EducationThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Former Lakeland Business Administrator Sues District to Get Job Back

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A former business administrator in the Lakeland School District has filed a lawsuit to get her job back, contending her  was due to “nepotism.”

In a March 20 Article 78 proceeding against the district and Superintendent of Schools Karen Gagliardi, Joy Myke, a Walter Panas High School graduate, contends all former “executive level cabinet members” in the district that were hired by former Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brendan Lyons have been replaced by “personal friends of Gagliardi and Board of Education trustees.”

Lyons resigned on Sept. 30, 2021. Gagliardi was hired as his successor on Oct. 7, 2021. Myke, who served as Assistant Superintendent for Business for the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns in Sleepy Hollow, was hired July 1, 2021 as a probationary appointment.

Myke also held the positions of Assistant Director of Business Affairs for Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES, School Business Administrator for the Peekskill City School District, Database Manager for the Chappaqua Central School District, and she worked at Southern Westchester BOCES in the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center. In the private sector, Myke worked for IBM Corp. as a Research Analyst.

“She brings a wealth of experience to the role and will be a great asset to the district,” Lyons said of Myke when she was hired.

In the lawsuit, Myke, who alleged she operated for months without the normal clerical and administrative support of her predecessors, contended Gagliardi cited several reasons for her termination, including not keeping her “sufficiently apprised” of the status and timeline of the district’s financial report, a lack of “organizational efficiency,” and concerns relative to her communication with business office personnel.

Myke maintained Gagliardi’s claims were “at odds with the findings of both an independent and an internal audit conducted to specifically look at operational efficiency.”

Some of Myke’s duties included supervising business office operations, creating annual budgets, completing annual audits and filling vacant positions.

In the lawsuit, Myke listed five appointments Gagliardi allegedly made to friends and former colleagues and a close friend of Board of Education Vice President Denise Kness.When contacted by Examiner Media, a Lakeland official confirmed the district had received notice of Myke’s Article 78 proceeding but declined to make any comment.


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