Former school employee wins $100K settlementBy Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | May 06,2013Sharon Stearns is getting $100,000 and an apology in the settlement of her lawsuit against the Addison Central Supervisory Union.
Stearns, who lives in Brandon and was business manager at the district for nine years, had sued her former employer in Rutland civil court for breach of contract, retaliation and bad faith conduct. The district includes Bridport, Cornwall, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham, Weybridge and Middlebury.
According to a release put out by her attorneys, Stearns was placed on administrative leave after questioning the practices of then-superintendent Lee Sease.
“The apology was highly important to her,” attorney Norman Watts said Thursday. “They ran her through a nightmarish mill before she left.”
Stearns went to the union school board in late 2010, according to the settlement, with concerns about Sease not mailing annual reports according to the law and not properly paying overtime to hourly staff. Sease placed Stearns on administrative leave, according to her lawyers.
A letter written as part of the settlement and signed by Superintendent Gail Conley says the board chose not to renew Sease’s contract and invited Stearns to return to work, but Stearns resigned her position.
“On behalf of the board of ACSU, I can relate that there are substantial regrets about the previous Superintendent’s leadership void in our ACSU central office during Sharon’s tenure,” Conley wrote. “This leadership void created a negative impact on the central office personnel including Sharon.”
Watts said Stearns has recently completed a master’s degree in public accounting and is about to start a new career as a CPA.
Watts said the settlement was reached after a mediation session that ran until 10:30 p.m. and the letter from Conley was a key part of the agreement.
“That side of it, vindication for her blowing the whistle on inappropriate and possibly illegal activities, that’s important to her,” Watts said.
Conley did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Thursday.
@rutlandherald.comMORE IN This Just InINDIANAPOLIS — Hundreds of people, some carrying signs reading “no hate in our state,” gathered... Full StorySHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Yemen’s embattled president on Saturday called Shiite rebels who forced... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.