District considers interim official

GLOVERSVILLE – The city school district may hire an interim assistant superintendent to take over the duties of administrator Frank Pickus, who was placed on paid administrative leave last week after his arrest on drug charges.

For the time being, his duties are being shared by Superintendent Michael Vanyo and other administrators.

“We are going eventually to look for help,” Vanyo said. “We are working with the attorney to see where we need to go. He did so many different things, and looking for some help may be a benefit to all of us.”

In a statement given at Tuesday’s school board meeting, board President Richard Carlson said, “Once we were informed of the arrest, we placed him on paid administrative leave, and will remain on leave until this matter is resolved. While it’s important the district be as forthcoming as possible about how we are handling the situation, I ask everyone to understand that this is still an active criminal case. There are things we simply don’t know yet, and other things we are not at liberty to disclose at this time. In fairness to all involved, it is essential that everyone avoid speculating about the circumstances and instead allow the investigation to proceed.”

He said the board is working with the district’s lawyer to ensure the district is following all proper procedures related to the case. He said the district will seek “an appropriate and equitable resolution once the investigation has been completed.”

Pickus, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, was charged March 2 by Colonie police 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.

According to Colonie police Lt. Robert Winn, Pickus was stopped around 6:14 p.m. March 2 in the parking lot of Starbucks on Troy Schenectady Road.

Officers found Pickus was in possession of a small quantity of methamphetamine along with other drug paraphernalia, Winn said.

Vanyo declined to comment on whether Pickus may return to work for the district.

Pickus is being paid $100,719 in 2013-14.