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Under fire as ‘ghost employee,’ Pa. education adviser Tomalis to step down

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

An education adviser to Gov. Corbett is stepping down from his post, weeks after a newspaper report found little evidence that he was working.

Ron Tomalis’ resignation letter includes a list of his accomplishments as a special adviser on higher education in Pennsylvania. Those accomplishments were called into question by a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report last month that found little in schedule documents, phone logs, or interviews to suggest that Tomalis had been doing much in his job, which paid nearly $140,000 a year.

A state House candidate called Tomalis a ghost employee and asked the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission to investigate. Campaign allies of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf had planned a news conference Tuesday afternoon calling for Tomalis to hand in his notice.

Earlier this month, Corbett defended Tomalis, saying that he was satisfied with his work on university summer programs.

"He’s not a ghost employee," Corbett said. "He works [for] the secretary of education. He reports to her. You’ve seen the quotes that she sees him right down the hall. He’s been doing the work. She’s satisfied with it. I’m satisfied with it."

Tomalis landed the special adviser position after stepping down as state education secretary last year. His salary remained the same after the job change.

Tomalis will remain on the job until Aug. 26.

His resignation letter was released Tuesday afternoon:

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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