Report: Little record of work by Corbett adviser

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – A former state education secretary under Gov. Tom Corbett remains on the state payroll as a special adviser, but a newspaper found limited evidence of the work he has been performing.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/WITiRS ) that records concerning Ron Tomalis, in the 14 months since he stepped aside as education secretary, include a work calendar with weeks of little or no activity, phone logs that barely average a call a day and five outgoing emails.

Tomalis has a $140,000-a-year salary and benefits as a special adviser with a focus on post-secondary education, although state officials say he also has been involved in K-12 issues.

Acting Education Secretary Carol Dumaresq said she regularly sees Tomalis in an office near her own, that he works 40 hours a week and that he has regular contact with department staff.

She said the small number of emails and limited phone traffic may reflect Tomalis’ preference for face-to-face dealings.

“I can’t explain why there is nothing on the calendar,” she said. “I do know when I’m here – Ron’s office is about four doors down – pretty much every time I’m in the office, he’s in his office.”

Jennifer Branstetter, Corbett’s policy director, told the newspaper the governor has been satisfied with Tomalis’ job performance. The newspaper reported that several key players in higher education said they have had little or no contact with Tomalis in his advisory role.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com

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