Ron Tomalis, the governor’s special adviser on higher education, said Wednesday that he will resign from his post.
Tomalis became a cabinet-level adviser to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett after resigning as the state’s education secretary in June 2013. He kept the same salary, nearly $140,000 plus benefits, that he earned as secretary.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently reported there was little proof Tomalis did any work at all.
The newspaper submitted a Right-to-Know request for Tomalis’s work calendar, phone logs and emails. From the Post-Gazette:
The records produced included a work calendar showing weeks with little or no activity, phone logs averaging barely over a phone call a day over 12 months and a total of five emails produced by Mr. Tomalis.
Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq said the state could produce only a few emails because department’s employees purge their emails every night.
“There’s no email trail for a lot of folks. I couldn’t possibly store all of my email; we delete and cleanse each evening, so that’s why there’s no emails,” Ms. Dumaresq told Harrisburg television station WHTM.
This is in violation of the state’s records retention policy, which details the minimum amount of time documents must be kept.
Standing behind his former education secretary, Corbett said Tomalis was not a ghost employee.
“He’s been doing the work. She’s (Dumaresq) satisfied with it. I’m satisfied with it,” he said.
Tomalis will leave office Aug. 26.
Reach Eric Holmberg at 412-315-0266 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This fact-based local reporting drives impact and creates change. Help power that impact.
James Baldwin wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” PublicSource exists to help the Pittsburgh region face its realities and create opportunities for change. When we shine a light on inequity in our region, like the “completely unacceptable” conditions in low-income housing in McKeesport, things change. When we ask questions about policymakers’ decisions, like how Allegheny County is handling COVID-19 safety for its employees, things change. When we push for transparency on issues that affect the public, like in the use of facial recognition software by Pittsburgh police, things change.
It takes a lot of time, skill and resources to produce journalism like this. Our stories are always made available for free so that they can benefit the most people, regardless of ability to pay. But as an independent, nonprofit newsroom, we count on donations from our readers to support this crucial work. Can you make a contribution of any amount (or better yet, set up a recurring monthly gift) to help ensure we can continue to report on what matters and tell stories for a better Pittsburgh?