college “will be held harmless” by the Education Department.

Brownen said about 170 district students take end-of-instruction exams, meaning nearly 10 percent of test-taking students were affected by the infractions.

According to Hinton Public Schools, Duffy was paid $96,393.76 after resigning as part of a settlement. That is the amount of his contract, signed in January, for this school year.

Duffy, now an assistant principal at Jefferson Middle School in Oklahoma City, said his resignation had nothing to do with the testing infractions. He said he complied with the Education Department's request for information related to the testing investigation but never heard anything further.

When contacted by The Oklahoman in August, Duffy said he had “no earthly idea” why education officials were investigating Hinton schools.

“Prior to receiving the data quality assurance check letter from the state Department of Education … my relationship with members on the Hinton Board of Education had reached a point where my resignation was forthcoming based on the best interest of the students of Hinton Schools,” he said. “(It had) nothing to do with testing irregularities.”

Duffy's contract with Hinton Public Schools states he was to work as superintendent from July 1, 2012, to June 13, 2013, to receive compensation. It says nothing about him receiving a year's salary should he resign before the dates of employment specified in the contract.

According to the contract's terms, he quit about two weeks before his new salary was to go into effect.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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