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At last night’s Fort Worth school board meeting, Aracely Chavez, the former financial department employee who blew the whistle on the failed Tyler Industries payroll computer program that overpaid 2,000 employees (some long gone from the district) more than $1.5 million in 2009 and got canned for it, settled her three-year-old whistle-blower lawsuit against the district for an undisclosed sum, including lawyer’s fees.

The district’s legal head, Bertha Whatley, told Fort Worth Weekly she would release the settlement agreement to this paper in two weeks.

Along with the financial settlement, Chavez will be reinstated as a district employee at or near her old salary that was around $90,000. Her job description is yet unknown.  In 2007, Chavez was a financial expert with the district who, along with a few other hand-picked employees, was given an assignment within a specially-created sub-division set up by then superintendent Melody Johnson to make sure the new multi-million dollar payroll system purchased from Tyler that year was seamlessly implemented. (Tyler also sold Johnson another doomed software program, Connects. The district paid more than $6 million for the two. Connects is currently being phased out.)

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1 COMMENT

  1. Congratulation to Aracely. Now it is time for the board to hold another hearing of the Palazzolo case to settle and rehire Joe. It is foolish for trustees and administrators to continue to deny they fired Palazzolo at the February board meeting with mounting legalfees. It is time for Judy Needham to recuse herself. Betty is correct. Joe and Aracely are to be commended for their determination to see the culture of reprisal ended for employees and students at FWISD. Authoritarian rule no longer serves this school district. Hold a hearing, reinstate him, and get to mediation in good faith.

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