Journal Inquirer

May 6.2016

MANCHESTER — A custodian at Manchester High School was given a last opportunity to comply with his job requirements after alcohol was found in his car on school property, according to records obtained by the Journal Inquirer through a freedom of information request.
The custodian, Scott Hempstead, signed a “last chance agreement,” dated April 1, which acknowledges his actions and agrees to terms regarding his employment, which the agreement says is in “serious jeopardy.”
The Journal Inquirer received the agreement Friday through a freedom-of-information request.
Hempstead was found to have alcohol in his car at the high school on March 9, Assistant Superintendent Patricia Brooks said.
He wasn’t put on administrative leave during the 23-day period between the incident and the signing of the agreement, but administrators considered punishment during that time, Brooks said.
The agreement says Hempstead’s action violated Manchester Public Schools policy on possession of alcohol.
To maintain his employment, Hempstead must “refrain from any violation of any Manchester Board of Education policies, rules, and/or regulations,” the agreement says. It also says he must “refrain from any failure to comply with a valid directive issued by administration.”
The agreement sets a list of conditions, which include requirements that Hempstead participate in the school system’s Employee Assistance Program and in other programs or counseling deemed necessary.
If Hempstead fails to comply with the conditions, he will be given the chance to resign. If he decides not to step down in such a situation, the agreement gives Superintendent Matthew Geary authority to fire him.
Hempstead and the union approved the conditions of the agreement and agreed not to file grievances or claims in connection with its terms, the agreement says.
Hempstead has been a school system employee since September 1998, Brooks said.