The Orland Dist. 135 school board replaced the district’s assistant superintendent and appointed his replacement during a closed session at Monday's board meeting.
John Reiniche, who had served in the role for nine years, had been on paid administrative leave for an undetermined period of time.
The school board also appointed Reinche’s replacement and redefined the role of the district’s administrative second-in-command, naming Orland Park-resident Carl Forn the district’s new director of finance.
D135 Board of Education President Joe LaMargo explained that the board and Reinche had come to a “mutually agreed upon” decision that the assistant superintendent step down.
“He resigned from the district, it’s a personnel issue that I’m not going to discuss,” LaMargo repeated several times after the meeting. “We wish John the best.”
Reinche won praise last fall for turning in an annual budget that did not increase the district’s tax levy, but instead returned a $245-savings to district households. Reinche has been noticeably absent as of late. His contract was reportedly up for renewal at the end of the current school year.
LaMargo would not comment on any separation package, stating again that it was a personnel issue.
“It’s foiable,” D135 board member Michael Carroll chimed in to the gaggle of reporters gathered around LaMargo after the meeting.
Forn is a former colleague of LaMargo’s when they both worked in Secretary of State Jesse White’s budget office.
The usual process of posting an opening and interviewing candidates was bypassed because the assistant superintendent resigned and the district needed to hire someone right away, LaMargo said.
“You can’t stop the process,” he continued. “You got to keep it moving. You can’t let that position be vacant. Fortunately, Carl was available.”
The recommendation to hire Forn, who brings a background in the public and private sectors, came from D135 Superintendent Dr. Janet Stutz, LaMargo said.
In addition to Forn, the board also appointed Jan Prieto-McCarthy as the school district's part-time treasurer.
Forn is a 14-year Orland Park resident; Preito-McCarthy and her husband are 20-plus year residents, whose three grown children attended D135 schools.
Announcing the resignation and appointments simultaneously after the board emerged from executive session, LaMargo said that the retooled director of finance position and treasurer would provide “checks and balances” to the district’s finances.
“It’s a practice. It’s smart business,” LeMargo continued. “We wanted someone who would just focus on finance. When I ran for this position I ran mainly because of the finances of this district. We had a lot of money in the coffers yet the board kept increasing the tax levy.”
LaMargo said that Forn would earn an annual salary of $120,000, compared to his predecessor, who was paid $154,391 as the assistant superintendent of business services, according to an Illinois teacher salary database.
Forn is appointed until June 30, after which, the district superintendent will recommend that he be extended a contract.
The district treasurer is a part-time hourly position, which is expected to entail four to five hours per month, although there is no cap on hours. Preito-McCarthy, a certified public accountant, will earn $100 per hour.
This story has been updated.