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.
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.