Letter: Attack on Herbst is hypocritical

To the Editor:

As the mother of two boys who played football and lacrosse at Trumbull High School, I have come to know and respect Mike Herbst as an athletic director that makes kids his highest priority. When a handful of Trumbull Democrats decided to question the integrity of our athletic director and attempt to tarnish his distinguished 37 and a half years of service to Trumbull, I decided to set the record straight.

Five days before Mr. Herbst retired, the leading educational lawyer in the State of Connecticut, Tom Mooney, issued a legal opinion stating that no conflict of interest existed and no board policy was violated. The following is a list of people who worked for the Trumbull school system after retirement:

1. Robert DeCerbo retired in June of 2001 as Principal of Jane Ryan School and was rehired in July of 2001 as the Director of Adult Education. In addition to receiving his pension the last thirteen years, including cost of living adjustments, Mr. DeCerbo currently receives $65,120 a year for an 18 hour a week position and full medical benefits;

2. Frank Cicero retired as C House Principal of Trumbull High School in June of 2001 and was rehired as the Director of Agriscience in July of 2001, a position he held until 2013. In addition to his state pension, Mr. Cicero retired last year receiving an annual salary of $65,120 for an 18 hour a week position as well as full medical benefits;

3. Dr. Robert Tremaglio, a man I have great respect for, retired as the Principal of Trumbull High School last year. In addition to receiving an annual pension of $119,890, Dr. Tremaglio also receives an annual salary of $65,120 to be the Director of Agriscience as well as full medical benefits;

4. Charlotte Janis retired as the Principal of Tashua Elementary School in September of 2013 and was hired back as a “transition principal” at a per diem rate of $580 a day.

I simply want to underscore the politics that are behind the attacks of our athletic director and the hypocritical double standard of Trumbull Democrats. I wish Mike Herbst well in his retirement and I am sorry his name had to be dragged through the mud by people with pure political agendas. Over the years I’ve learned in both my personal and professional life that when being on the receiving end of attacks and criticism it’s best to consider the source. The Trumbull Republican Party won this past November in an overwhelming margin based on a positive message of moving our town forward. It is my hope that both political parties can work together to benefit the taxpayers of Trumbull.

Suzanne S. Testani