Effort to bring back Padilla fails

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Newburgh Schools Superintendent Roberto Padilla speaking prior to his suspension

NEWBURGH – A move by three members of the Newburgh Board of Education to bring back suspended superintendent Roberto Padilla at the Tuesday night meeting, failed by a vote of five to three.

Padilla has been suspended for the last several weeks following allegations and investigations of alleged harassment of other district employees.

Board member Mark Levenstein made the motion to bring the superintendent back. Phil Howard seconded the motion and Romana Burton was the third vote for the resolution.

An initial investigation into the charges against Padilla was presented to the school board. The results of a investigation are expected within the next several days. It is unclear if the reports will be made public.

The school board also dismissed the idea of conducting an internal investigation into the death of seven-year-old Peter Cuacuas. His father’s girlfriend has been charged with murder for locking the autistic, non-verbal child in a bedroom and starving him to death.

The rejected investigation comes after it was learning last week that the boy had not logged onto the district Internet for weeks during at-home schooling due to COVID-19.