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Wrong Patrick Risha?

Patrick A. Risha

Superintendent

West Mifflin Area School District

HQ Phone:  (412) 466-9131

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West Mifflin Area School District

1020 Lebanon Road Suite 250

West Mifflin, Pennsylvania,15122

United States

Company Description

The West Mifflin Area School District strives to provide libraries that meet the diverse informational needs of all of our students and faculty. It is our goal to teach our students to become lifelong learners who are experienced in all aspects of information ... more.

Find other employees at this company (85)

Background Information

Employment History

Superintendent

American Association of School Administrators


Superintendent

McKeesport Area School District


Superintendent

board


Defensive Coordinator

Washington & Jefferson College football team


President and Chief Executive Officer

Demand Services Inc.


Superintendent

South Allegheny


Head Football Coach

Clairton City School District


Affiliations

Arts Education Collaborative

Allegheny County Liaison


Mon Valley Education Consortium

Board Member


Education

bachelors degree

Slippery Rock University


Web References(184 Total References)


www.post-gazette.com

A criminal information filed by U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton on Friday accused Mr. Imbrogno of aiding and abetting the late West Mifflin Area School District Superintendent Patrick Risha, who "obtained by fraud and did intentionally misapply" a district check in the amount of $9,995.
Mr. Risha retired from West Mifflin Area in 2009 and died in 2010.


www.postgazette.com

Former West Mifflin superintendent Patrick Risha charged many of his meals to district | Former West Mifflin superintendent Patrick Risha charged many of his meals to district (Today)
Former West Mifflin superintendent Patrick Risha charged many of his meals to district | Former West Mifflin superintendent Patrick Risha charged many of his meals to district (Today) Former West Mifflin superintendent Patrick Risha charged many of his meals to district Patrick Risha, 2009 photo The late Patrick Risha billed taxpayers for $9,294 in meals during the three years he was superintendent of the West Mifflin Area School District, and many of them were eaten in restaurants near his home in Rostraver. Mr. Risha, who died of a heart attack in October, worked from home for much of his tenure because of health issues that he said made it too uncomfortable for him to sit at his office desk. In August and September of 2009, two months after Mr. Risha told the Post-Gazette that he was under a doctor's care as he prepared for gastric bypass surgery, he billed the district for meals at the Kentucky Fried Chicken, Arby's, Long John Silver's and Ponderosa in the Belle Vernon area near his home, along with several other restaurants and the Westwood Golf Club in West Mifflin. The Post-Gazette obtained Mr. Risha's expense reports through a Right To Know request filed with the district. Mrs. Bracco, who was on the board for Mr. Risha's tenure from November 2006 to November 2009, said the board was unaware that the district was reimbursing Mr. Risha for meals until the Post-Gazette showed her expense vouchers and copies of the reimbursement checks. The expense reports were approved by district Business Manager Dennis Cmar and Mr. Risha, whose signatures were required on them. That policy essentially left Mr. Risha in charge of approving his own expenses. On Mr. Risha's expense accounts, the only documentation for meals is the restaurant receipts, some of which are handwritten. And, in some cases, no receipts were submitted. News about Mr. Risha's meal expenses marks the second time recently that board members were caught off guard about expense reimbursements. In September the Post-Gazette reported that $4,024 was reimbursed to six central office administrators from June 21, 2007, to Dec. 16, 2009, for mileage for trips to Mr. Risha's home for school business. Some receipts attached to Mr. Risha's expense reports have no business names on them, and others are handwritten. Some are from Saturdays and Sundays. Mr. Cmar and Mrs. Bracco said Mr. Risha did not work conventional Monday through Friday hours. Mr. Cmar and Mrs. Bracco said they believe the event was a dinner Mr. Risha held for football seniors. In the expense reports, there are several instances in which Mr. Risha identifies by name or position his dining partners, which include local and state officials. Mr. Risha also identified several dates where he submitted meal receipts for meetings with the district union president, solicitor, coaches and staff. Aside from those specific entries, Mr. Risha does not indicate who attended meals for which he billed the district or how they were related to district business. The majority of his expense accounts simply contain receipts to restaurants for which he was fully reimbursed. On two occasions, Dr. Janet Sardon, who is superintendent now but was assistant superintendent under Mr. Risha, paid for food with her credit card, but Mr. Risha submitted the receipts on his expense account. Both Mr. Cmar and Dr. Sardon blamed mistakes in the business office for the transfer of her receipts to Mr. Risha's expense form. In another instance, former public relations coordinator Robyn Tedesco, on May 21, 2009, submitted a receipt for $115.83 from K-Vay's Restaurant in Irwin, but Mr. Risha submitted it on his expense report.


