The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

October 8, 2011

Who’s on Shik’s case?

Investigator quizzes bus driver

SUNBURY — Robin Musto, the Shikellamy School District superintendent, recently warned district employees in a confidential email that a political group had hired a Milton-based private detective to investigate a teacher.

The investigator, in turn, acknowledged being hired, but said Musto had identified the wrong group.

In the email, Musto identified the group behind the investigation as Citizens Choice. However, Paula Foriska, of the R&P Security Co., said Citizens Choice did not hire her company, but a group called Concerned Citizens did.

“I can’t comment on why,” Foriska said Friday.

In the email obtained by The Daily Item, Musto informed employees that an investigator had contacted a district bus driver and claimed she was hired by the Citizens Choice political group to investigate a teacher, but Musto said the driver immediately reported the conversation to her supervisor.

Musto told district workers the bus driver followed school policy and did not answer any questions.

In the email, Musto said she wanted to inform the rest of the district’s employees that they did not have to speak with any investigators, but if they did, they were reminded to follow school policy by not releasing information regarding staff, faculty, students or administrators.

The Citizens Choice group, consisting of a slate of school board candidates — former superintendent James Hartman, Tom Michaels, Wendy Wiest and James Garman — was unaware of the email or the hiring of an investigator, said campaign manager Justin Dunkelberger.

“The candidates of Citizens Choice are not now nor were involved at any time in a private investigation of any aspect of the Shikellamy School District,” he said.

“These individuals do not condone such actions, if they are true, and wish only to be associated with productive discussions relative to the betterment of the district and the bright future that could lay ahead.”

Several months ago, billboards began appearing in the district reading “Musto Must Go,” and the signs were paid for by a group that called itself Concerned Citizens.

The only name that appeared on the sign was Shane Simcox, who was listed as treasurer of the group.

Musto would not comment on the email, but said she was unaware a copy had been made public.

“The district has the capability to track email,” Musto said Friday. “We would only do so in the most extreme cases, if it would be a threat to the district.”

Musto declined to comment if the leaked email was considered such a threat.

Attempts to contact Shane Simcox were unsuccessful

— Email comments to fscarcella@dailyitem.com.

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