Corbett Adviser Resigns Following Scrutiny of Schedule, Duties

Aug 12, 2014

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

Ron Tomalis’ resignation letter includes a list of his accomplishments as a special adviser on higher education. 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 Tomalis had been doing much in his job paying nearly $140,000 a year.

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

“[G]iven recent events, I believe it is in the best interest of the Administration that I resign my position with the Commonwealth,” Tomalis wrote in his resignation letter.

Earlier this month, Gov. Tom Corbett defended Tomalis, saying 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 nearly $140,000 salary was kept the same after the job change.

Tomalis will remain on the job until Aug. 26.

Correction: An earlier version of this report stated Ron Tomalis had stepped down from his post. His resignation is effective Aug. 26. The post has been updated.