10-04-2022  7:36 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Associated Press
Published: 19 July 2022

MONROE, Wash. (AP) — A school district superintendent northeast of Seattle will resign and receive nearly $400,000 after an investigation showed employee claims of his behavior creating a toxic work environment were mostly credible.

Under a settlement agreement announced last week, Monroe School District Superintendent Justin Blasko agreed to resign July 31 and that he won't sue or seek a job with the district ever again, The Daily Herald reported.

Blasko was put on paid leave in December as the district investigated employee claims of his inappropriate language, bullying and sexist outbursts. Some called him “volatile and unpredictable," not receptive to feedback and said he led through fear and intimidation. Investigators found most of the allegations credible.

In response to the report, Blasko apologized to people hurt by his actions and said as he dealt with pandemic-induced stress, he did not always keep his emotions in check.

He said he didn’t recall many of the specific incidents, but that “I do not question the integrity of the people who have contributed to the report, nor do I question the validity of their personal experiences or perceptions.”

The separation agreement also requires the district remove the investigation and Blasko’s response from its website within seven days of the board’s action. Those documents will be available through a public records request.

Blasko was hired in 2010 as the district’s executive director of human resources. In 2016, he was named assistant superintendent of learning and teaching, and in February 2020, he was chosen to lead the district.

He steered the district through uncharted territory as the coronavirus pandemic forced public schools into remote education. As students returned to classrooms, he drew calls for resignation from parents and teachers over his response to racial tensions including a spate of incidents on campuses.

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