The Public Eye

Reports from the Bee's investigative team

September 14, 2010
State school board group releases severance package details

Nearly two months after the California School Boards Association faced public scrutiny over its top executive's pay, the non-profit released details Tuesday of its severance agreement with Scott Plotkin.

CSBA paid $43,000 to cut ties with Plotkin and to recognize him for "his long years of service" to the organization, according to a statement from the CSBA Board of Directors.

Plotkin retired Sept. 1 after admitting to using a company credit card to withdraw cash at area casinos while drawing a salary much higher than executive directors at similar non-profits.

Plotkin earned $307,805 in 2006; $384,462 in 2007; $516,517 in 2008; and $403,955 in 2009. Plotkin's base salary was much lower in each of those years, but his pay was inflated through bonuses and other compensation. In 2008, Plotkin received a $175,000 bonus and in 2009 he received nearly $75,000 in bonuses and other compensation.

The CSBA statement said Plotkin's base salary through September 2013 was $328,000. The statement said Plotkin's employment contract - which The Bee has asked for and was denied - included termination provisions that could have put CSBA on the hook for more than $1 million.

With the severance agreement complete, the statement said CSBA could now release its details.

"Rather than expending legal fees and contending with the further damage that a protracted legal battle could entail, the Board determined that the best course of action was to reach mutual agreement on Mr. Plotkin's separation," the statement said. "The Board is pleased that Mr. Plotkin agreed to the proposal."

The full statement is available online on CSBA's financial accountability page at

CSBA is not a government agency, but is indirectly funded by taxpayers. Much of its funding comes from membership dues and other fees paid by public school districts. CSBA employees receive pensions through the California Public Employees' Retirement System, of which Plotkin, 56, will be eligible.

Several area school boards have considered not renewing their membership after learning of Plotkin's pay and use of corporate credit cards.

Sacramento City Unified trustees will decide at Thursday's school board meeting as to whether the district will renew its current CSBA membership and utilize other services, which amount to $36,161 a year.

--Melody Gutierrez

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About The Public Eye

Welcome to The Bee's newest blog: Public Eye. In the coming months, you will see us breaking news here as well as following up on investigations we have published with tidbits, news breaks and behind-the-scenes descriptions of our news-gathering process. Know of a wrong we could right? Send our fraud squad your tips at:

The Public Eye


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives