Centre for Civic Education (CCE) sent a request to Minister Damir Šehović for urgent action on the Proposal for dismissal of the director of the Secondary Electrical Engineering School “Vaso Aligrudić” Veselin Pićurić no. 0601/2019-4924/3 from 24/07/2020. This is the third proposal by three different education inspectors to dismiss Pićurić in the last few years, and the second one in Šehović’s term of office.
As a reminder, this controversial director continuously caused material damage to the school by violating management procedures and rules. The CCE has repeatedly drawn Šehović’s attention to this, since the beginning of his term, directly in written communication and in the public, and this was followed by proposals from various education inspectors for his dismissal, reports and demands of employees with whom the Minister is familiar, indicating that Pićurić acted in a manner that he violated its competencies under Article 82 of the General Law on Education. All this was confirmed by final court judgments. However, Šehović responded by re-electing Pićurić to the same position.
The last proposal for the dismissal of Pićurić is based on the established material damage that Pićurić caused to the school and it is indisputable that due to poor management he must bear individual responsibility and for a start this would include his dismissal.
The CCE requested from the Minister the information whether he had decided on the last proposal for the dismissal of Pićurić and at what stage is the procedure under the Proposal submitted to him with the accompanying documentation by the education inspector Veska Joksimović in July 2020. The Inspector stated in that Proposal for dismissal, based on final and executive judgments, that Pićurić abused his official position by implementing acts passed by himself. He thereby caused material damage to the institution as he violated a number of the rights of employees and students, including the right to privacy and the right to the mental or mental integrity of schoolteachers. That directly cost the school a minimum of 10,373 euros, which it had to pay to its employees according to the executive verdict. This is not the final figure because the inspector did not have an insight into the lawyer’s costs and default interest determined by the verdict, which again the school had to pay.
Pićurić has also publicly, in the show Reflektor on TV Vijesti, stated that he had settled the school’s debts of 31,966 euros based on unpaid salaries, other income, and interest that he unnecessarily caused by illegal actions. To this should be added the settled 6,487 euros of court costs, and even that is not the final amount from a series of final verdicts with employees that confirmed his illegal actions.
Earlier ministers of education were also obliged to dismiss this controversial director, so it remains unclear why Pićurić is protected from legal sanctions even though he violates the public interest and why Šehović did not dismiss him despite the findings of the Education Inspectorate and final court rulings that this director abused his official position.
The CCE draws the attention of the public to the fact that Šehović publicly promised, in the show Replika (broadcast on 15 May 2017) on RTCG, that he will “dismiss any director of an educational institution for whom someone brings evidence that he has abused his official position or proves that he is in any way unworthy and unfit to perform that function.” The CCE believes that Šehović must say publicly if there is something that Pićurić “holds him in his hand”, as he seems to have held the previous ministers who were silent concerning his violation of the law, and blackmailed politicians cannot make decisions on their own, especially not those in the public interest. The CCE also appreciates that it is the last moment for Šehović to dismiss Pićurić in his term and thus show that he is not stronger than him as a minister and his public promises to the citizens.
Snežana Kaluđerović, Senior Legal Adviser