Assistant superintendent for business of Riverhead School District resigns

The Riverhead School District Board of Education unanimously voted last Tuesday to terminate assistant superintendent for business Rodney Asse, effective Monday, Dec. 25.

The memorandum of agreement between Mr. Asse and the school district stated both parties mutually agreed to the termination and Mr. Asse “irrevocably resigns” from his position.

Until his official last day, Mr. Asse will carry out his administrative duties from home, as well as receive full pay and benefits, according to the agreement.

Back in October, Marianne Cartisano started her new role as acting assistant superintendent for business, replacing Mr. Asse. In addition, Christine Peters was appointed to succeed Mr. Asse as assistant purchasing agent for the district.

However, Mr. Asse remained employed by the district in an unspecified role, according to previous reporting.

Mr. Asse’s departure  follows that of former Riverhead superintendent Augustine Tornatore, who left the district at the beginning of October. 

Both Mr. Tornatore and Mr. Asse were employed at the upstate Liberty Central School District prior to coming to Riverhead.

Mr. Asse was initially hired in May 2022 as a probationary appointment, which began on July 1, 2022, and was supposed to run through June 30, 2026. His starting salary was $190,000.

Prior to Liberty Central School District and Riverhead Central School District, Mr. Asse worked at the Newburgh Enlarged City School District in Newburgh, N.Y., from October 2019 until he resigned 11 months later, according to a report in the Mid Hudson News at the time. He had joined that district after working as a finance director of the Rochester City School District.

A 2019 story in the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester noted a financial report from June 2019 showed a “massive budget problem” that city officials in Rochester described as “gross incompetence or a willful attempt to deceive.” Mr. Asse resigned from that position in 2018.

A report in Rochester First outlined some of the controversy that the Rochester City School District faced, which included a multi-million dollar budget gap, a state comptroller’s audit and a federal investigation.