Whistleblower Settles for $135K

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Posted June 14, 2012 by Betty Brink in Blotch

Aracely  Chavez, the whistleblower fired by the Fort Worth schools three years ago will receive $135,000 in “damages and attorney’s fees,” according to an email sent to board members from the district’s communication director, Barbara Griffith.  (See Blotch 6-13.) Chavez will also be reinstated to a position in Human Capital Management, Griffith wrote. Her salary will be at or near the salary she was making when she was fired, around $90,000, according to others close to the case. “The settlement is without any admission of wrongdoing or fault” on the part of the administration. It “is merely to settle the lawsuit,” Griffith wrote.

In an email statement, Chavez wrote: “I’m glad to have this resolved and look forward to serving FWISD again. The fact that the new administration is bringing me back demonstrates a commitment to integrity in handling of taxpayer dollars that was lacking in the previous superintendent Melody Johnson.  As the payroll whistleblower I was kicked out of the district for reporting this.  I am thankful that [superintendent Walter] Dansby has corrected the  situation.  I had been promoted three times during my 9 year period with the district. I saw my struggle as a struggle for employee rights.  I worked hard and picked up the pieces during my three year legal struggle.  I have always felt that the public has a right to know the truth.”

This is the second hefty lawsuit settlement to hit the district and the administration of Superintendent Walter Dansby in the past few months. Recently, Raul Duran, a source in this week’s Metropolis story about his and two other employees’ controversial firings, settled his first whistleblower grievance against the district for $250,000. He was not reinstated, however.

Both cases have been in progress for three years or more costing the district hundreds of thousands of dollars in outside attorneys’ fees. In an earlier interview, Dansby said one of his priorities after he was named superintendent last year was to get the whistleblower cases settled “fairly to everyone.” He is now  two down and one to go.

 


One Comment


  1.  
    Purveyor of truth

    Well good for her! I hope she knows that she will be watched like a hawk! Then again, maybe not, considering she wrote that cheesy “let me sing Dansby’s praise” statement for the paper. I don’t want to say it but, it sounds a little like you sold out sister. I also hope you aren’t counting on making any new friends in HCM. I know some of those peeps and they are not going to like someone coming in and making a lot more money than they are, especially when you used to be a whistleblower against the district and now all of a sudden, you are singing their praise! Word to the wise Aracely, HCM is a straight up department and they don’t like drama, so watch your p’s and q’s! MJ wasn’t your only problem; all of the same players are still there!!! But good luck anyway. And by the way, I thought Vasquez was your buddy! What happened with him abstaining from hiring you back? Things that make you go, hmmmm!





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