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Article updated: 4/18/2014 1:09 PM

District 54 adds ethics clause to superintendent's contract

By Eric Peterson

Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 board members completed their reprimand of Superintendent Andy DuRoss Thursday, following his conviction last month for aggravated driving, by adding an ethics clause to his contract and reducing his severance pay if fired.

DuRoss, in his first year as superintendent, was originally charged with two counts of driving under the influence early Feb. 1 in his hometown of Naperville. He pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated driving in early March.

After his conviction, the District 54 school board issued a letter of reprimand to DuRoss stating its disappointment with his poor decision-making and demanding that no such incidents occur in the future.

But board President Bill Harper said Thursday that a renegotiation of DuRoss' contract was also felt necessary by the board to demonstrate to DuRoss and the community that it was serious about those words.

Nevertheless, the revised contract which still pays DuRoss an annual base salary of $195,000 and runs through June 30, 2018, as before, reflects the current board's continued confidence in DuRoss to lead the district, Harper said.

Both Harper and DuRoss said they didn't expect any of the circumstances of the past 2 months to affect the longevity of DuRoss' leadership of the district that was intended upon his appointment.

But new language in the contract specifically requires DuRoss to stay out of legal trouble now.

According to the revised contract, DuRoss' continued employment is contingent on the fact he "conduct himself in an ethical manner, with integrity, honesty and fairness" and "refrain from behaving in a manner that results in charges of reckless driving or DUI."

The original version of DuRoss' contract, upon his potential firing, would have paid him through the end of any contract year as well as the entirety of the next year.

The revised version allows DuRoss only six months' severance pay, but with a further 90 days' notice before such severance pay would begin.

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