Robert Lushefski recently admitted to putting personal trash in a school district Dumpster.

Last updated: April 09. 2013 11:34PM - 4572 Views
By - mguydish@timesleader.com - (570) 991-6112

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KINGSTON — Longtime Wyoming Valley West custodian Robert Lushefski could face disciplinary action — including losing his job — at tonight’s monthly School Board meeting.

Lushefski pleaded guilty April 1 to summary charges that he dumped personal garbage into a district Dumpster without permission.

The big decision for the board may be whether the guilty plea strips Lushefski of any right to contractual benefits such as accumulated sick time.

Lushefski, 53, was cited in March with two counts of diversion of services. According to the citations issue by Larksville police, Lushefski put personal garbage in a Dumpster located at State Street Elementary on Feb. 19 and Feb. 25 without district permission.

Lushefski, of Plymouth, pleaded guilty to both charges on April 1 before District Judge David Barilla, according to court documents. District Superintendent Chuck Suppon said Lushefski was suspended without pay prior to the plea.

Suppon said the board also conducted a Loudermill Hearing — part of state-mandated due process for a government employee prior to removing or otherwise impacting employee rights. Suppon couldn’t recall the date of the hearing.

An attempt to reach board President Gordon Dussinger on Tuesday failed, but Vice President Joe Mazur said that, while action on Lushefski’s employment status was not on the meeting agenda he had seen, he expected it to come up in executive session held before tonight’s meeting. If so, the board would have to take any official action during the public portion of the meeting.

“My vote is to remove him,” Mazur said. “I can’t see any board member voting to keep a person who actually admitted committing a crime.”

Mazur said he would prefer Lushefski not receive any contractual benefits if he is fired, and that several other members felt the same way, but added that the board has not discussed the matter yet.

But board Solicitor Michael Hudacek said the crime may not rise to the level needed to strip Lushefski of such benefits.

“My reading is that he may be entitled to benefits if it’s only a minor crime,” Hudacek said, adding that the plea was to summary offenses, not felonies.

Hudacek said the legal aspects of the case were being handled by labor attorney Richard Goldberg. A call to Goldberg Tuesday afternoon was not immediately returned.

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