BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Two former administrators who were fired from the Buffalo Public School District are now firing back, and plan to sue the school board.
Yamilette Williams and Faith Morrison Alexander were terminated because they were not certified for their jobs. Now they want $3 million-each, and factoring in possible punitive damages, which the two former administrators are seeking, the attorney representing the pair says the litigation could top $60 million.
“They will never be able to work again in the field,” and that is the bottom line, says attorney Raymond Kot of the lawsuits he plans to file on behalf of Williams and Morrison Alexander.
Kot says the humiliation and notoriety of being fired by the school board will make it nearly impossible for them to ever get a job in their chosen field, “because professionally, their reputations as school administrators are ruined. With a competitive job market, they are certainly unemployable in the field of school administration.”
The notices of claim Kot has filed, set the stage for lawsuits naming members of the Buffalo school board, individually and personally; Superintendent Pamela Brown; and certain school employees, as defendants.
Kot takes particular aim at board member Carl Paladino, who blames Superintendent Brown and her supporters for hiring candidates unqualified for the positions – an issue Paladino says he has raised.
“She knew immediately that they were not licensed. Nevertheless, she carelessly, recklessly, and intentionally allowed them to be put into these positions, and allowed them to play this silly game that they played,” he said.
Sam Radford, president of the District Parent Coordinating Council is baffled, telling News 4 the school district already has administrators with the needed qualifications.
“Here is a credential that costs you about $20,000 to $25,000 to get that credential,” but Radford says, the school board passed over the administrators with the needed qualifications, to hire Williams and Morrison Alexander.
Radford is not taking sides in the dispute, but says, “It questions the leadership that made these decisions, it questions the board who approved these decisions. Now we potentially might have to pay people who never had the credentials in the first place.”
Kot plans to file the lawsuits in Georgia and Florida, where Williams and Morrison-Alexander are re-locating, because he says, juries in those states might be more generous.
Buffalo school officials are not commenting, yet. The board’s spokesperson says the board has not received its formal notification.