The Montesano School District has hired former city public works supervisor Russ Burke as the custodian at Beacon Elementary School.
“We did our due diligence and talked to the people that we need to talk to,” District Superintendent Dan Winter said in an interview after the school board meeting on June 26. “This is a job that is far lower than what he is qualified for. He is committed to working for the district and I’m convinced he is going to be a great employee.”
Burke was one of four individuals who were listed as recomendation to hire as part of a longer personnel report that was accepted by the Montesano School Board on June 26. The report garnered very little discussion, in which Burke’s name did not come up, before passing unanimously.
Burke is currently suing the city of Montesano alleging wrongful termination after he was fired last year for refusing to come in to talk to the city regarding its investigations.
A review judge with the state Employment Security Department decided in March that Burke deserved unemployment benefits and the city should have given him more time to come in before terminating him. Records show that the city of Montesano paid Burke $17,547 in unemployment benefits.