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11/13/2019

Final Adjudication Issued - Conti

Order No. 1762 (Conti) 
Chief Executive Officer
Agora Cyber Charter School
King of Prussia, PA 19406

ORDER SUMMARY:

1. Michael Conti (“Conti”), a public official in his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of the Agora Cyber Charter School (“Agora”), violated Section 1103(a) of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act (“Ethics Act”), 65 Pa.C.S. § 1103(a), when, while serving as the CEO of Agora, Conti simultaneously received compensation from both Agora and the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (“PCCS”), contrary to Section 17-1715-A(12) of the Public School Code of 1949/Charter School Law, 24 P.S. § 17-1715-A(12).
2. No financial penalty will be imposed in this case due to the lack of prior precedent.

Commissioner Michael A. Schwartz dissents as to the finding of a violation of Section 1103(a) of the Ethics Act but concurs in the decision not to impose a financial penalty on Conti under the unique circumstances presented in this case.  Commissioner Schwartz is of the view that, while it is troubling that the Separation Agreement between Conti and PCCS required Conti to agree to provide services if called upon, the unique facts and circumstances show that no services were ever expected.  Commissioner Schwartz would find that the Investigative Division did not meet its burden of showing that Conti received compensation from PCCS, as opposed to a severance payment, while also receiving compensation from Agora.

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