- Associated Press - Saturday, February 11, 2017

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) - A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit by a former Greenwood schools chief who sought compensation over being fired.

Former Superintendent Montrell Greene was fired in January 2016 and sued the Greenwood Public School District and three school board members in May. A motion to dismiss his lawsuit was filed in June, and U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson granted it Wednesday, The Greenwood Commonwealth reported (https://bit.ly/2lsZ22B).

During Greene’s tenure, the Mississippi Department of Education released an audit listing 22 violations of state process standards in the Greenwood district. It accused the district of reporting inaccurate information, said board members improperly interfered in management and accused Greene and the board of bullying district employees.

Davidson left open the possibility that Greene could seek claims in state court.

The newspaper reported that neither Greene nor his attorney, Willie Griffin of Greenville, could be immediately reached.

Attorney Robert F. Stacy Jr. represents the school district and board members Randy Clark, Samantha Milton and Deirdre Mayes. He said he would remain as the district’s attorney for the short term, to see if any additional action is taken or “until there’s final closure.”

“I think the district is pleased with the decision,” Stacy said.

In his suit, Greene said the reasons and documents supplied by the district for his termination were “a sham” and the true reasons were covered up.

The suit sought $5.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages from Milton, Clark and Mayes individually and from the district, alleging Greene was deprived of due process and equal protection and that the actions against him constituted “malice and evil intent.”

Greene was hired as superintendent in April 2013 with a threeyear contract at an annual salary of $146,000.

He was appointed over Jennifer Wilson, who was interim superintendent at the time and is now superintendent. Greene’s contract was extended in 2014 to go through June 2017, then again in January 2015 to go through June 2018, based on performance evaluations.

Greene’s lawsuit claimed the shift in power at the school board was put in motion by Mayor Carolyn McAdams’ appointment of Mayes and Clark in late 2015, and that resulted in his unfair termination at a specially called board meeting.

A 31 vote terminated his employment immediately. George Ellis Jr., who remains on the board and was not named in Greene’s lawsuit, cast the lone dissenting vote.


Information from: The Greenwood Commonwealth, https://www.gwcommonwealth.com

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