Matteson SD 159 board member suing district for $132k
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org September 28, 2012 3:01PM
Updated: September 28, 2012 5:41PM
A Matteson School District 159 board member once employed by the district is suing it for $132,000, claiming the district violated her contract when she was fired in 2008.
Board member Demetria Brown, who was elected to the board in April 2009, filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on Sept. 5. She is representing herself.
Brown was the assistant business manager for the district from November 2007 through October 15, 2008, according to the lawsuit. She was fired after taking four vacation days in October 2008 that former District 159 Supt. Ronald Wynn approved, according to the lawsuit.
Before going on vacation, Brown served as a juror in a civil trial from Sept. 15 through Oct. 7, the lawsuit said. Upon finishing her jury duty, Brown’s supervisor told her that her previously approved vacation was denied due to work that had accumulated while she served as a juror, according to the lawsuit.
Brown, who made almost $60,000 per year in her former job, told her supervisor that her vacation already was paid for and the district needed to reimburse her for the costs if she were to miss it, according to the lawsuit. The board denied her request, she went on vacation, and the board fired her while she was gone.
Brown claims she was eligible for another 11 months of work when she was fired because she had complied with the terms of her contract, according to the lawsuit.
Brown is seeking an additional year’s worth of pay and benefits among other requests, according to the lawsuit.
Brown could not be reached for comment early Friday afternoon.
Board President Elliott Johnson said there was a “lack of ethics” on Brown’s part in filing the lawsuit.
“You take an oath to represent the community, and now you want to sue the community,” Johnson said. “The taxpayers are the ones that have to pay for it. It doesn’t make sense to me.”