www.post-gazette.com

Patrick A. Risha: The man with connections
Patrick Risha The man was Superintendent Risha, Mr. Kostovny later learned, and the next day a school official told him that Kostovny Electric's bulb-changing engagement was over. In May, numerous contractors who did business with districts led by Mr. Risha appeared on the host committee for a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett, a Republican and the state attorney general. The event was held at a golf club in which Mr. Risha's son has an interest. Mr. Risha has also faced allegations detailed in a report that private investigation firm Gentile-Meinert and Associates compiled for the district. First reported by the Post-Gazette and then released by the district pursuant to a public records request, it said that West Mifflin Area employees were told to perform work, sometimes while on the clock, at the homes of Mr. Risha's son and school board member Albert Graham, a chiropractor. "Pat Risha did more for children than any other superintendent in [the West Mifflin Area] district in a long time." Early in 2007, around six months after Mr. Risha was selected to head the West Mifflin Area School District by a 5-4 vote of its board, his administration launched the first of several construction projects -- a two-part effort converting district offices into early childhood education classrooms and renovating part of the West Mifflin Borough Building into workspace for district administrators. Mr. Risha told the Post-Gazette in 2009 that vandalism to school property demonstrated an urgent need for security cameras around a new football field. He said the vandalism amounted to an emergency, justifying the change order. Mr. Risha did not specify a suspect. Public records show that a district senior was charged in May 2008 with vandalizing the high school, and he eventually pleaded guilty. On Jan. 21 of this year, after a new majority took over the West Mifflin Area school board and Mr. Risha resigned, new board member Phil Shar made a motion to replace Canova Electrical as designated electrician for low-dollar jobs with Kostovny Electric, giving that firm the first shot at small jobs that don't require competitive bidding. In 1996, Mr. Risha, then an assistant superintendent at the South Allegheny School District, known mostly for his past work as Clairton High School's football coach, became a part of local history. The Post-Gazette reported on a new, unofficial group called the Port Authority Construction Management Committee, with Mr. Risha and his cousin, freshly appointed Port Authority board member Sam Anthony, as members. Mr. Cranmer pulled out of a campaign fundraiser, co-chaired by Mr. Anthony and Mr. Risha, that would have replenished his and Mr. Dunn's coffers, contributing to a split that eventually fractured their majority. Mr. Anthony and Mr. Risha denied influencing contracts. Mr. Risha issued a statement saying: "The only profit and goal in my activities is to help the community and improve its educational system. Mr. Risha's career climb continued. In 1999 the South Allegheny school board, in a 5-4 vote, picked him as its superintendent. In 2003, a lame-duck board gave him a five-year extension. But he left that $124,869-a-year job in March of 2004 after he and the new board "re-evaluated their relationship," in the words of a separation agreement that brought Mr. Risha a $325,908 severance payment. The separation agreement named veteran municipal attorney John F. Cambest as the go-between, trading Mr. Risha's resignation letter for the payment. Mr. Cambest and Mr. Risha went on to work together at the McKeesport Area School District. Its board hired Mr. Risha as superintendent in December 2004. Mr. Risha earned $115,000 as superintendent in McKeesport. He suffered financial problems. A divorce case, filed by Mr. Risha's wife in 2002, dragged on for six years. He filed for bankruptcy in 2005. Court filings in both matters show a man with many business interests, a boat valued at $40,000 called the Amanda Jean, a collection of antiques and a Cadillac Escalade. Mr. Risha's debts at the time of his divorce included $30,000 owed to his uncle, Ray Anthony (father of Sam Anthony), then owner of Anthony Crane Rental. In 2005 and 2006, Mr. Cambest's firm performed some work for Mr. Risha in divorce court and bankruptcy court. Mr. Risha quit McKeesport in 2006 after a 5-4 vote by the West Mifflin Area school board to hire him for $127,900 annually. Mr. Risha's departure from West Mifflin Area stemmed in part from a 5-4 board vote in June 2009 to release girls basketball coach Phil Shar. That vote came the same month that Mr. Risha confirmed that he was working primarily from home due to health issues. Mr. Risha resigned the week after the election, after the outgoing board majority voted him a $30,000 severance payment. The man was Superintendent Risha, Mr. Kostovny later learned, and the next day a school official told him that Kostovny Electric's bulb-changing engagement was over. In May, numerous contractors who did business with districts led by Mr. Risha appeared on the host committee for a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett, a Republican and the state attorney general. The event was held at a golf club in which Mr. Risha's son has an interest. Mr. Risha has also faced allegations detailed in a report that private investigation firm Gentile-Meinert and Associates compiled for the district. First reported by the Post-Gazette and then released by the district pursuant to a public records request, it said that West Mifflin Area employees were told to perform work, sometimes while on the clock, at the homes of Mr. Risha's son and school board member Albert Graham, a chiropractor. "Pat Risha did more for children than any other superintendent in [the West Mifflin Area] district in a long time." Early in 2007, around six months after Mr. Risha was selected to head the West Mifflin Area School District by a 5-4 vote of its board, his administration launched the first of several construction projects -- a two-part effort converting district offices into early childhood education classrooms and renovating part of the West Mifflin Borough Building into workspace for district administrators. Mr. Risha told the Post-Gazette in 2009 that vandalism to school property demonstrated an urgent need for security cameras around a new football field. He said the vandalism amounted to an emergency, justifying the change order. Mr. Risha did not specify a suspect. Public records show that a district senior was charged in May 2008 with vandalizing the high school, and he eventually pleaded guilty. On Jan. 21 of this year, after a new majority took over the West Mifflin Area school board and Mr. Risha resigned, new board member Phil Shar made a motion to replace Canova Electrical as designated electrician for low-dollar jobs with Kostovny Electric, giving that firm the first shot at small jobs that don't require competitive bidding. In 1996, Mr. Risha, then an assistant superintendent at the South Allegheny School District, known mostly for his past work as Clairton High School's football coach, became a part of local history. The Post-Gazette reported on a new, unofficial group called the Port Authority Construction Management Committee, with Mr. Risha and his cousin, freshly appointed Port Authority board member Sam Anthony, as members. Mr. Cranmer pulled out of a campaign fundraiser, co-chaired by Mr. Anthony and Mr. Risha, that would have replenished his and Mr. Dunn's coffers, contributing to a split that eventually fractured their majority. Mr. Anthony and Mr. Risha denied influencing contracts. Mr. Risha issued a statement saying: "The only profit and goal in my activities is to help the community and improve its educational system. Mr. Risha's career climb continued. In 1999 the South Allegheny school board, in a 5-4 vote, picked him as its superintendent. In 2003, a lame-duck board gave him a five-year extension. But he left that $124,869-a-year job in March of 2004 after he and the new board "re-evaluated their relationship," in the words of a separation agreement that brought Mr. Risha a $325,908 severance pay


