If the Fort Worth school board thought it was getting rid of the Joe Palazzolo case last week when it voted to pay the former administrator and whistleblower — without his knowledge or input— a year’s back pay as a settlement of his appeal of his firing, it was dead wrong.
Yesterday, Feb. 23, Palazzolo filed another grievance against the district protesting the board’s action stating, in part, “The Board never indicated I was terminated. Some have suggested this vote may have resulted in the end of my employment with FWISD. To the extent FWISD has ended my employment, I am appealing because such termination is in retaliation for my whistleblower activity. I hope my employment has not ended, but I am filing this in an abundance of caution.”
Palazzolo was fired more than a year ago following his exposure of malfeasance by administrators at Arlington Heights High School where he had worked as an assistant principal for two years. The allegations were proven to be valid. Still Palazzolo, who was not charged with any wrongdoing at the school, was fired. He only reported what he had seen and other teachers had charged in affidavits. He was reinstated and put back on the payroll with full back pay and benefits under the orders of Commissioner of Education Robert Scott who upheld his appeal, ordering that he either be reinstated or that the board order a new hearing and pay him a year’s salary.
Because the board initially opted for reinstatement and failed to order a new hearing, Palazzolo, according to the grievance, said that that the board’s latest action is unclear as to his employment status, therefore: “To the extent I have been terminated, I seek reinstatement, back pay, damages, fees and expenses. I would like to be placed back in active employment as a Secondary School Administrator, involved in the daily education of students.”