Sources: Scandal-tainted Md. honcho named CFO of Philly schools

Matthew E. Stanski, former CFO of the Prince Georges County Public Schools. (Photo: PGCPS)
Matthew E. Stanski, former CFO of the Prince Georges County Public Schools. (Photo: PGCPS)
Posted: November 21, 2012

MATTHEW E. Stanski, who was chief financial officer with Prince George's County, Md., schools until a payment scandal forced his removal in September, has been named the Philadelphia School District's new CFO, district sources have told the Daily News.

District Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. worked with Stanski, 34, in Prince George's County after the Michigan State University graduate arrived in 2007 as director of fiscal compliance and quality assurance. Stanski later became director of budget and management services before landing the CFO position in 2008. Hite became superintendent there the following year.

Philadelphia School District spokesman Fernando Gallard declined to confirm Stanski's status with the district or whether it has hired a new CFO.

But one insider at district headquarters said Stanski has been attending district meetings for the last month. And, the insider adds, the new CFO starts Monday.

Hite began advocating for Stanski to work for the district over the summer, when Hite was hired and Stanski was still working in Maryland, according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

District officials were on board until they learned of a Sept. 28 story in the Washington Post that outlined the scandal involving other Prince George's County school officials and an unauthorized payment, the source said. Then they backed off.

The feeling was, "We don't need that kind of publicity," the source said.

The district then placed an ad and a national search was begun, the source said. Three candidates were brought in, but nobody was "happy with the quality," the source said.

It's unclear when Stanski's name got back into the mix to replace the last official CFO, Michael Masch, who was demoted in January. Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen has been handling CFO duties and is expected to remain with the district.

The Post reported that Stanski and Roger C. Thomas, general counsel of the Prince George's County school system, were fired after it was discovered that the pair had issued a six-figure check, without authorization, to the school system's former human-resources director after she resigned.

The newspaper quoted Briant Coleman, spokesman for the Prince George's County schools, as saying that an allegation had been made that procedures weren't followed regarding severance packages for some top officials.

The human-resources director, Synthia J. Shilling, resigned in August and was about to go on trial for leaving the scene of an accident. It is unclear when the check was given to Shilling, but Hite in August was working in Maryland and traveling to Philadelphia once or twice a week. By Sept. 19, Hite was working full time in Philly.

Coleman said that Stanski appealed to the school board Sept. 27 and the board accepted his resignation. He declined further comment.

It was unclear Tuesday what Stanski would be paid in Philadelphia. His last reported salary as CFO in Prince George's County was $154,710.

- Staff writer Morgan Zalot

contributed to this report.

" @ReginaMedina

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