Analysis: Does School Business Manager Fate Hang on Finances or Politics?

Brian O’Connell, rear right, told the School Committee last May of his plan to pre-pay certain expenses with an expected surplus—an amount members said should have been known and disclosed. (WHAV News photograph.)

Brian O’Connell, Haverhill Public Schools’ business manager, appears to be on the verge of losing his job. Depending on who is asked, O’Connell is either someone who bungled the school budget or a victim of the political winds that sidelined the former school administration. O’Connell—a 34-year member of the Worcester School Committee, a lawyer and someone who has worked in school finance since 2002, has served mostly quietly and behind the scenes for a little more than three years. Report: Ouster Plan Takes Shape at Heated, Closed-Door Meeting

Even though his $130,000 contract ended last June, O’Connell is still a city employee and his formal termination may require a two-thirds vote of the School Committee.