They offer upward mobility to the strangest people!
When Camden’s LEAP Academy University Charter School compelled its new food-service management company to retain the school’s executive chef and give him a $24,000 raise, LEAP also had to pay a $151,428 penalty to its previous vendor, documents show.
Including Michele Pastorello’s new $95,000 salary, LEAP has spent nearly $250,000 this school year to keep him employed as executive chef. The position typically pays about $40,000, according to industry experts.
Pastorello is the live-in boyfriend of LEAP founder and board chairwoman Gloria Bonilla-Santiago. His raise, as well as the fee paid to the previous management company, Aramark, now are under review by the school’s board of trustees.
On Friday, Aramark issued a pointed response to suggestions by LEAP that it was replaced because it was not meeting the school’s nutritional goals.
Bonilla-Santiago has recused herself from votes dealing with the food-service contracts. Through a spokesman, she has declined to be interviewed.