The former Bibb County Schools CFO Ron Collier will be returning to work. Collier filed a whistleblower suit against the school district last December. He claimed he was removed from his position for refusing to misuse school funds.
The school board voted 6 to 2 to settle the suit after deliberating behind closed doors for 45 minutes. Board members Ella Carter and Tom Hudson opposed the settlement.
"The board has set a bad precedent by settling this case, because there were no grounds for it and no one is entitled to a position. When someone comes to work, they work at the pleasure of the superintendent. It's the superintendent's discretion whether to place them in another position if they so desire, and that was the premise of this case," explains Hudson.
According to the lawsuit, former Superintendent Romain Dallemand asked Collier to pay an invoice from the Central Georgia Partnership for the Individual and Community Development, or PICD.
It asks for a million-dollar contribution to the Macon Children's Promise Neighborhood project. Dallemand allegedly threatened to fire Collier if he didn't pay the money.
In October 2012, the school board entered a memorandum of understanding with the organization that sent the invoice, and the district's attorney then advised Collier to pay the $1 million. However, Collier was reassigned to solitary work in the district warehouse.
His suit asked that he be reinstated as CFO, damages for "mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment," and also attorney's fees and court costs. He will be paid $100,000 and will return to work on Monday.
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