Monday, August 10, 2015

Code of Silence for Reverend Stallworth?

A former Jackson Public School District executive filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in U.S. District Court against her former employer last Friday. She alleges she was fired because it was thought that she leaked the plans to hire Reverend Jeffery Stallworth as a JPS Ombudsman to the news media. She also seeks an injunction against the district to prevent her termination as she claims only the school board has the right to fire her. Ms. Dorsey was the Executive Director of Human Resources at the district.

Dr. Gray renewed her contract on May 20 for the 2015-2016 school year at a salary of $92,900. He terminated her nine days later allegedly in front of Deputy Superintendent Lorene Essex, Joanne Shepherd (JPS attorney), and Gerald Jones (Chief of Security. Uh-oh.). He gave her a letter that stated he "lost confidence" in her as a member of his team:

The complaint claims that Dr. Gray told Mr. Jones to escort her from the premises after she got her personal belongings.   The complaint than turns its attention to Reverend Stallworth.  Ms. Dorsey alleges that Ms. Shephard "was intimately involved in efforts to bring Stallworth to JPSD to work as an ombudsman, a position that had been vacant for approximately 20 years."  Ms. Dorsey claims that Shepard told her to post the job notice for only three days but 38 people applied for the position.  Ms. Shephard allegedly sent her an email a week later recommending she hire Stallworth at an annual salary of $55,000.  She also alleges that Dr. Gray signed the recommendation form in the email.

WLBT reported on May 27 that the district was going to hire Reverend Stallworth as an ombudsman.   Ms. Dorsey accuses Ms. Shepard and Dr. Gray of hatching

a plan to cover-up Dr. Cedrick Gray's plan to recommend Stallworth for the position.  Upon information and belief, on May 28, 2015, Joanne Shephard attempted to delete from the NOVUS system Dr. Cedrick Gray's recommendation of Stallworth, which she had instructed Carol Dorsey to add on May 27, 2015. 

Ms. Dorsey claims Dr. Gray and his staff never asked her if she spoke to the media nor did he question the media to learn how they learned about Stallworth's supposed hiring (as if the media would reveal the source.).   Mrs. Dorsey seeks damages, reinstatement (as she was illegally fired), and punitive damages.  She also asks the court to declare that only the school board has the right to terminate her employment at JPS.


Anonymous said...

Who cares? It should all be public information. We just don't need anymore administration at JPS. If she was Executive Director of HR, how many sub-directors are there? How many employees for that matter. Each school has a Principal, School Secretary, ???Housekeeping Employees, and X number of teachers and teaching assistants. How many people are employeed at headquarters? I know they have a whole bunch of engineering and maintenance personnel who I believe are responsible for all lawns and playgrounds in addition to parking lots and buildings.

Anonymous said...

Is the same Rev. Jeffery A. Stallworth? Mississippi pastor again seeks to not be required to register as sex offender

I guess I could understand why JPS might want to hire confidentially in some circumstances.

She'll Win It Too said...

Based on the information presented here (and nothing else to go on),I'd say she has a good case.

Note To The File said...

This lawsuit aside, Human Resources should be the districts Ombudsman to the if one is needed. A prior sex offender, airport director and preacher, in most all cases, will not have the knowledge base from which to know what should be said to the media, when and under what circumstances. That's an HR function. Sounds like just another GIMMEE job being awarded to somebody's buddy.

Anonymous said...

JPS has a ton of money, gets boatloads of grants, and massive church support. Why can't this district be like Madison? One word: cronyism

Anonymous said...

It's common knowledge that Ms. Shephard attends Stallworth's church and was doing all should could to get her pastor friend the job. Sounds fishy.

If the part about trying to doctor the computer records is true, then Shepard needs to be fired, period. And, somebody needs to determine the extent of the superintendents participation in this scheme. Somebody besides the lawyers or other consultants beholden to JPS legal ought to be doing the investigation. just saying.

Anonymous said...

Do I understand correctly that the filing alleges that it was after the late addition of the item to hire Stallworth to the JPS board agenda that the media began asking questions?

They aren't the sharpest people anyway apparently but if this is actually true then these folks hiring moar like them won't git-r-dun.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure that there is not an Ombudsman at JA or Prep. Hire someone that can actually teach instead.

Anny said...

Why on earth would any school district allow anyone with any of kind of sexual criminal background to work for them?! Disgusting.

Who Knows Who said...

7:27: Ask the woman who spilled the beans to tell you Stallworth listed as references on his application and you will have your answer.

Anonymous said...

Stallworth reminds me of the ugly woman with a HUGE black mole on her check.. and Stallworth is the mole!

Anonymous said...

Somebody enlighten me.

1. Did Stallworth really get hired?

2. @6:06am who the hell were his references

If you hire Stallworth, who's gonna be hired to watch him?

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