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Sexual harassment and employment discrimination both alleged

The former chief financial officer of the St. Joseph School District has recently filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the district in Buchanan County Circuit Court. The school district's attorney filed his response to the lawsuit, denying almost all of the allegations.

The former financial officer claims in his petition that on his second day on the job, he discovered improprieties within the school's financial records. Some of his discoveries included $375,000 in what he characterized as "illegal salary increases" for some administrative employees of the district, as well as other unauthorized spending. Although he confronted both the human resources director and the superintendent about his findings, according to the fired former CFO, nothing was ever done to correct or address the issues.

According to court documents, the human resources director, superintendent and a member of the St. Joseph School Board then concocted sexual harassment complaints and allegations of a hostile working environment against the plaintiff.

In their response, the school district claim to have gotten reports of the aforementioned complaints against the CFO on March 27. They also allege they were informed of "improper communication regarding other employees' real or perceived sexual orientation." An August hearing is scheduled for the lawsuit.

The former CFO alleges that the complaints and allegations against him were fabricated in order to discredit him and give district officials an excuse to suspend him, which they did by placing him on administrative leave on March 28. He also contends that he was offered money to tender his resignation and not disclose his findings regarding the alleged "illegal and inappropriate stipends" paid out to certain administrators.

Situations like the one in the St. Joseph district often boil down to credibility issues for all parties. While most sexual harassment complaints and lawsuits are based on actual situations of inappropriate behavior in the workplace, it is also possible to manipulate the scenario in order to force someone out of their job and ruin their reputation.

Source: stjoechannedl.com, "SJSD Responds to Musser Lawsuit" No author given, Jun. 18, 2014

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