Motion to dismiss Gagnon lawsuit to be decided in January
BRADENTON -- A hearing for the amended lawsuit filed by former Manatee County School Board employee Bob Gagnon and his wife, Melissa, against the school board will go before a judge in January.
After a judge partially dismissed the lawsuit filed by Gagnon and his wife, the couple has filed an amended complaint, claiming a breach of contract.
The hearing comes after the Gagnons amended the lawsuit after judge struck down part of it saying it did not meet certain conditions. The July ruling allowed the suit to be refiled.
In the refiled complaint, the five-count lawsuit includes claims of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, interference with contractual relationship, breach of contract and loss of consortium.
The case arises from Gagnon's dismissal by the Manatee County School District during the Roderick Frazier child abuse case.
Lawyers for the board have filed a motion to dismiss the suit, which will be heard at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 28 by Circuit Court Judge John Lakin, who made the ruling on the lawsuit initiation.
The Gagnons filed the defamation case against the school board and individually against then-Superintendent Rick Mills; Troy Pumphrey, district investigator at the time; former school board member Julie Aranibar; and school board member Karen Carpenter.
Gagnon was acquitted in criminal court on charges related to the Frazier case. Gagnon was also cleared by an administrative judge, who said the district failed to show enough evidence Gagnon violated any law, rule or board policy.
The board has since reimbursed Gagnon for back pay and legal fees, but he has not been rehired. Gagnon's wife is an assistant principal at Braden River High School.
Mills retired early, leaving his contract as superintendent and was replaced by Diana Greene, who formerly served as deputy superintendent of instruction.
Aranibar lost her seat on the school board in the November 2014 election to Mary Cantrell.
Pumphrey was placed on administrative leave in January after allegations he lied on his resume when applying to work in the district. His one-year contract with the district was not renewed.
Pumphrey has filed his own lawsuit against the board and individually against board member Dave Miner.
In his suit, Pumphrey claims he was denied a promotion even though he was qualified, has been discriminated against because he is black and his reputation has been irreparably damaged.
The district has also filed to dismiss Pumphrey's lawsuit, which was moved to federal court.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter@MeghinDelaney.