SPS' Broderick Hired Husband For School Work Without Alerting Public Of Job Openings
In yet another deal to allow her family to benefit financially through taxpayer-funded Saugatuck Public Schools (SPS), Elizabeth Broderick, SPS Director of Business, Transportation & HR Services, set her husband up to make thousands of dollars a year for doing various jobs around the school district.
According to SPS financial records, emails and other documentation obtained by The Local Observer through a Freedom of Information Act request, Broderick’s husband - James Broderick - was paid $20 per hour over a multi-year time frame to do such jobs as repaint and reshingle a concession building, do field maintenance on athletic fields and other SPS jobs.
According to SPS records, Broderick never publicly posted those jobs she awarded her husband so neither teachers in the school district nor taxpaying community residents nor any member of the public could know about - or apply for - those job openings with the school district.
This was not the first time Broderick hired her own family members to profit from SPS jobs without allowing the public to apply for them as well.
Recently, The Local Observer reported that SPS records revealed she secured a job for her own son, Joseph Broderick, to be paid by the school district through a questionable arrangement she had with a former school cleaning company vendor to put her son on its payroll as a company employee doing SPS summer job work, and then bill SPS for his work hours.
The owner of that company, called All In One Cleaning in Fennville - Becky Carten-Crandell - says that Broderick had her put Broderick’s son and three others sons of SPS officials on the cleaning company’s payroll and she did so because she feared losing a lucrative SPS cleaning contract she had held for years.
In her position at SPS, Broderick has the authority to hire outside vendors for school district work.
Carten-Crandell said Broderick terminated her cleaning contract last year - one she had held since 2003 - only after she (Carten-Crandell) suggested one way to cut SPS costs was to terminate Broderick’s son and the other young men’s positions with her company as they were not - and had not - been needed.
In an ironic twist, it was Broderick who had requested Carten-Crandell to provide ideas on how to trim the SPS cleaning budget.
“Within a week of two of me saying SPS didn’t need to have me employ her son…she told me they were going to hire another company to clean the schools,” said Carten-Crandell, who added she is looking into filing a lawsuit against Broderick and SPS over “the entire Broderick nepotism issues and her own family’s enrichment scheme on the back of the taxpaying public.”
Several members of the public have contacted The Local Observer expressing anger over Broderick’s failure to offer the SPS jobs to everyone, especially local taxpayers who financially support the district.
Broderick and SPS Board President Jeff Myers have declined comment about Broderick’s actions.
SPS Superintendent Rolfe Timmerman also declined comment, except to confirm that his contract with the school district does not permit him to hire or employ any family members with the district.
Asked why that contractual clause was not in Broderick’s contract, Timmerman said, “That’s a good question.” Myers also declined to say why that hiring prohibition was not in Broderick’s contract.
In a related development, the SPS Board of Education met in closed session Monday night and reportedly questioned Broderick on various issues, including her role in having her son hired by Carten-Crandell’s company.
The board members also reportedly asked Broderick questions about an incident where she and Superintendent Timmerman (verified in emails obtained by The Local Observer) approved Broderick’s son and another school official’s son being paid with public funds to attend a school vendor’s golf outing party while they were supposed to be working for All In One Cleaning on school grounds and for which her company subsequently billed SPS for that supposed work time.
Some state officials - including Michigan Department of Education personnel - have questioned Broderick’s actions under state law.