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Linden School Board settles lawsuit

Contributed Report

LINDEN-At their October meeting the Linden City Board of Education voted Monday to approve the settlement of a lawsuit filed against the Board and Superintendent Dr. Walter Davis by one of his employees, Jeffrey Scott Jones.

The lawsuit, which was filed June 14 in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, included claims of Jones failure to be selected as principal at Linden High School in 2003 and Linden Elementary School and George P. Austin Junior High School in 2004.

In his complaints Jones made claims ranging from racial discrimination to disability discrimination pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Board and Dr. Davis denied all liability arising from Jones claims. All of Jones claims except those concerning racial discrimination and retaliation were dismissed earlier in the proceedings.

As part of the settlement agreement Jones acknowledged neither the Board, its members, any member of nay interview committee, nor Davis discriminated against on the basis of race or otherwise. Jones further acknowledged the motivation for his filing of the lawsuit was based upon an alleged private agreement between Jones and a prior superintendent, whereby Jones was promised a future administrative position in connection with the hiring of a principal at Linden High School in 1998.

Trial was scheduled to begin in the case on Monday Oct. 17 in Selma. The Board decided to enter into the settlement in order to avoid the expense of trial along with the disruption of the school system during the trial and to avoid the uncertainty of litigation. The Board concluded that it was in the best interest of the system to enter in the settlement agreement.

Jones will remain in his current position as counselor at Linden High School.