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NEA’s Walsh to take medical leave

December 1, 2010

Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island and a longtime political activist, is about to take a medical leave involving neck surgery.

Walsh says there’s no connection between his leave and the arrest yesterday of John Leidecker, one of eight assistant executive directors at the NEA. Walsh, who had similar surgery about two years ago, announced his temporary departure yesterday with this post on his Facebook page:

Well, my last day at work in 2010 was NOT uneventful, but the good guys will win as always. A useful distraction from my upcoming surgery on Thursday, with much to ponder for the 4 to 6 weeks they say I’ll be benched afterwards.

Walsh, a member of Governor-elect Lincoln Chafee’s transition advisory committee, says his last work day before his medical leave will be today or tomorrow. “We knew this was coming,” he says of his surgery involving a cervical disk, adding that he put it off to get past the election season.

Walsh adds that he expects Leidecker to be exonerated of a misdemeanor charge involving allegations of posing as departing state Representative Douglas Gablinske.

While Gablinske accuses Leidecker and the NEA of engaging in “thuggery,” Walsh predicts Gablinske will be found to have “wasted the resources of the State of Rhode Island on a personal vendetta.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Art permalink
    December 4, 2010 8:15 pm

    A union assistant executive director impersonating a candidate the union wanted to oust? A stealth campaign to get their own pro-union man in? Using dues from teachers (whom we pay with our taxes)?

    This is just a “prank?”

    The Governor-Elect condoning this kind of corrupt politics while saying he would change things during his campaign?

    I hope you media folks stay on this one.

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