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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Ind. Courts - "Two former IPS employees sue for wrongful termination"

Chelsea Schneider and Marisa Kwiatkowski report today in the Indianapolis Star:

Two Indianapolis Public Schools administrators fired over their handling of sexual abuse allegations involving a counselor are suing the district in federal court for wrongful termination.

Deb Leser, former IPS director of student services, and William Jensen, a former assistant principal, were fired from the district in June amid fallout over school officials not immediately reporting allegations against then-counselor Shana Taylor to the Indiana Department of Child Services.

In separate complaints, Leser and Jensen contend IPS provided “overly vague” information to support allegations that they violated district policy. That limited Leser and Jensen’s ability to counter the claims against them – violating their due process rights, argued their attorney Kevin Betz.

In Leser’s case, her attorneys noted that IPS posted a job opening for her position prior to her official termination. The district’s actions show it “had already clearly made the decision to terminate Ms. Leser’s employment if IPS was already seeking another individual for Ms. Leser’s position," federal court records state.

Jensen’s complaint argues district officials refused to reschedule his termination hearing before the IPS School Board even though he couldn’t attend. Jensen had “longstanding” plans to visit his ill brother, according to court records. * * *

At least seven IPS officials knew about allegations against Taylor as early as Feb. 17, but no one reported them to the Indiana Department of Child Services until Feb. 23 — six days later. Court records indicate officials didn't report the allegations until after they learned that a news outlet was aware of them.

ILB: Here are the lawsuits, filed July 29th in the SD Ind., presiding judge Tanya Walton Pratt:I've downloaded from PACER and linked the latter of the two.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 2, 2016 09:33 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts