MEDINA, Ohio, May 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Lawyers for Medina City Schools' Superintendent, Randolph S. Stepp, today filed a lawsuit against the school district's Board of Education and others in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Eastern Division). Among other things, the suit is based upon the Board of Education's unilateral rescission of Dr. Stepp's employment agreement which the Board unanimously approved in January and the damage that the Board and others have caused to Dr. Stepp's reputation and standing in the community.
Dr. Stepp has been a respected and sought-after educator for nearly 20 years, selflessly serving this community for more than 11 years. The Board of Education over the years has continually praised Dr. Stepp's work and took steps to ensure that he would remain at the helm of the Medina City Schools, which were flourishing under his watch.
Under Dr. Stepp's leadership, the Medina City School District has achieved tremendous educational and operational success, including: reducing non-personnel expenditures by almost $11 million; reducing per pupil operating costs by nearly $1,200; and reducing administrative costs to among the lowest in the state, all while maintaining an Excellent rating by the State of Ohio.
The Board of Education three times – in 2009, 2011 and again in 2013 – unanimously approved new agreements and amendments with Dr. Stepp with the full knowledge of the contract provisions, including retention incentives, reimbursement of past and current education expenses, and the potential for annual raises and merit-based performance bonuses.
Notwithstanding all of that, the Medina City Schools Board of Education recently, unilaterally and in violation of Dr. Stepp's constitutional rights, rescinded his employment agreement, an agreement the Board unanimously approved and entered into. The Board's rescission of the contract, as well as its disregard of the facts and its series of actions designed to redirect criticism and backlash away from it and toward Dr. Stepp is intolerable. The Board's actions led to the lawsuit being filed.
The lawsuit includes claims that Dr. Stepp's constitutional rights were infringed, that his employment contract was breached and that he was defamed. The lawsuit seeks damages for the Board of Education's breach of contract, as well as damages for the injury to Dr. Stepp's reputation and standing in the community, humiliation, mental anguish and suffering, as well as lost income and future earning capacity.
"I have put my heart and soul into serving the children and families of this district over the last 11 years and, by all accounts, I have been doing that job well," said Dr. Stepp. "Without question, this is absolutely the last thing I ever wanted to see happen – but I was left with no other choice."
Dr. Stepp will not comment further on any aspect of this situation while litigation is ongoing.
SOURCE Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLP