Commonwealth Journal

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January 18, 2013

Employees file suit against Pulaski schools


Somerset —

Napier and Vanhook testified at the hearing on behalf of Price, and Conley, who was interviewed by the Office of Education Accountability, was subpoenaed but did not testify. 
“In all, 16 employees of the Pulaski County Board of Education were either subpoenaed or testified at the tribunal hearing on behalf of Dan Price,” reads the suit, which then goes on to name the employees and how they were transferred to other positions or did not have their employment contracts renewed with the school system. 
That includes the plaintiffs: Conley was the bookkeeper at Pulaski Central, but was transferred to the food service department; Vanhook was transferred from Pulaski Central to Southwestern; and Napier — Price’s brother-in-law — did not have his contract renewed, all according to the suit.
“The plaintiffs were discriminated against in that they have either been transferred or terminated, their pay has been reduced and they have experienced a hostile work environment due to politics,” according to the suit, which calls for a trial by jury on all issues that are triable, compensatory damages against the defendants in both an individual and official capacities “in an amount in excess of the jurisdictional limits of this Court,” and punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
The attorney for the plaintiffs is listed as Daniel G. Yeast, of Morgan, Brashear. Collins & Yeast, PLLC.
Larry Bryson is the attorney for the Pulaski County Board of Education. On Friday, Bryson’s office filed separate answers for both Butcher and the board members.
The answer for Butcher lists 10 different items of defense, including that the “Plaintiffs have failed to allege facts which would authorize an award of punitive damages,” and that “Conley and Vanhook remain employed with the Pulaski County Schools and any loss by them was less than the jurisdictional limits of this Court. ... Conley and Vanhook have no statutory right to employment at any particular school in Pulaski County,” and “Napier did not have tenure in the Pulaski County Schools and failed to make a request of the Superintendent for written reasons,” pursuant to Kentucky law.

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