www.wmasd.org [cached]

Patrick Risha Superintendentrishap@wmasd.org(412) 466-9131Educational Background: Mr. Risha holds a bachelors degree from Slippery Rock University, and elementary and secondary principal certifications, a masters degree, and superintendent's letter of eligibility from the University of Pittsburgh. Career Highlights: Previous Superintendent of Schools at McKeesport Area School District and Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent at South Allegheny School District, serving in central office positions for over 11 years.Other Notables: Chairman of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit's Legislative Committee and past President of Area V Superintendents."As superintendent, I believe a district's greatest assets are the faculty and staff.It is through their continued hard work and diligence that our students and district succeed" said Mr. Risha.


www.postgazette.com

Its team includes Patrick M. Risha, 28 -- son of former West Mifflin Area Schools Superintendent Patrick A. Risha -- and relatives of two officials of the Clairton Municipal Authority, which has contracted with the firm.
There are seven or eight owners, Mr. Matta said, including the younger Mr. Risha. Mr. Risha also is listed as representing the firm in an industry directory. Mr. Risha, of Rostraver, could not be reached for comment. He is perhaps best known as the face of development firm Marquise Investments in its bid to open an adult entertainment business in a former medical building on West Carson Street in Pittsburgh. The names of Mr. Latorre and Mr. Risha also appear as owners on the mortgage for Westwood Golf Club in West Mifflin. In May, the West Mifflin Area School District -- which employed the elder Mr. Risha as its superintendent until November -- filed a civil complaint against the golf club's owners, saying they owe $34,185 in property taxes for 2009, plus penalty, costs and interest.


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