The wrongful termination trial of Joe Palazzolo is set to start later this month in Decatur, but that’s not the only score the former assistant principal at Arlington Heights wants to settle with the Fort Worth school district. This morning, his attorney Victoria Neave filed an additional lawsuit against district Superintendent Walter Dansby for defamation and violating the Texas Open Meetings Act. The basis of the lawsuit stems from leaked audio of the school board’s executive session meeting in which the trustees discussed whether or not to settle the lawsuit with Palazzolo. The meeting was posted on the district’s website where it sat for almost three days until it was taken down. School board trustee Ann Sutherland told Fort Worth Weekly that parts of the discussion are missing.

In the new suit, Neave writes: “The case is about defendant Dansby’s blatant disregard for the protections of the Texas Open Meetings Act and the public disclosure of defamatory statements made by defendant Dansby and members of the Board of Trustees of Fort Worth Independent School District’s (“FWISD”) about Mr. Joseph Palazzolo, an exemplary educator who was wrongfully terminated and is the plaintiff in a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit which is currently pending against FWISD.

“Defendant Dansby ordered microphones to be placed in a closed session of the FWISD board meeting, which recorded horrific defamatory statements and publicly broadcast them for the whole world to hear via the world wide web,” the petition says.


During the recorded meeting, Dansby said that he’d “rather the district lose in court” than be responsible for Palazzolo being around children. There was never any allegation made public or shared with Palazzolo about any substantive misconduct with students.

For damages, the petition says, the “plaintiff would show as a result of the disclosure and defamatory statements, he has suffered damages in the past and future including, lost wages, pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life.”

Two stories by the Weekly are mentioned in the petition for discussing the details of the leaked audio and damaging Palazzolo’s reputation. The stories in question are here and here.


  1. It never ends… if you did not get to hear the stuff.. follow the link to the videos.. you have to up the volume and listen closely. So they put microphones when they have never done. Then suddenly the video gets put up automatically regardless if they want to edit or the like. Never heard of a service like that. They never not have technicians when microphones are need so that they can control when is proper to have them. More lies, more cover up. The audio is in three parts.

    • I think that Jason Smith was behind this deal too, because I remember hearing he was pressuring Palazzolo to settle at the trial and after the audio snafu. Shame on you Smith for putting your greed over getting a man’s life back to normal after fighting for almost 4 years. God sent Victoria to Palazzolo it seems, just in time. It’s okay I suppose it took this long, because now the case against the district and Dansby has gotten bigger and beefier! We are in Texas after all. Hold on to your calf fries Dansby, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

  2. Bravo Eric Griffey!!! I love to see that the “retaliation gift that keeps on giving” (for almost 4 yrs), toward Palazzolo from FWISD, is now finally being reciprocated! The BIGGEST mistake that FWISD EVER made was to think that Joe P. was just like every other disgruntled ex-employee, who caved in for settlement $, b/c they were probably bullied to do so…or were they…wink, wink!? I think Smith, Joe’s former attorney of record, underestimated Joe and so did the rest of the Board of Trustees, namely Judy Needham, as well as Walter Dansby, to think that Joe would either “die or get tired of fighting and give up”! HaHa (insert evil laugh)! All of you have been sadly mistaken, because what you didn’t count on was that Joe is not your average…well…uh “Joe”! This man has taught me and countless others about truth, honor and justice, more in these past 4 yrs that I have known him, than anyone has dared to teach me in my lifetime!!! He wasn’t, and still isn’t, your average “kiss-ass” like the ones that FWISD has fostered, and continues to foster, for years! He has seen wrong being committed, not just at AHHS, but other schools he has known; he stood up for teachers and kids then, like he continues to do so now! Yes, Dansby, he “stands up” for kids, not HURTS them, like you alluded he has in your botched up audio scam! I remember listening to that audio, getting sicker by the moment how you mostly, in your usual cocky tone, insinuated that Joe posed a threat as an educator!? Is this the bullshit crap you and your “bro’s and hoe’s” have been feeding everyone as a last ditch effort to get Joe to surrender? OMG man, you fueled Joe’s fire even more!!! You obviously missed or slept through “Evil lies 101”, because you F’d up thinking that Joe was going to lay down for that allegation too! Don’t get me wrong; you almost had him with your bogus offer during the last trial and he felt at times like that was the best it was going to get. However, his family and friends had to remind him that “something smelled rotten in Decatur-Denmark”! Do you wonder where Joe gets his tenacity to keep going to expose you and the other yahoos for all the heartache that you have caused him and his family? He gets his strength from a place you will never know, because it lays between truth and honesty, perched above God, family and country! This time, with his REAL attorney, he will not be waiting 4 yrs again to move ever so slowly toward gaining, yet again, justice to clear his family name! Dare I ask the few good Trustees on the board: Isn’t it time to dethrone Dansby, Needham, Sims, Jackson and Moss, for costing the district close to a million dollars in legal fees, and lots more after this suit is finished, out of taxpayer monies that should go to educate our kids? Enough is enough! Throw your gauntlet(s) down!

  3. As he explains in the audio how Palazzolo will be set up, Dansby can also be heard saying: “We’ve done this before.”

  4. This is just so crazy and it keeps getting crazier by the minute. People who don’t know about the in’s and out’s of this case are clueless about the lengths that this district has gone, to try to extinguish one single person, simply because he wanted to help people!!! The things you hear in the audio are shameless and filled with many untruths about Joe. If the recording of the audio was ordered or not…leaked on purpose or not…uploaded intentionally on Youtube or not…it still kicked a man, his family and friends, in the gut! This mess could’ve ended the same year it started, but noooo, Needham got her panties in a wad, because AHHS looked bad and it is in her district! Paybacks started to brew; departments dismantled, people demoted and fired, monies given, jobs created and promotions promised…all for the sake of retaliation. “You scratch my back and I will scratch yours”! The sad part about all this is that there are many more people who suffer from retaliation in this district. Many more corrupted individuals running our schools and making bad decisions from our central office. This is commonplace in so many districts not just FWISD. At the end of the day, it is the kids who suffer from the drama. If the district didn’t have to pay so much in legal fees, it would have enough money to do more to upgrade classrooms, technology, school yards, teacher incentives and so on. Instead, the district powers give themselves raises and falsely promise raises to its employees that never manifested. All I have to say is that Karma continues to be a bitch, as long as this district keeps covering up one lie for another. I SO wish I could attend the Palazzolo trial to see and hear how the district is going to try to get out of it…again! Good luck Mr. Palazzolo and thank you for doing what many of us wish we had the courage to do, which is to slay the big dragon of corruption!

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