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Phyllis Edwards sues school board

She is demanding over a half million in dispute over her departure.
Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 1:29 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -Dothan’s former school superintendent demands in a lawsuit that she be paid over a half million dollars in wages and benefits. Doctor Phyllis Edwards claims the city’s school board wrongfully terminated her employment.

She filed the suit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

She claims the Dothan school board voted to accept her resignation in September though Edwards alleges she never resigned. A letter she wrote the the board stated she “intended” to resign.

After receiving the letter, the board voted to end her contract, effective immediately, with members apparently of the belief she had already departed.

Edwards claims, even if she had resigned, a clause called for her to remain on the job 120 days.

She also claims she was mistreated.

“The Plaintiff was frequently subject to actions and behavior by certain board members to undermine her authority and sabotage her ability to do her job,” the suit alleges.

During the pandemic, she worked remotely for months from her Florida home which sources say irritated some board members.

Edwards believe her performance was stellar.

“Despite the inherent challenges with running a school system, and the tremendous issues imposed on school systems due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Plaintiff was exemplary in her role as superintendent,” per the suit.

In January, she filed a complaint against the board claiming she had been illegally terminated and demanded $584,000 in wages and benefit payments as a precursor to filing a lawsuit.

Board Chairman Mike Schimitz said he learned of the lawsuit from WTVY and referred questions to the board’s attorney, Kevin Walding, who said he had not seen the suit.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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