Our opinion: Not what we paid for
So, now we know. And, you know.
Brandon Hufnagel’s departure from Warren County is not as clear-cut as it appeared from the original public statements by the man himself or the Warren County School Board that employed him.
According to documents obtained from the Warren County School District through a Right To Know filing, we now know that on Jan. 21 of this year, the county superintendent of schools used a Warren County School District credit card to charge nearly $6,000 at the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca, N.Y.
We also know that after meeting with the school board in private sometime prior to Feb. 5, Hufnagel submitted his resignation. On Feb. 6, the same day his resignation appeared on the front page of this newspaper, he reimbursed the school district via check for that expensive, fateful gaming in Salamanca.
He was not fired.
And, OK, maybe he mixed up the plastic in his wallet, made an honest mistake – several times – and explained that mistake to the board.
However, while he paid the credit card bill, there was something else that stuck out in the payments from the school district to its former superintendent.
During the 15 months he was here, Hufnagel collected the totality of the $7,500 the school board had allotted him for moving expenses, essentially paying him to put down roots here. Except, he and his family never moved. Hufnagel simply sporadically commuted back and forth to York. In fact, he submitted a request for additional money, but he was turned down.
Did Hufnagel ever intend to move his family to Warren? Maybe, maybe not.
We’ll really stretch here and give him the benefit of the doubt that his quick-draw at the casino resulted in six consecutive mixups with credit cards, for which he has financially atoned.
Although his moving expenses were part of his contract with the district, we believe that the board didn’t get what it agreed to – a resident superintendent. Based on that, we believe Mr. Hufnagel should reimburse the taxpayers of the school district for the $7,500 he was paid for moving expenses, but essentially used to commute.