Wiley collecting pension, but not school district retirement incentive

Merrimack police photo Robert Todd Wiley, 63, 14 Mayflower Drive, Milford

MERRIMACK – Former Merrimack High School teacher Robert Todd Wiley is collecting a state pension but will not receive the school district’s retirement incentive.

Wiley is receiving an annual pension of $39,926, according to Marty Karlon, public information officer for the New Hampshire Retirement System.

The Merrimack School Board accepted Wiley’s resignation on Oct. 17, 2016 under the condition he forfeit the retirement incentive offered in the district’s collective bargaining agreement with its teachers. That incentive would have allowed him to collect up to 50 percent of his last year’s pay, if he qualified, Superintendent Marge Chiafery said.

The Merrimack School District has no say over Wiley’s pension, which is controlled by the New Hampshire Retirement System.

Unlike some other states, New Hampshire doesn’t have a pension forfeiture law for those convicted of a crime, Karlon said.

Wiley, who taught in the district for almost 37 years, was found guilty Tuesday of two misdemeanor charges stemming from “sexually explicit” communications, photos and videos he sent to a 16-year-old female student. He voluntarily surrendered his teaching certificate after the fact, according to a statement issued by state Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. The charges prohibit Wiley from being able to teach in a New Hampshire public school.

“The Department of Education worked with all parties involved in this case to reach a fair and just resolution in this case,” Edelblut said.

Chiafery said Wiley’s actions are “dismaying,” especially since he influenced so many students over the years.

“He taught English and philosophy for a long time, which would mean he certainly dealt with a large number of students and that students liked to be in his classes,” Chiafery said. “Teachers are held to a very high standard, and if you think about it, their influence is in many cases responsible for what students want to do in the future.”

A lot of those students have likely been disappointed by one of their role models, she said.

Derek Edry can be reached at 594-1243, dedry@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_Derek.