Former DCR area leader remains on school panel

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It would take a recall vote by seven towns to remove a member of the Central Berkshire Regional School District's top board.

Michael F. Case of Washington resigned last week as regional director of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, following a human resources inquiry by the agency.

A DCR spokesman declined to detail the nature of that inquiry, but The Boston Globe, citing two unnamed sources, said the effort turned up evidence of pornography on Case's office computer.

Case could not be reached for comment Monday or Tuesday.

Though Case also resigned his seat on the Holyoke Soldiers Home board, he remains on the panel that governs the school district.

Shawn Armacost, its chairman, said Tuesday that he consulted with an attorney about Case's situation on Monday.

"The School Committee has no authority to take any action against Mr. Case," he said.

Armacost said only Case's own resignation or a recall vote would change that status. He said he doubts the communities would seek the ballot option.

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"I would find it hard to believe that residents of the seven towns would want that," he said.

If Case were to submit his resignation, Armacost said he would view that with dismay, given what he characterized as Case's contributions to education in the region.

"It would be with regret," he said. "His contributions far outshadow any alleged transgressions."

Last fall, the Massachusetts Association of School Committees honored Case with a lifetime achievement award for his work on behalf of schools.

"It pretty much reflects what he does for the community," Armacost said of that honor.

The district includes Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington, Becket, Cummington and Windsor. It oversees Waconah Regional High School, Nessacus Regional Middle School, three elementary schools and a preschool in Cummington.

Case, a former Pittsfield police officer with three decades of service in the military, joined DCR early last year and oversaw the operations of 39 parks and forests from the agency's regional office at 740 South St. in Pittsfield.

Reach staff writer Larry Parnass at413-496-6214 or @larryparnass.


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