In a press release, Dallas attorney Victoria Neave announced she will replace Jason Smith as Joe Palazzolo’s attorney in his whistle blower case against the Fort Worth School district. The judge in the case approved the substitution of counsel in a court order signed earlier this month. Neave plans to reschedule the trial soon, the release said.
“After almost four years of dealing with this matter, I am anxious to clear my name and allow a jury to decide this matter,” Palazzolo said in the release. “I am standing up to the school district not only for my family and me, but for all FWISD employees.”
His former attorney Jason Smith could not be reached for comment.
The saga of Palazzolo started in 2010, when he went to administrators with teacher complaints about attendance fraud, disparate treatment of minority students, misappropriation of funds, and the inappropriate behavior of some faculty members. Based on the information Palazzolo produced, three administrators and one coach at Heights were pressured into retiring or resigning. Palazzolo was the only person fired.
He has been demoted, transferred twice, put on administrative leave, then fired, reinstated, fired again, and since then has been in and out of court rooms and hearing rooms.
In June, the district settled with Palazzolo, pending board approval. The board wouldn’t approve of a deal unless the former assistant principal agreed to a clause that prevented him from “being around children.”
Attorneys for the district claimed Smith agreed to the clause, though he denied it to Fort Worth Weekly.