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Fall River Superintendent of Schools Malone no longer in power as of July 1st, interim put in place



The Fall River School Committee voted in an interim School Superintendent in a special meeting Thursday.

School Committee member and Vice-Chairman Mark Costa ran Thursday’s meeting due to Mayor Paul Coogan not being present concerning a previous ruling.

After the committee returned from the executive session to discuss Dr. Matthew Malone’s contract and compensation, attorney Bruce Assad discussed some of the details that resulted.

As of July 1st until October 31st, which was Malone’s last scheduled day due to his previous resignation letter, new terms have been set concerning his contract.

25 vacation days will be taken in October by Malone. A waiver of 9 days will go toward settling Malone’s suspension payout.

Malone did not make a statement during regular session.

According to a statement at the meeting by Kevin Aguiar, the amended contract of Malone will cost the district approximately $70,000 due to Malone not previously being fired.

Both Aguiar and Paul Hart, who wanted Malone fired after the investigation, touched on future settlements and attorney costs that may have to be paid by the district due to the reported allegations against Malone.

Joshua Hetzler stated that he believed he made the best decision at the time to not fire Malone and felt Malone did a good job during his time in the position and that Malone’s behavior wasn’t perfect and that nobody is perfect.

Thomas Khoury applauded the decision-making of Malone in his tenure the last five years and stated that he saw the department grow and progress during Malone’s time as Superintendent.

Laravee stated that she felt the information in Malone’s report did not warrant a firing, but at this point she wanted to move on.

The School Committee unanimously voted (sans Mayor Coogan) in favor of Malone’s amended contract which relinquishes all of the powers he previously had in his Superintendent role.

Malone also agreed that he cannot make any appointments or actions up to July 1st without approval by the School Committee.

Assistant Superintendent Maria Pontes, who has held the position since November, was voted the interim School Superintendent as of July 1st and amended contract negotiations are set to take place. Pontes is the previous principal at Kuss Middle School.

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