Fadzen blames former superintendent for hands-off policy
Former Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt changed school police officers’ approach toward problems to a see-no-evil policy, schools police chief Robert Fadzen testified this morning during a hearing to determine whether he should keep his job.
“The move since 2005 is to move against finding anything in our schools,” Fadzen said, noting that he opposed the change. “If somebody has a gun in our school, we’re going to find that gun.”
“They (the district) want to hide things,” he said later in the hearing, now in its fifth day. “They didn’t want you to report the rapes. They want you to hide things. Throw the guns in the river. I can’t do that.”
Roosevelt, now president of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, declined to comment.
The district removed Fadzen, 60, of Green Tree from his job in September and placed him on unpaid leave in November after he followed an ambulance that he said was driving erratically near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on July 22.
Fadzen said he was doing a traffic study near Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts school at the time. The administration contends that Fadzen has a history of acting outside his jurisdiction.
District officials cited the ticketing of a Westwood man in Green Tree in 2005 and a student’s weapons conviction, later overturned by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, resulting from the discovery of guns in his car by Fadzen and other school police.
Hearing officer Carl Beard will make a recommendation about Fadzen to the school board, which will decide whether he should keep his job. Fadzen, who has worked 17 years for the school district and makes $90,000 a year, requested that the hearing be open.