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Hundreds Show Up To School Board Meeting After Controversial Resignation

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Martin Schmotzer was reinstated to the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board Wednesday night, hours after resigning from a new $120,000 per year job, recently created for him during a special meeting of the school board.

He had to resign from the board to take the new job, and majority board members voted to appoint him to the new district position moments after he resigned at that Nov. 19 meeting.

That vote resulted a public outcry, and a petition protesting it has already garnered nearly 1,300 signatures.

KDKA's Ralph Iannotti Reports:

Police estimated the crowd that turned out for Wednesday night's meeting at between 300 and 400 people.

The crowd was so large that police had to move it to a school gymnasium at the Whitehall Elementary School.

Critics say the vote that created the lucrative job violated state law, and a lawsuit has been filed against the school board.

Schmotzer told the crowd Wednesday night, "obviously, you don't like the way my appointment happened, I understand that, I get it."

He was jeered and booed, and many people left the board meeting when he tried to speak.

Lou Rainaldi, who started the petition drive told KDKA-TV, "The school district was dishonest and I'm ashamed of it."

KDKA's Heather Abraham Reports:

Another critic, Jerry Pantone, said, "They [school board members] think that they are more important than we are, they just don't get it."

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