Suspended Schenectady school head of facilities Steven Raucci made more than $568,730 in the last five years — including $50,000 more than his base salary in 2008 alone.
Raucci is on unpaid leave facing terrorism and other charges for allegedly planting explosive devices in three counties in three incidents from 2001 to 2007.
Raucci’s base pay in 2008 was $79,297. A Freedom of Information Law request from The Daily Gazette produced records revealing that Raucci’s total compensation that year with overtime was $129,364. His compensation was $123,306 in 2007, $115,951 in 2006, $96,256 in 2005, $103,854 in 2004 and $69,067 in 2003.
Raucci made a substantial amount in overtime during the past few years. Superintendent Eric Ely attributed it to the fact that in addition to being the district’s head utility worker, Raucci also served as its energy management program monitor.
“Part of his duties were to go through the buildings late at night when nobody was in there to monitor them,” he said.
Raucci did this during evenings, weekends and holidays. In addition, he was actively involved in the district’s ongoing capital projects and also was responsible for responding to weather-related emergencies such as snow and ice removal, evening alarms and any vandalism to district buildings. He managed more than 100 employees in more than 21 buildings.
Despite the amount of overtime, Ely said, he had not planned on making any changes to Raucci’s duties — such as getting a lesser-paid employee to perform them — before the current allegations surfaced.
He said that this energy program had been handled by another person previously whose job was eliminated a few years ago as part of a budget cut.
“It actually saved them money. Instead of paying two people and two benefit sets, you’re paying one person,” he said.
Right now, Ely said, the buildings’ energy use is being monitored by a computer and no one is walking through buildings as Raucci had done.
The question of Raucci’s compensation by the district arose after police said they seized $120,000 in cash from his Niskayuna residence when he was arrested on what would be the first of at least three charges of placing explosive devices.
County records also show that Raucci had paid off his mortgage in 2004 after purchasing the house in 1997.
A copy of the Civil Service Employees Association contract was also provided upon request.
Raucci receives time and a half when he works beyond 40 hours per week. The CSEA contract says that union members who are employed by the district on or before July 1, 1997, cannot be laid off unless they are terminated for just cause.
The contract also says that an employee has a right to confront any person who lodges a charge against him with the school administration. No disciplinary action can be taken against the employee if the person who made the complaint refuses such confrontation, unless the administration possesses documentary evidence and/or independent confirmation and substantiation of the charge to justify disciplinary action.
No record will be placed in the employee’s personnel files if no disciplinary action is taken, according to the contract.