Patterson — Municipal School Director Irene Schaefer According to her district attendance record, there were 81 unused vacation days earlier this year, four times the employment contract permit.

According to Shafer’s contract, she takes 22 days of leave each year and can take 20 days of leave from one year to the next. Her contract also states that she must confiscate the days that were not used the following year.

Under her contract, Schaefer is entitled to payment for all unused vacation days upon termination of employment in the district. Her contract sets her vacation day payment rate based on her annual salary of $ 267,000. That’s about $ 1,026 per day for her unused.

By holding an additional 61 days of leave beyond the contract limit, Shafer was in a position to raise an additional $ 62,580 when he quit his job.

District officials refused to answer reporters’ questions about Schaefer’s vacation days.

Schaefer announced in December last year She will retire at the end of this school year. However, the Patterson Board of Education has delayed looking for her replacement, and now the Commission is holding a hearing next Monday on possible contract extensions for oversight.

Several members of the school board said Thursday that Schaefer knew she had exceeded her carry-over leave limit. Nakima Redmon, vice president of the board, said the deal came from accommodation built for Schaefer during the COVID-19 crisis.

However, supervisor attendance records show that long before the pandemic, she began to accumulate more vacation days than the contract allows. For example, according to records, she carried for 62 days in July 2019.

“I didn’t know about that,” Redmon said when asked about the vacation time that occurred before the pandemic.

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Another board member, Manny Martinez, said executives warned previously elected commissioners about Schaefer’s vacation. When asked why he allowed the number of days to exceed the contract limit, Martinez said, “There was no explanation.”

Martinez said he considers it “suspicious” to allow monetization on all days of the vacation Schaefer has built up. Board member Corey Teague also said he expects a limit on the days on which Schaefer will be paid.

“In my understanding, you either use or lose them,” Teague said.

Joe Malinconico is the editor of Paterson Press.