How much can one man take from the city? Tom Abruzzese is running to protect the salary and benefits of seven of his family members, totaling approximately $600,000 in taxpayer money annually. His three sons are a physical education teacher, a custodian, and an attendance officer. His two daughters-in-law, one is a lead teacher and the other a paraprofessional. His niece and nephew are both teachers. Do you think he really cares about the quality of education of your children? It’s about HIS children.
It is no wonder he wants his position back on the school committee after a humiliating loss in 2021. He is looking to protect Superintendent Tahiliani who has promoted and protected his family over the last three years. He is looking to protect his son who was placed on a paid leave of absence for one year, after illegal discoveries were made about this teacher’s use of his school issued computer for various school activities. The superintendent did nothing with the report that was conducted by Law Firm Clifford and Kenny, LLP which recommended disciplinary action up to and including termination. This law firm recommended that this Everett Public School’s computer be turned over to the District Attorney’s office for further investigation and possible prosecution after reviewing its contents. This law firm was hired at the public’s expense to investigate Mr. Abruzzese’s son. The report has been kept under wraps since 2020.
Through its closed-door, hush-hush handling of this matter, school leadership has stoked widespread anxiety and fear. School leadership abdicated its responsibility to keep the parents of Everett and the public as a whole informed about what is going on. School leadership gets an “F” on public accountability.
Here are some questions for Superintendent Tahiliani:
- Why did Thomas Abruzzese, who was serving as chairman of the Everett School Committee when his son was arrested, not publicly recuse himself from all committee discussions and decisions – both official and informal – on the matter?
- Did Thomas Abruzzese have anything to do with shaping the investigation into his son’s case? If so, what did he do?
- Where is Abruzzese’s son’s computer now? Who has custody of it and what are they doing with it?
- Was his son required to pass physical and mental examinations by appropriate medical professionals before getting called back to the Webster School?
This situation has been brought to the public’s attention multiple times over the last three years. When will Superintendent Tahiliani report to the public the answers to the investigation and the actions she has taken regarding Mr. Abruzzese’s son? Someone once said “Sunshine is the best disinfectant in a democracy.” If that is true, 2023 is a dark time in the City of Everett.