The arbitrator handling the termination proceedings of Superintendent Paul Kadri ruled Tuesday that Kadri engaged in conduct warranting termination of his employment" according to a press release by the school system.
"By the agreement of the Parties, that decision is binding and Mr. Kadri’s termination is effective immediately," the release said.
“This has been a long and difficult process for all concerned, particularly the school district employees who stepped forward and testified regarding their treatment by Mr. Kadri," Board Chair Kirsten Hoyt said in a prepared statement included in the news release. "We look forward to putting this unfortunate chapter in the school district’s history behind us.”
Kadri said Tuesday he was stunned.
"I will say that I am shocked," Kadri said. "I want to find out what it says I specifically did, because I know I did not do anything. This was a very limited hearing from it's scope, so I was not able to present most of my evidence.
"However, I did present some of what I presented to you a long time ago. I want to see how that evidence was used in making the decision. I will be able to answer questions tomorrow."
Gregg D. Adler, a lawyer from Livingston, Adler, Pulda, Meiklejohn & Kelly, P.C., who represented Kadri, during the termination proceedings, could not be immediately reached for comment. But after the investigative report was released, Kadri issued a response through his attorney, saying the allegations against him were untrue.
The Groton Board of Education placed Kadri on paid administrative leave in May, pending an investigation of his "interactions with and treatment of district employees."
Kadri was investigated after his former executive assistant, Alisha Stripling. complained that he abused and threatened her, and made inappropriate comments about her to the point that she became ill and could no longer work, according to a 43-page investigative report released in August.
The termination hearings were conducted by an arbitrator based on an agreement between Kadri and the Groton Board of Education. Hearings began in November and ended in January. They were closed to the public.
William Blake, of the firm Harlow, Adams & Friedman, P.C. conducted the earlier investigation for the school board and hand-delivered his report to the school board's lawyer on Aug. 15. Blake interviewed ten current school employees, including Kadri, and four former employees, including former assistant superintendent Dorothy Hoyt.
Hoyt filed a complaint of sexual and age discrimination with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities that was ultimately settled.
The report described a scene in the school department central office in which employees were found sobbing at their desks, while other administrators tried to console them, protect them and manage the situation.
The Groton Board of Education hired Kadri in 2008.