Adamowski Pension Charade continues

On August 29, 2013, “Special Master” Steven Adamowski was completing his second year under a $225,000 no-bid contract that the Malloy Administration had run through the State Education Resource Center.

The next day, August 30, 2013, “Special Master” Steven Adamowski was a Connecticut state employee, holding the title of Durational Project Manager.

Same duties, different employer.

Steven Adamowski is so “special” that the Malloy/Pryor Operation didn’t even bother to post the position or follow any type of competitive or open hiring process.

The words Steven Adamowski and Special seem to go hand in hand.

Although only certified teachers are allowed to participate in the State Teachers Retirement System, a loophole in the state statutes will allow Steven Adamowski, who IS NOT CERTIFIED to teach or certified be a school administrator; to use his new job in the Malloy administration to add years to his Teachers Retirement pension.

Alternatively, Adamowski can use his new state position to guarantee himself full retired state employee health benefits assuming he works for the state for five years.

As retired school teachers and administrators know, Connecticut’s teacher retirement health insurance program is limited and getting more and more expensive.

While retired state employees receive more substantial and less-expensive health insurance, retired teachers are facing higher and higher premiums.  Some retired teachers are coming face to face with the reality that they simply can’t afford even the more limited health insurance package that is available to them.

But thanks to Governor Malloy and Commissioner Stefan Pryor, Steven Adamowski will not only collect a pension from the Teachers Retirement System, but if he continues to play his cards right he’ll get to retire with the state’s retired state employee health plan that could be worth $20,000 or more a year…..for life.

But as noted above, Steven Adamowski is used to special treatment.

  • On the last day of the Connecticut General Assembly’s 2007 legislative session an amendment was added to a bill that allowed Steven Adamowski to serve as Hartford’s superintendent of schools despite the fact that he did not have the certification to be a superintendent in Connecticut.  He held that position for five years.  The only other person to benefit from that section of the Connecticut state statutes is none-other-than Paul Vallas (although they had to change the statute to try to fit his particular circumstances). 
  • Then, speaking of special treatment, in 2012, when Governor Malloy introduced his “Education Reform” legislation, Section 32 of Malloy’s bill sought to retroactively give Steven Adamowski Teacher Retirement pension credits for his time as Hartford’s superintendent.  Following widespread publicity about the end-run to boost Adamowski’s pension, the legislature removed the special language. 
  • Meanwhile, it was about the same time that Adamowski got his no-bid, $225,000 plus benefits contract to serve as “Special Master” of Windham.  His role was later expanded to serve as “Special Master” for both Windham and New London. 
  • The contract to serve as “Special Master,” included language that tried to allow him to tap into the Teacher Retirement System for his time as “Special Master,” but he was once again blocked from adding years due to his lack of teacher certification.

But now, thanks to the decision to make him a state employee, Adamowski is back in the driver’s seat, where is able to add years to his Teachers Retirement Pension or go for the more generous health benefits.

Whether you call him a Friend of Dan (FOD) or a Friend of Stefan (FOS) there is simply no question that Steven Adamowski is special!

  • Mary Gallucci

    The legislators like Susan Johnson, Don Williams (doesn’t he employ Johnson’s daughter, by the way?), and the Ed Committee members of the CT General assembly should step in and denounce this.
    First of all, they have sat back and allowed Steven Adamowski to tyrannize over Windham children, parents, and citizens with no evaluation of his performance and in defiance of law. Adamowski’s special dispensations and back-room deals to get some people’s children into NFA and other out-of-region spots are a blatant admission of his desire to destroy Windham public schools for the majority of Windham students. He has stated time and again that his way of “improving” education is to allow people to opt out, through “choice,” vouchers, and privatization–all methods that benefit a select few at the expense of the many.

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    Special Monster?

    • JMC

      Or Special Dementor?

  • buygoldandprosper

    Just about everything in this state stinks of special interests and inequality. It is the Connecticut way, and Dan encourages it. It is part of what makes Dan, and this state, a special place.

  • jrp1900

    Jonathan Pelto deserves recognition for his great detective work. As another posted noted elsewhere, in an era of fluff and puff and lies, it is people like Jonathan who are keeping alive the true spirit of investigative journalism.

    Jonathan’s sleuthing gives us a clear vision of how American politics really works, especially at the state level where transparency is often wanting.

    For reasons unknown, there are some people in the legislature and in the Malloy administration who are determined to reward Steven Adamowski for services rendered. We can suppose that the context and the chain of causal reasoning goes something like this:

    *Adamowski serves Malloy
    * Pryor serves Malloy
    * Malloy serves the Big Money people from Wall St.
    * The Big Money people serve themselves. They have a direct vested interest in privatizing public education. In numerous ways, they stand to make a lot of money.
    * Adamowski has served well his immediate and more distant masters.
    * The masters would like to see Adamowski rewarded, as reward ensures continuing loyalty.
    * Malloy and his fellow conspirators have gone out of their way to make sure that Adamowski is rewarded.
    * Naturally, Pryor thinks this is the right thing to do.
    *Pryor and Malloy reward Adamowski.

    Notice that Pryor and Malloy have gone about their business quietly, sneakily. They don’t want a public discussion on these matters and nor do they wish to discuss Adamowski’s actual performance as special master.

    Adamowski is certainly of special value to his masters in Wall St. I’m sure he will collect the requisite five years to be eligible for a state employee pension.

    How often have we seen this from “free market” ideologues: that they are accepting of state welfare policy when it benefits THEM? But when it comes to helping other people, they are always ready to pronounce that ‘there isn’t enough to go around” and that “competition for resources” is inherently good.


    • Mary Gallucci

      An excellent capsule history! You are so right about these free market moochers. Steven Adamowski actually commissioned a faux report from a “think tank” on whose board he sat (the National Council on Teacher Quality) which “proved” that school teachers in Hartford took too many sick days. These are teachers of young children! They spend all day together! They are all exposed to numerous contagious colds, and Adamowski tried to strip them of sick days. He also cut their health care coverage–I guess he wanted to ban the unhealthy. Illness is no excuse, quoth the former Hartford Schools CEO. Now all those teachers, many over-worked and over-stressed, have little protection during their retirement years–but Steven Adamowski! Talk about your gold-plated benefits package.

  • Jim Spellman

    Mary Galluci,
    Don Williams abandoned his duty to act in an ethical and legal manner quite some time ago. Wined and dined by the “Education for Profit Reform Movement”, he succumbed to ego inducement of being an insider with Malloy, Pryor, Adamowski, etc.. A shame – but he can redeem himself – Diane Ravitch should be his role-model and mentor.
    Let Us All Continue The Fight,
    Jim Spellman

    • Mary Gallucci

      Thanks for the reminder! I guess I did believe some of Don Williams’s “I care about the children of Windham” rhetoric. Do we need to offer him some broad hints on redemption?