School official arrested
GLOVERSVILLE – Gloversville Enlarged School District Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Frank Pickus was charged by Colonie police on Sunday night with being in possession of methamphetamine after a traffic stop, police said.
Pickus, 57, of 16 Moore Ave., Saratoga Springs, was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors, and traffic infractions.
The traffic infractions included operation of a motor vehicle with a suspended registration, failure to stay in lane and failure to use signal, the report said.
According to Lt. Robert Winn, Pickus was stopped around 6:14 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of Star-bucks on Troy Schenectady Road after being stopped for traffic offenses.
Officers found he was in possession of a small quantity of methamphetamine along with other drug paraphernalia, Winn said.
Winn said the aggregate weight of the controlled substance, including the bags, was 4.2 grams.
Pickus was released on an appearance ticket.
Gloversville Enlarged School District Superintendent Michael Vanyo has placed Pickus on paid administrative leave, according to a news release from the district.
“Assistant Superintendent Frank Pickus will remain on leave pending an investigation,” the release said. “Late Sunday night, the district was notified by town of Colonie police that Pickus had been arrested in Colonie.”
Board of Education President Richard Carlson said this morning since this has become a personnel matter, the board will have no comment. Any comments will come from Vanyo, Carlson said.
“Because it’s a personnel matter, it is confidential, and because of that, we won’t have any comment,” Carlson said.
Pickus also is a board member on the local ASAPP’s Promise.
The mission of ASAPP’s Promise is to promote and support healthy lifestyle choices of people who live and work in Fulton County.
“We’re saddened by the news and it just reinforces that addictions can strike anyone at any time, and we hope that Frank gets the treatment that he needs,” ASAPP’s Promise coordinator Rachel Truckenmiller said this morning.
The district approved a three-year contract extension for Pickus in June. It increased his current salary of $98,745 by 2 percent every year until the 2015-16 school year, according to the contract.
According to the contract, for the 2013-14 school year, Pickus will receive $100,719. For the 2014-15 school year, he will receive $102,734, and for the 2015-16 school year, he will make $104,788.
According to documents from the district, Pickus’ salary is the seventh highest compared to the district’s other administrators.
A phone call to Pickus’ district-paid cellphone wasn’t returned this morning.
Seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance is found in state Penal Law. It is a class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail, three years of probation and a $1,000 fine.
Most often, this charge is associated with a traffic stop or other search. It can involve illegal drugs or prescription drugs that are not in the original container.
Gloversville Police Chief Donald VanDeusen said he was unaware of the Pickus’ arrest.
Pickus is due to appear in Colonie Town Court on Wednesday.