Former State Education Secretary resigns advising post

Ronald Tomalis, who served as the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education from 2010-2013, resigned Tuesday as a special adviser on higher education to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

Tomalis had come under fire for allegedly being a ghost employee while being paid a salary of nearly $140,000. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Tomalis maintained a minimal schedule, averaged about one phone call per day and sent just five emails.

He had served as a special adviser since stepping down as the state education secretary in June 2013.

Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq announced Tomalis’ resignation in a press release this afternoon.

“Ron has truly been an asset to me and the department since I assumed the role of education secretary,” Dumaresq said.  “He has been instrumental in overseeing the creation and re-establishment of important educational programs that benefit the students of the commonwealth.  I wish him all the best.”

Dumaresq said Tomalis also worked on various education initiatives, including the Ready to Succeed Scholarship program, the upcoming Pennsylvania STEM Competition and re-establishing three Governor’s Schools.

She included Tomalis’ resignation letter as part of the press release.

Tomalis wrote that it was a “great pleasure and honor” to help implement various education initiatives promoted by Corbett. In addition to his work cited by Dumaresq, Tomalis also noted his involvement in evaluating the Department of Education’s role in overseeing cyber charter schools.

“However, as you also know, I have been engaged in conversations with other organizations regarding new opportunities, and given recent events, I believe it is in the best interest of the Administration that I resign my position with the Commonwealth, effective August 26, 2014, to pursue those endeavors,” Tomalis wrote.

Corbett, who is facing a gubernatorial challenge from Democrat Tom Wolf, also released a statement thanking Tomalis for his service.

“Ron has been committed to Pennsylvania’s education system since the early days of my administration,” said Governor Tom Corbett.  “He has worked closely with Secretary Dumaresq and the Department of Education to shape programs and policies that are in the best interest of students.  I thank him for his work and commitment to education.”

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  1. Full Text: Ronald Tomalis resignation letter | Keystone Kopp - August 12, 2014

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