Former Superintendent Dodges 6News At Carmel Home
Terry Thompson Took $1M Retirement Payout
Last Updated: 847 days ago
A former superintendent under fire for taking a $1 million retirement payout after racking up more than $90,000 in travel expenses with school board members refused to answer 6News' questions about the controversy Wednesday.Since 6News' Kara Kenney first reported about Terry Thompson's deal with Wayne Township Schools last month, Thompson has been at his home in Florida, and has refused to answer any questions about his $1,300-a-day superintendent emeritus position with the district.Records obtained by 6News dating back to 2007 show that as the district cut $10 million from its budget and eliminated positions, Thompson and school board members, most of whom are still with the district, traveled to conferences in San Francisco, San Diego and Orlando, Fla.Receipts show Thompson sometimes stayed in hotel suites and traveled in a stretch limousine. Other receipts show Thompson and board members ate meals at upscale restaurants, including a $906 brunch for 10 people, and had the district pay for things like sightseeing tours.After 6News received word that Thompson had returned to Carmel, Kenney visited his recently purchased $500,000 home, in which he could clearly be seen through open windows. When Kenney knocked on the front door, Thompson walked up to the glass front door, but then locked it and walked away without answering her questions.Upset parents and taxpayers said they're frustrated by Thompson's lack of explanation."I think that would have been a perfect opportunity for his voice to be heard," parent Julie Marvel said of Kenney's visit to Thompson's home. "I'd ask Dr. Thompson why he did this, why he felt, through his contract negotiations, he deserved such a substantial retirement package, and why he felt he was entitled to it."Marvel and hundreds of others are expected to gather at the Chapel Hill 7th/8th Grade Center Auditorium on Monday for a much anticipated board meeting.Some have asked for Thompson to resign from his consulting position, while others have circulated a letter asking longtime board members to step down as well."I think as taxpayers and parents in the district, we all deserve answers from both Dr. Thompson and the school board," Marvel said.The soonest any of the current board members are up for re-election is May 2012. It also appears likely that if any board members stepped down, remaining board members would choose their replacements.Anyone who wishes to speak at Monday's meeting will get two minutes to do so but must sign up at the auditorium. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.New Superintendent Jeffrey Butts and school board members have yet to respond to 6News' request for interviews.