Ex-schools worker sues - East Valley Tribune: Phoenix & The Valley Of The Sun

Ex-schools worker sues

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Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2005 5:38 am | Updated: 7:14 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A Scottsdale Unified School District administrator who resigned this spring has sued her former employer and Superintendent John Baracy for wrongful termination and fraud.

Kim Cumby, the former executive director of human resources, was hired in 2000 by then-Superintendent Barbara Erwin. In 2003, Cumby was involved with the highprofile investigation of Sequoya Elementary School principal Maureen Booth, who resigned amid allegations that she changed test scores to help teachers qualify for bonus pay.

Cumby claims her connection with Erwin, as well as her role in the Booth investigation, made her a target of three governing board members, including president Christine Schild — who she claims pressured Baracy to fire her.

According to the complaint filed last week in Maricopa County Superior Court, Baracy told Cumby in January that things were "ugly because of the Board President’s intent on getting rid of her."

The complaint alleges that Baracy told Cumby that an organizational change would require all administrator renewals to be approved by the board, and that he would not be able to get the three votes to renew her contract.

Based on those statements, the complaint said, Cumby figured she would not get a contract renewal, so she resigned in February effective June 30 at the end of the fiscal year.

Cumby’s complaint states that after she resigned, she discovered administrator contracts were not being submitted to the board for renewal, so she rescinded her resignation on June 20. But the complaint says Baracy denied the request.

Cumby is now asking for a jury trial to determine charges of wrongful termination, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and her right to due process.

She also charges that her right to free speech was violated because she faced retaliation from board members after discussing legal fees in the Booth case with the public.

Schild would not comment on the complaint, saying only that Cumby was not fired, but voluntarily resigned. Baracy said the lawsuit has no basis and declined further comment.

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