The case against three former employees of the Scranton School District, which state investigators said last year ignored lead and asbestos issues and put children at risk, will not result in a preliminary hearing next week.
Lawyers for the former employees – Superintendent Alexis Kirijan, Ed.D., COO Jeff Brazil and Day Maintenance Foreman Joseph Slack – will appear in court on Monday for a hearing waiver. At that time, Kirijan will seek an accelerated rehabilitation measure, known as ARD, his lawyer, Frank Nocito, said on Friday. The success of the program would erase any accusations from his record.
Attempts to confirm any changes to the charges against Brazil and Slack failed on Friday.
Prosecutors have issued subpoenas for dozens of potential witnesses for the hearing, which investigators say could last up to two weeks. At the end of the week, witnesses said they received phone calls from an officer saying they did not have to appear. Court proceedings were also moved from the Lackawanna County Criminal Justice Center to the Moscow office of Judicial District Judge Kipp Adcock and began at 9 a.m. on Monday.
As part of the district’s ongoing investigation, a state grand jury recommended charges in September.
Kirijan faces 38 counts of felony for endangering the welfare of children and 23 counts of felony for recklessly endangering another person. While she was in charge of the district from 2015 to 2019, investigators said she was knowingly endangering students and staff by ignoring reports showing results regarding lead and asbestos that required immediate action.
Brazil, which worked for the district from 2012 until his resignation last year, also faces 38 counts of felony endangering the welfare of children and 23 counts of misdemeanor. recklessly endangering another person.
Slack, which investigators said was aware of the main issues but did not follow up, faces 11 counts of endangering child welfare and eight counts of endangering children. reckless danger from another person.
Slack’s attorney, Tim Hinton, declined to comment. Attempts to reach Brazilian lawyer Chris Caputo failed on Friday.
The preliminary hearing is still scheduled for Monday, according to a statement from the state attorney general’s office released on Friday.
“Our office does not comment on the ongoing negotiations,” the statement said. “Our investigation enabled the current administration of the Scranton School District to take immediate action to protect students and staff, which has always been our top priority.”