The Middletown boarding school accused of covering up allegations of sexual abuse provided home loans for the current Head of School Eric Peterson, even though he lives on the school’s campus. Later, the board forgave the loans, which were used to purchase a house on Cape Cod.
Peterson lives on campus as a requirement of his job. In public tax forms, the school lists his total compensation at more than $500,000. In 2006 and 2009, the school board approved home loans for Peterson totaling $190,000. Spokesman Joe Baerlein said the board was pleased with Peterson’s leadership.
“The learning experience for the kids at St. George’s was top rate, alumni participation was very strong, the financial and fundraising support was very strong,” said Baerlein.
Peterson used the loans, at least in part, to purchase a home on Cape Cod, which Baerlein said is the only property Peterson owns and is intended as an eventual retirement home. According to Baerlein, it is "fairly common" for private institutions like St. George’s to provide housing funds for heads of school.
“In a lot of compensation packages for college presidents or schools like St. George’s, sometimes they give housing stipends, in some cases they actually buy a home,” said Baerlein.
Peterson made interest payments on the loans for several years. Then the board forgave the remaining interest and all of the principal in 2011 or 2012.
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