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CMS Superintendent Draws Scrutiny Over New Hire, Big Raises

Gwendolyn Glenn

New Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox is drawing scrutiny for creating a new position in the school system and hiring the husband of his chief of staff to fill it. Both followed him to Charlotte from the Hagerstown, Md., school system.

In an interview with WSOC TV, Wilcox was asked whether the job had been posted, or if the school system had accepted applications from anyone else for the position.

"No. We really did not in this case," he answered. "We created a position kind of from clean cloth, because I knew the person, because the board had asked me to bring some people, to kind of stir things up. I did it in that process."

Reporter Stephanie Maxwell then asked, "But you can see why people would say it looks like it was created because no one else was able to apply?"

"Oh - well absolutely," Wilcox said, "I absolutely could see why that is."

Wilcox said Jody Francisco was hired to the new position of manager of culinary development because he had the right skill set. He will be paid a salary of $85,000. Laura Francisco will make $175,000 as chief of staff - about $40,000 more than her predecessor.

But previous chief of staff, Earnest Winston, is also getting a big boost in pay, and a new title. Like his successor, his salary is now $175,000. He now holds the position of chief of community engagement/ombudsman.

The chief financial officer, technology chief and associate superintendent of school assignment also received raises of $8,000 to $30,000.

Nick de la Canal is the host of Weekend Edition on Saturday/Sunday mornings, and a reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal