CUYAHOGA FALLS — A treasurer who is being let go by Stow-Munroe Falls schools will take charge of the Cuyahoga Falls school district’s finances next year.

The Cuyahoga Falls school board Thursday night unanimously voted to hire Kristy Stoicoiu.

Stoicoiu’s contract with Stow-Munroe Falls is up at the end of July after the board voted in February not to renew her contract. Meanwhile, no trial date is set in the civil complaint Stoicoiu filed in Summit County Common Pleas Court against the Stow-Munroe Falls board alleging retaliation and wrongful termination.

Stoicoiu, a Kent resident, will officially become Falls treasurer Aug. 1.

Falls Board President Karen Schofield said Stoicoiu was awarded a three-year contract at $98,000 a year.

Stoicoiu replaces Barbara Donohue, who had been hired at the beginning of the school year but resigned in April to accept the treasurer’s position with Shelby schools near Mansfield. Donohue had replaced Justin Klingshirn, who held the job from June 2017 to March 2018. He left to accept a position with Vermilion schools.

Kathryn Brugger, assistant treasurer, has been serving as interim treasurer.

Stoicoiu has been the Stow-Munroe Falls treasurer since June 2017. Before that, she was the district's assistant treasurer for six years. She also served as assistant treasurer with Green schools from 2008 to 2010, and as a payroll clerk with Jackson schools from 2005 to 2007.

 

Legal complaint

After her contract was not renewed, Stoicoiu filed a complaint against the Stow board alleging wrongful termination, breach of contract and violation of the Ohio whistleblower laws among other charges. In her complaint, Stoicoiu claims the nonrenewal of her contract was a “retaliatory action” for reporting “financial irregularities and improper spending of taxpayer dollars” that she believed to be “criminal felonies.”

Stoicoiu is seeking a jury trial and to be re-employed for a one-year contract over the 2019-20 year. Stoicoiu was hired by the Stow-Munroe Falls district in May 2017 as treasurer with a two-year contract at $92,000 annually.

The school board has denied the majority of her allegations and has asked the court to dismiss the case, which has been assigned to Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands.

In April, Ohio Auditor Keith Faber announced that Stow-Munroe Falls Superintendent Thomas Bratten had “authorized illegal expenditures and misspent taxpayer dollars.”

Auditors ordered Bratten and his administrative assistant Franca Padula to repay $14,111 in overtime pay Padula had received at Bratten’s authorization.

Stow officials have said Stoicoiu knew or should have know about the improper spending in the 2017-18 school year, but did not report anything to the board until the next school year.

Cuyahoga Falls' Schofield said: “Our board is aware of the circumstances surrounding Ms. Stoicoiu's employment in the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District. We reviewed the state auditor's report confirming the legitimacy of her concerns and we commend her actions. We are pleased to employ an individual who clearly understands and adheres to the treasurer licensing obligations.”

 

Senior editor Marsha McKenna contributed to this story. April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, ahelms@recordpub.com, or @AprilKHelms_RPC