Below is the full text of Ronald Tomalis’ resignation letter. Tomalis, a former Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, resigned as a special adviser to Gov. Tom Corbett today following accusations of being a ghost employee making $140,000 a year. The letter:
August 12, 2014
Carolyn Dumaresq, Ed.D.
Acting Secretary of Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street, 10th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126
Dear Madam Secretary:
It has been a great pleasure and honor to serve and assist you, fellow members of your leadership team at the Department, and the Administration in implementing many of the Governor’s accomplishments in education. I know of your pride in the significant progress in many of these initiatives and I am extremely grateful to have assisted you in these efforts.
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.
In addition to serving as an adviser to you on many critical issues, notably and certainly not all inclusive, I have also appreciated having the ability to oversee or assist in the:
- Re-establishment, after having been eliminated in earlier years, of the Governor’s Schools program, most notably the two recent additions of the School for Engineering and Technology at Lehigh University and the School for Agriculture at Penn State University;
- Creation and development of the Pennsylvania high school STEM competition, which will bring together students from all across the Commonwealth to showcase the important opportunities in STEM-related fields;
- Evaluation of the Department’s role in the approval and rigorous oversight of Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools;
- Development of the Governor’s Ready to Succeed Scholarship program – enacted with this year’s budget —to provide financial assistance to middle-income higher education students in Pennsylvania; and
- Evaluation and potential application of many of the recommendations of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Postsecondary Education, albeit as you know somewhat constricted due to the ongoing difficulties associated with the Commonwealth budget.
Again, it has truly been an honor to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth and the Corbett Administration.
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.”