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Western Pennsylvania Black Political Assembly Backs PPS Superintendent Anthony Hamlet After State Ethics Report

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Some leaders in the Black community told KDKA on Tuesday that they are outraged.

"The report does not make for a vote of no confidence," said Rick Adams with the Western Pennsylvania Black Political Assembly.

In a united front outside the Pittsburgh Public Schools Administration building, the group addressed the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission's findings after a nearly two-year investigation into Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet.

The report found that Hamlet violated state ethics acts when it came to travel expense reimbursements, paid time off and accepting fees for speeches – money that should have been returned to the district.

Hamlet maintains he's done nothing wrong and has since paid back those funds.

The school board released a statement last week saying it takes the report seriously and will discuss if further action against Hamlet is needed. But the Western Pennsylvania Black Political Assembly is sounding off.

"We demand that the Board of Education postpone any vote until there is a complete airing of the facts, allowing for a full public vetting of what has transpired," Adams said.

The group also took KDKA's reporting to task – reporting which prompted the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission to investigate.

"This report simply says some mistakes were made, here's how you correct it. There were no sanctions given, no fines given and no continued investigation, certainly not a criminal investigation," Adams said.

Aside from the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission, some parents have repeatedly spoken out about district leadership when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic and continued transportation struggles. All problems that were brought to the school board's attention and could play into future decisions.

The group is hopeful that there will be more dialogue in the future, and they want to be involved.

Meantime, KDKA reached out to the school board to see if any vote was planned and has not heard back.

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