Robert Libka, assistant superintendent at the Proviso township high school district, has submitted his resignation to the District 209 Board of Education, and a vote on the letter is expected at the Oct. 23 meeting.
In his Oct. 5 letter, Libka makes no direct reference to allegations of questionable spending practices that may have occurred during his tenure as an interim superintendent or chief education officer. Most recently, newly hired Superintendent Stan Fields said he learned of personal expenses billed to the district by Libka.
"This past year has been a terrific blessing to me personally, I am indebted to you, the board, for the opportunity to lead our schools, develop external partnerships, introduce new initiatives and grow personally," Libka said in his letter.
Libka goes on to request that his resignation take effect on
It was not clear whether Libka was pressured to submit his resignation. According to records obtained by the Review under the Freedom of Information Act, Libka billed taxpayers for more than $10,000 to attend classes at
At the time of the transaction, Libka was serving as an interim administrator.
Board member Charles Flowers said he suspects Libka's actions were criminal, and may forward those concerns to the
"If he is not terminated, I will forward this information because at that point it's clearly a criminal act."
Libka spent more than $10,700 in public funds on his own education. Roughly $9,500 went toward tuition and books and the remainder paid for Libka's gas and hotel costs to attend the classes in
"School code requires the board of education to approve checks before they're released," Fields said.
Minutes of the March, 2006 board meeting show that Theresa Kelly,
Marine and Flowers voted in the minority not to authorize the expense. Calls to majority board members Shirley Madlock, Daniel Adams and President Chris Welch were not returned Friday afternoon. Sue Henry could not be reached for comment.
Libka did not return phone calls for comment.
According to the Illinois State Board of Education,
According to Flowers, it was no coincidence that the district's interim administrator was attending the state's only alternative certification program at
Libka's title was officially changed to chief education officer as a result, and Phylistine Murphy was named the interim superintendent.
Flowers, however, said he raised the allegation months ago during an executive session that majority board members were attempting to shuffle Libka through the certification process as a "quick fix."
"They knew it was illegal and they were trying to fix their error in appointing him to superintendent," Flowers said.