For $125,000, Proviso Township taxpayers will pay Robert Libka to perform self-assigned tasks until his resignation takes effect on June 30, 2007. Once Libka’s employment with the district ends, no one will be hired to continue his work and existing staff will absorb his duties, District 209 Superintendent Stan Fields said.
Both Fields and Libka said the changes in Libka’s job description are a result of the superintendent’s evaluation of district employees. According to Fields, Libka compiled his own job description. The superintendent said he was “not certain” whether anyone had those responsibilities previously.
Board members accepted Libka’s resignation in October after Fields learned that Libka billed more than $10,000 in personal expenses to the district without board approval. Libka’s Oct. 5 letter of resignation makes no mention of the alleged indiscretion, and focuses on his goal of landing a job as a superintendent elsewhere.
Libka said he is “absolutely” comfortable with the spending decisions he made during his year long tenure as chief education officer. All told, Libka has been an employee of the district for more than seven years.
“I don’t, without any hesitation, believe that I violated the law or even the spirit of it,” Libka said.
The most recent change in Libka’s responsibilities marks his fourth reassignment within the district in the last 14 months. In October, board members also voted to reduce his salary from $150,000 to $125,000.
Board member Charles Flowers said he is in the process of obtaining supporting documents from the district and will request the Cook County state’s attorney investigate Libka for theft. Flowers said it’s absurd that a principal in the district was terminated amid similar allegations in September while Libka continues to collect a paycheck.
“If we’re using the same standard we used to dismiss (former academy principal) Rich Bryant, which was probable cause, this was beyond a doubt,” Flowers said. “The evidence was there.”
Libka’s resignation was discussed by the board in closed session and Fields said he can not confirm whether the board considered accepting the resignation effective immediately. He declined to comment on his recommendation to the board.
Flowers said the only recommendations on the table for the board’s consideration were the conditions outlined in Libka’s resignation. Three other board members present for the discussion did not return calls seeking comment.
An official job description provided by the district on Nov. 2 outlines Libka’s primary responsibility as a go-between for developing relationships with area universities and community groups. Libka’s office has since been moved from the fifth floor of the district’s administrative offices where he was down the hall from other ranking employees, and is now on the third floor, according to Fields.
In light of the salary cut and apparent demotion, Libka said the quality of his work will not suffer.
“I’m just as committed to being a good team member as I was to being a good leader,” Libka said.
As for his actual responsibilities, Libka described his self-designed assignment as an innovative initiative that fits his administrative passions.