With a $50K pay-cut and a switch to a new school, former Proviso East Principal Tony Valente will hang onto employment at the Proviso Township High School District 209 after the district’s Financial Oversight Panel approved his new duties and salary April 9.

The Proviso HS board held an emergency meeting March 31, to push through four employment agreements–including Valente’s– before April 1. But the jobs had to be OKed by the FOP and they were unable to make a quorum on the initial date.

So two days after the election–which may change the majority on the divided board –the FOP met to take care of old business.

As you can see in the five-minute video, citizens, including Candidate-Elect Claudia Medina asked the FOP to table the personnel contracts until the new board is seated in May.

“The people have spoken,” Medina said. Other speakers included Medina, Della Patterson, Princess Dempsey and Bill Dwyer.

But, even though the FOP has the authority –with state-approved H1 status — to approve or cancel administrator contracts, they chose to approve the all of the board’s March 31 personnel decisions.

Valente’s hiring in 2011 brought charges of nepotism because he is the son-in-law of Manny Sanchez, the employer of then-school board President Chris Welch.

Valente’s salary was cut from $144,000 to $94,000.

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Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...