Lee’s Summit (Mo.) School Superintendent David McGehee, the highest-paid superintendent in Missouri, has agreed to resign in the midst of a controversy over his salary and his relationship with an attorney at one of the district’s law firms.
The school board announced that it will pay McGehee $450,000 to leave the job he has held since 2006. McGehee's departure, set for June 30, comes less than two months after he signed a contract extension through 2018-19. McGehee would have been paid more than $1.1 million over those three years, the board says.
The Lee's Summit school district, in a suburban area east of Kansas City, had a student enrollment in 2015-16 of 17,739.
McGehee's job security deteriorated shortly after he signed his contract extension on May 3. He was placed on administrative leave later that month after a citizens group protested the new contract and raised questions about the propriety of the superintendent's dating Shellie Guin, an attorney whose firm, Guin Mundorf, handled some legal matters for the district.
McGehee and Guin said they had taken steps to prevent a conflict of interest and that Guin was not directly involved in negotiating McGehee’s contract, but after McGehee went on leave, Guin Mundorf announced that it would stop representing the district on legal business.
The Kansas City Star reports that McGehee's contract called for him to receive a base salary of $304,300 for the 2016-2017 school year, plus an additional $60,857 in deferred compensation.
In February, the Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri identified McGehee as the state's highest-paid public school superintendent. It said that in 2014-15, McGehee's annual salary, pension payments, annuity and allowed expenses totaled an estimated $396,000.