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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County School Board’s Policy Committee is scheduled to continue discussions on a new fraternization policy this afternoon.

The board won’t admit it, but an ONLY ON 3 INVESTIGATION uncovered that Superintendent Tim Markley has been having a relationship with his former administrative assistant; an internal relationship that the current policy doesn’t address. The board will only say that it is attempting to change the policy to better match state policy.

In investigating Markley’s relationship with Stephanie Baltezegar, which has been confirmed by sources close to the situation, we also uncovered that the district gave her a $500 per month increase while still serving as Markley’s secretary. The raise was based on what the district calls an “Outside Experience Credit,” which we’re told by School Board Chair Don Hayes helps them stay competitive when hiring teachers with professional experience outside of education. Baltezegar, though, has been employed with the district since 1992, which means her outside credit came from something she did almost 20 years ago. The board won’t confirm what that “experience” is.

That increase also brought Baltezegar’s annual salary to more than $75,000 while she was Markley’s secretary. That’s thousands more than most teachers in the district make and on par with many of the middle school principal salaries. Baltezegar was eventually transferred to the Finance Department, but we learned she recently was transferred on to the Human Resources Department.

The Policy Committee meeting starts at 4 p.m and will be in the New Hanover County Board of Education Center at 1805 S. 13th Street. That will be followed by a regular board meeting scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.

We will have multiple reporters at this afternoon’s meeting and will have live reports starting at 5 p.m. on WWAY NewsChannel 3.

Comment on this Story

  • huny

    Well now- that would explain why I can’t get supplies or enough textbooks for my classroom!

  • Radar

    The school board and Dr. Tim Markley need to pack their bags. They have all compromised their integrity by allowing this injustice for showing favoritism in boosting the salary of the ” girlfriend “. Don Hayes is a disgrace ! I am a conservative and I will be lobbying for a new face on New Hanover County.

  • J.D.

    Back when a former superintendent was having an affair with his communications director, he was allowed to quietly resign and she was fired. The Board was spineless then just as it is now. They could have made a policy then but chose not to do so. Now we are faced with the same situation. This Board should be voted out of office at the first opportunity because it lied about the reason for the need for the new policy. The Board said there was no specific incident or reason for this new fraternization policy. The are voted in by the citizens of New Hanover County and are accountable to us just as the superintendent is accountable to the board. Don Hayes, as chairman of the Board should lead the board in firing this unethical superintendent. What a model for our children. Don Hayes is motivated only by our votes. If he cannot act ethically he too should be fired and replaced. Even if the Board should choose to overlook the affair, the cannot overlook the pay increases for the superintendent’s mistress.

  • Natchez

    Fraternization goes on at every level but when it involves a superior and a subordinate, it becomes a potential lawsuit. Furthermore, the alleged favoritism undermines the morale and erodes the respect the superintendent should have in order to lead. It has happened in other surrounding counties, with some repeat offenders, but nothing as blatantly “in your face” as this. I hope the school board gets what they have coming to them. They hired him, but another election is coming and they can be voted out.

  • Vog46

    “They hired him”

    Markley was hired before the new members were seated on the BoE I believe.

    Of course the REAL scary thing is that ALL members chose to keep this quiet and protect “one of their own”.
    For THAT reason the entire board should be replaced – secrecy in public government is a dangerous thing…..


  • SurfCityTom

    as I once read “you don’t realize you are dead; but it is apparent to those around you. The same holds true when you are stupid”

    anti fraternization policies have been around for quite a while. The lack of one here is a lapse on someone’s part; my guess is the county or school board attorney.

    In the absence of one, the Board of Education, as an employer, has no defense when the lawsuits commence. And they will. My professional guess is both spurned spouses will bring action against the Board, as an employer, for the lack of a policy and for allowing an atmosphere conducive to spousal straying.

    The next question, who made the first advance? That’s the party who will get a suit filed by the other’s spurned spouse. Not certain if both spurned spouses can bring action.

    Does anyone really think the Super will voluntarily depart? His salary is somewhere around $200K, annually. Technically, while being stupid, he did not break an employment policy; they did not have one then and they still don’t have one released.

    And the Board’s fail safe fallback, when questioned — we do not discuss employee activities.

  • guesty

    Both spurned spouses could file alienation of affection charges against the party their spouse cheated with.

  • Jimi Hendrix

    This outrageous, unconscionable and unethical behavior must lead to resignation of T. Markley and any BofE member that knew but did not have the onions to act accordingly. This BofE and its Superintendent are a cancer within our school system. Eradicate them!


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