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Request for probe declined by DA Early.

Byline: Melissa McKeon

A request by three Wachusett Regional School District members for in investigation of any wrongdoing in the district's finances will not result in an investigation by Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.'s office.

WRSD School Committee Chairman Duncan Leith said the names of the school committee members were not revealed by Mr. Early's office when the committee was informed by letter last week that the office saw no evidence of criminal activity.

"If something turns up later in an audit, they will come and look at the case again," Mr. Leith said.

He said Mr. Early's office had contacted state auditor Suzanne Bump's office before making their determination.

The request for an investigation was made by the school committee members in the wake of the discovery this summer of $1.2 million in overspending for fiscal 2012 and $1.5 million in under-forecasting for fiscal 2013. District business manager Peter Brennan was fired for those mistakes and Superintendent Thomas G. Pandiscio announced he will retire Dec. 15, saying he could not be effective under the circumstances.

The mistakes, coming after a bruising budget fight between the district and its five member towns, have raised ire and put school committee members and district administration on the defensive, but Mr. Leith was confident that the district would survive the furor.

"Those were two bad mistakes, they shouldn't have happened and we should have caught them," Mr. Leith said. "We're the oldest, largest school district in the state, there've been other issues before. But we're a great school district, we've got great kids, great parents, great teachers. We'll weather this storm."
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 5, 2012
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