Steven Raucci, the jailed director of facilities for the Schenectady City School District who faces arson and terrorism counts, wants to retire next month.
Raucci, who continues to be held without bail in Schenectady County Jail, was suspended without pay this month and will leave his position effective April 15, provided members of the Board of Education vote to approve his retirement when they meet tonight. School officials confirmed Raucci wrote the letter to the district from the jail.
“We received his letter [Monday],” said Karen Corona, a spokeswoman for the district.
Corona said the district has no other choice but to accept Raucci’s retirement as long as he meets the criteria, which include being over 55 years old and employed by the district for more than 10 years. She said even if the district fired Raucci he would still draw benefits from his pension.
“It wouldn’t be any different,” she said of his retirement compensation.
Raucci is credited with more than 34 years of service with the district, according to the state Comptroller’s Office. Raucci’s base salary was about $79,000 as the director of facilities, but in 2008 he was actually paid more than $129,000 with overtime pay.
Both state and district officials were uncertain of how much Raucci will receive in pension benefits. A copy of Raucci’s letter was not available for review Tuesday.
News of the retirement comes as the district plans to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct by Raucci and any supervisor who might have known about the allegations and failed to act on them.
The 60-year-old Raucci, whose home is in Niskayuna, is facing charges in three separate bombing or attempted bombing incidents in three counties dating as far back as 2001.
In a November 2006 incident, Raucci is accused of placing an incendiary device on a vehicle in Clifton Park. Court records have indicated the charge is based on a supporting deposition by former district athletic director Gary DiNola.
Carney continues to seek a grand jury indictment but said he has nothing new to report.
“I don’t expect it this week,” he said of an indictment.
Raucci’s employment is governed under the CSEA’s Local 847 contract with the district, which was signed in April 2007. Prior to his arrest, Raucci also served as the union’s president.
Under CSEA’s contract with the district, Raucci is entitled to have 88 percent of his individual health care costs covered by the district. In addition, he can also cash in a number of his unused sick days if he retires. The contract allows workers to collect up to 18 sick days per year, and up to a total accumulation of 250 sick days.
Emily DeSantis, a spokeswoman with the Comptroller’s Office, said Raucci’s benefits are protected under the state constitution. “Under the state constitution, once you have a benefit, it cannot be diminished,” she said.