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I-Team Exclusive: 5 Jobs = Nearly $300,000 Salary For NJ School Official

By Ben Simmoneau

WINSLOW Twp., N.J. (CBS) — A school administrator made nearly $300,000 in salary with five jobs last school year, paid with your tax dollars.

The I-Team found it’s not illegal, but it raises the question: Is it unreasonable? How many hours can one person devote to five jobs? And are the public schools paying for those jobs getting shortchanged? 3 On Your Side’s Ben Simmoneau tried to get some answers from the woman who got the paychecks.

People weren’t happy when the CBS 3 I-Team showed up at a Winslow Township School Board meeting.

“Can you explain to us how taxpayers here have your full-time attention if you have so many positions?” CBS 3 I-Team reporter Ben Simmoneau asked Ann Garcia.

Garcia is the Winslow Township Schools business administrator. Her salary: $156,000. But that is only about half her pay. You see, Garcia is a busy woman. Last year, she had four other jobs in all, paid with tax money.

“I don’t think anybody can do five jobs,” said Triin Angelino of Winslow Township.

“I don’t see how it can be done effectively. Maybe one to two, but not five jobs,” said Gawain Bragg of Winslow Township.

State records show Garcia earned $298,000 last school year, more than the highest-paid superintendents in New Jersey, and over $100,000 more than Gov. Chris Christie.

Lisa McNair is angry. She’s been unemployed.

“You only can do one at a time,” McNair said. “There’s only 24 hours in a day, so you tell me how can she really be doing five jobs?”

Ann Garcia’s job in Winslow is her only full-time position, but last school year, she also earned $6,900 as treasurer for the Voorhees School District; $18,000 as business administrator for the ECO Charter School in Camden; $56,000 for the same position at the Charter-Tech High School in Somers Point; and $60,000 as executive director of Vineland Public Charter School, where the Ippolitos have two kids, one job.

“We have one, and that’s hard enough,” said Mike Ippolito.

State officials thought Garcia had a lot of jobs, so they began investigating and found that she “intentionally provided misinformation” in paperwork submitted to prove her contract in Vineland was part-time, even though another version indicated it was full-time.

“It seems like a lot,” said Winslow Mayor Barry Wright. Wright says he wants to make sure his taxpayers are getting Garcia’s full-time attention.

“Of course I have concerns, like everyone in the township has concerns,” said Wright.

Jerry Klause, founder of Charter-Tech High, where Garcia makes $56,000 part time, says he gets his money’s worth.

“In sum, she made $298,000 last year,” said I-Team reporter Ben Simmoneau.

“Good for her,” said Klause.

“How many hours a week would you say she works for you?” asked Simmoneau.

“I have no idea,” Klause said.

“You don’t keep track?” asked Simmoneau.

“No,” said Klause. “She has brought knowledge, she brought experience, she’s brought organization. She’s gotten her job done.”

So how does she get all her jobs done? We tried to ask.

“Dr. Garcia, why are you walking away?” asked Simmoneau.

A Winslow school board member tried to block our camera. That member, Mark Benjamin, told us we were trespassing at a public meeting in a public school building.

“This is not part of a public meeting. This is executive session,” said Benjamin.

No one else was talking either.

Simmoneau asked Julie Peterson, the Winslow Township school board president, “Do you believe Dr. Garcia gives her full attention to this school district?”

“I have no comment because I’m going into a meeting,” Peterson replied.

“Can you talk to us after the meeting?” asked Simmoneau.

Said Peterson, “I don’t know. I’m not feeling well.”

The I-Team also asked Winslow Township Schools Superintendent Major Poteat.

“No comment,” he said.

“You’re a public official,” said Simmoneau. “How do you not have any comment on that?”

“I’m entitled to no comment,” Poteat responded.

Garcia lost her job in Voorhees last summer due to budget cuts, leaving her with four employers, which all say they’re happy with her performance.

Holding multiple jobs in different districts is not illegal in New Jersey for public school administrators as long as there is no conflict of interest, and the report did not find any in Garcia’s case.

Her problems, though, might not be over. The report has been referred to the New Jersey Attorney General, and the Education Department is considering revoking her certificates if they find she did intentionally mislead investigators. Garcia disputes she misled investigators and is appealing the findings of the report.

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  • Marie

    You would think with all the money they pay her at Winslow she could at least do that job right. My husband was part of the “mass layoff” when they brought in ARAMARK. He was let go after 30 years of service. She still has 4 jobs. Funny how she must have forgotten to let Winslow Township Police Dept. know that they got rid of my husband, they are still (over a year and a half later) calling our home to ask him to respond to alarm calls at the Winslow Schools. Just last night they called because they had a package for Winslow School. Probably Garcia or Poteat’s big fat paychecks. What a slap in the face to my husband – shame on Winslow and Ms.Garcia.

    • Donna Miller McCarty

      I would offer to sue the district for all the distruptions that these calls are doing to your homelife. I bet that would stop them. Nice to know that the school district and police have up to date information.

  • Amy McCay

    Isn’t this what shared services is all about. The state has been pushing and pushing to consolidate districts and to get districts to share services. If they are expecting administrators to work in multiple districts to off-set the cost of hiring a full time, devoted business administrator for each district then they need to expect that administrators will be stretched thin and that they will be somehow, particularly monetarily, compensated for that work. Does that short-change the districts…. maybe, but then again, maybe as the state points out not all districts need a full time, devoted business admin collecting a $120K paycheck and admins like Garcia who assist in those districts for a fraction of that salary are jsut doing what they can to assist. The focus shoudl not be on whether or not she is workign too many jobs or collecting too much of a salary, it shoudl be on whether the job is getting done. Are the budgets being submitted and met in those districts? Is she responding to the financial needs of those districts? Those are the more important questions.

  • Norm

    Channel 3 Thank you for taking an interest into the Winslow Township Board of Education. It’s been a long time coming. This administration has BULLIED EVERYONE IN THE SCHOOL DISTRIST. So much so that people are scared to speak up. Ask the board administrators why they closed New jersey Regional Day School ( a school and building set up for the needs of Special Education Students ) only to spend thousands of dollars and move their offices into this building. This administration has been the downfall of Winslow, hopefully you will continue your investigation and the people will find the truth out……..

  • Donna

    Someone should look into the school districts surplus of about 3.5 million and they had enough nerve to still raise our taxes and not call back the employees they said they couldn’t afford anymore. That is why Christie gave school district money to call back staff that were laid off. Thank you Ch 3 for investigating but there is more going on in Winslow public schools.

  • B a n Th is!

    Pi gs at the trough.

    NJ politicians used to triple dip but this is ridiculous.

    But remember, this pu erko is doing it “for the children.”

  • Sidney

    If the people in Winslow Twp and the other communities in which she pulls a salary keep voting the same leadership back into office, get to used to stuff like this happening. In Camden County, the voters keep voting the same leaders into office year after year, regardless of how much they abuse the taxpayers.

  • Cathy

    Thank you Channel 3 for the Investigative Report on our beloved BA Garcia!! Bout time and for lack of better words. her!!! Keep up your sure you will find many interesting facts about some BOE members and our Super as well ! Winslow Twp. residents need to know what is happening to their district even if their children are not in school…this is where their rising taxes are going !!! Get this administation outta here..their all no good!!!!!!!!! We want our district back!

  • TOM W.

    This is a disgrace. Hard working people are barely hanging on. This appears to be an example of greedy politicians using public office for personal enrichment rather than service.

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