SALEM SCHOOLS 8 apply to fill treasurer vacancy

Salem's city treasurer initially expressed interest in the job but has since withdrawn.
SALEM -- A school treasurer, a former school treasurer and a city auditor are among those seeking to become the Salem school district's next full-time treasurer.
As of this week's application deadline, eight people had applied for the job left vacant several weeks ago in the wake of a criminal investigation related to purchases made by former treasurer Ted Cougras.
School Superintendent Dr. David Brobeck has previously said that the district hoped to have about 25 candidates to choose from when the selection process started.
He expressed optimism, however, at the smaller field of hopefuls.
"We've gotten some quality people," Brobeck said Thursday of the applicants.
Screening has begun
Initial interviews started this week. Applicants are being screened by administration officials, and those deemed suitable, will be recommended to the school board.
The panel expects to have a new treasurer selected by the end of the month or shortly thereafter, Brobeck said.
Although the application deadline has passed, Brobeck said the district will consider late applications until someone is hired for the post.
He attributed the low number of applications to the nation's struggling economy.
"People are afraid to move right now," he said, referring to a reluctance to change jobs.
Not on the applicants' list is Salem city Treasurer Robert Tullis.
Tullis previously expressed interest in the job. He said Thursday, however, that has withdrawn because he does not possess the state-issued treasurer's certificate necessary for the post.
The district's treasurer position is being filled by an interim treasurer, Nancy Radkin of Kensington.
A retired treasurer from the United School District, Radkin is not seeking the full-time Salem treasurer's post.
Sudden resignation
Cougras resigned suddenly in December after the Columbiana County prosecutor's office launched a probe into the purchase of about $781 in office equipment that was delivered to his Poland home.
The state auditor's office also is investigating the treasurer's office. That probe is expected to conclude at any time, Brobeck said.
After Cougras' departure, the school district placed Annette Howard, Cougras' assistant treasurer, on indefinite paid suspension.
The move followed unspecified allegations regarding Howard.
Neither Cougras nor Howard have been accused of any crimes.

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