Hamer's suspension creates big bill for taxpayers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Hamer's suspension creates big bill for taxpayers

(WMC-TV) – Memphis City Schools' deputy superintendent is still off the job after commenting on the breasts of a subordinate while they were in a room full of people. And every second he's off the job, Memphis taxpayers are paying for it.

Deputy Superintendent Irving Hamer made the comments at the superintendent's home the night of Saturday, February18.

He's been off the job ever since.

Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash has been steering the school system without a co-captain for more than a week.

"I have the utmost confidence in the team Dr. Cash has built around him during this temporary setback," said Martavius Jones, a school board commissioner.

The setback comes after Hamer complimented an administrative secretary's breasts during a cocktail party at the Cash's home.

"I don't think our support for Dr. Cash has wavered any," said Jones, who supports the superintendent's decision to put Hamer on leave. "What this has indicated to us is that Dr. Cash is fair in his dealings. This is a close confidant, his trusted advisor. But he has indicated that the rules apply to every employee of Memphis City Schools."

But taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for Hamer's inappropriate comments.

MCS has not yet released how much it's paying outside counsel to investigate the incident.

But we do know Hamer makes nearly $190,000 per year.

If you gauge that against the 36-week academic calendar, that's a loss of $5,254 for every week he is gone. However, administrators traditionally work beyond the academic calendar.

There's also the cost of the administrative secretary's salary, who came back to work briefly, but has not been back since.

They can average $54,000 per year, which amounts to an average loss of $1,500 in manpower for every week she is gone.

Jones said the matter could have been much worse, but Dr. Cash did not try to sweep the matter under the rug.

However, he was non-committal when asked if Hamer would survive the incident.

"I don't know," he said. "That's a call that Dr. Cash will ultimately have to make."

According to the MCS handbook, sexual harassment violates Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.

There are two types: a sexual exchange or unrequited intimidation.

The investigation will answer a series of questions, and the fact that it did not happen in the workplace may influence the outcome.

The fact that several people witnessed the incident could also influence the outcome.

Jones said he's letting the superintendent do his job and has confidence Dr. Cash will do what is right.

Depending upon what comes out of the investigation, Hamer's discipline can range from a written reprimand to termination.

The school system said it cannot comment on an open investigation and they have no timeline on when outside counsel will complete the investigation.

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