The lawsuit filed by former Liberty County School System Chief Financial Officer, Roger Reese, against the school system and former Superintendent Dr. Valya S. Lee has been settled and closed.
A search of public records at the Liberty County clerk of courts office showed that a consent order was signed on Aug. 30, 2018 by Superior Court Judge Charles P. Rose and filed on Sept. 10.
The consent order stated that there was a three month period from between the time that Reese was placed on suspension and his termination. In that period Reese was not receiving Teacher Retirement System (TRS) contributions despite receiving all other benefits. The order stated that this disruption of contribution caused those months to be considered “not creditable service,” for the purpose of retirement eligibility in the TRS.
Under the consent order Reese will have that three month period reinstated as “creditable service,” in the TRS.
The order goes on to say, “With entry of this Order, Plaintiff’s complaint is dismissed with prejudice.”
Reese had filed the suit on April 11, 2017 against Lee and the LCSS, claiming they violated the Georgia Whistleblower Act and breached his contract. In the suit, Reese was looking to be reinstated as CFO, with full salary, lost wages and benefits. He claimed his firing was retaliatory for opposing Lee during the district’s search for a new bank, back in September 2016. He also claims he was underpaid.
The Liberty County School System confirmed the matter is now resolved.
“Our insurance company and the opposing parties have settled and the matter is closed,” LCSS Chief of Operations Jason Rogers said.
The settlement puts to rest a lawsuit that sent the LCSS into a downward spiral of controversy, infighting between board members, allegations of retaliations and impropriety and eventually into trouble with AdvancED, the national accrediting agency.