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Board of Education pays $175,000 in court settlement

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Chilton County Board of Education has paid $175,000 in the settlement agreement of a civil suit brought against it by Allison Smith, according to court documents filed on Jan. 7.

The settlement was paid with the school system’s local tax funds.

Smith had filed the suit alleging negligence in training, retaliation and violating the fair and equal pay laws in August 2017.

Smith was also rehired but in a new position as the personnel director as a part of the settlement.

Board members named in the suit were Lori Patterson, Linda Hand, Joe Mims, Keith Moore, Pam Price, James Shannon and Curtis Smith.

Hand, Mims, Curtis Smith and Shannon no longer serve on the board, having chosen not to run for re-election.

Other issues named in the case were against the superintendent at the time Tommy Glasscock, including sex discrimination, invasion of privacy and sexual harassment.

A charge of discrimination had initially been filed on Aug. 15, 2017. The charge outlined how Smith was asked to take on more job responsibilities without additional compensation and inappropriate comments by Glasscock of a sexual nature.

On Jan. 6, 2020, Glasscock’s lawyer Clay R. Carr of Boardman, Carr, Petelos, Watkins, and Ogle, P.C. filed for a motion for summary judgment. The document asks for “ a summary judgment in the Defendant’s favor for all claims” and lists several reasons. It stated there were “no genuine issues of material fact and the Defendant is entitled to a judgment in his favor as a matter of law.”

According to the motion, “The Plaintiff’s testimony, viewed in the light most favorable to her, does not establish the tort of invasion of privacy … The Plaintiff’s testimony does not establish actionable assault or battery under Alabama law.”

Smith’s attorney Sonya Edwards has been ordered to file a response to the motion for summary judgment by Jan. 28

“The Defendant may file a reply on or before February 4, 2020. Should the Court determine that oral argument is necessary, the Court will schedule argument by order. Any documents or evidence filed after this date will not be considered by the court except in exceptional circumstances,” the order states.