Former superintendent DiChiara files another lawsuit against school board

Former superintendent DiChiara files another lawsuit against school board

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - The legal dispute between former Phenix City Schools Superintendent Larry DiChiara and the board is heating up now that DiChiara has filed another lawsuit.

The first suit prompted the judge to order mediation between the two parties.

After no agreement was reached, DiChiara is now seeking in excess of $750,000 plus benefits as outlined in his contract which goes through May 31, 2018.

"They're not even paying what at first they admitted they owed me. So, therefore, we're kind of at a stalemate. We're just gonna hope that somebody with a higher authority than I've got will make them honor the contract," stated DiChiara during a phone interview with News Leader 9's Roslyn Giles.

DiChiara was unilaterally terminated by the board on November 26, 3013, with four years remaining on his employment contract.  The latest suit includes a copy of the board meeting indicating the unanimous decision to fire DiChiara.

"They could have honored the contract to start with," DiChiara said. "It was their decision to terminate it. They're the ones they are supposed to now do the right thing. It wasn't my decision to leave the district. It was theirs."

One point of contention between the two parties is notated in a letter by DiChiara addressed to the state superintendent. DiChiara claimed the board was involved in unethical practices. DiChiara told the board he would send the letter to Thomas Bice if they did not stop committing the alleged violations.

The board now has 30 days to respond to the suit. We reached out to board attorney Sidney Smith for a comment.  Her office staff said she is out of town.

Also, efforts to reach the seven board members were unsuccessful as well. Now both sides are waiting for the judge to set a court date.

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