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Bibb school board wants $7 million in damages from Dallemand | News

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Bibb school board wants $7 million in damages from Dallemand
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The Bibb County school board and their last superintendent are each accusing the other of fraud and demanding millions of dollars in damages.

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The case could be headed to a trial before an arbitrator, who'll decide if either party violated their contract or severance deal.

The school board on Friday said it wants former Superintendent Romain Dallemand to pay more than $7.3 million that they said he owes them.

It's the district's response to Dallemand's January filing with the American Arbitration Association.

He asked the system for $10 million in damages, claiming they violated their severance agreement and committed "libel and slander" against him.

This comes two years after Dallemand left, in February 2013.

A February 2014 audit showed the former superintendent improperly approved more than $50 million in contracts.

In his arbitration filing, Dallemand called those audit findings "specious, false and fictive."

In the document filed Friday, the Bibb County Board of Education and district are seeking Dallemand's severance of $350,000, his pension, legal fees and funds for purchases made without the board's approval.

They're asking Dallemand to personally repay around $7 million in payments wired to two companies.

The school board claims the payments were not authorized and the district can't use many of the items purchased.

Dallemand's filing cites paragraph 6 of his severance agreement. He says it releases him from "all claims, known or unknown." That agreement also says board members and Dallemand "will not make any statement of any kind, whether verbally or in written form, or otherwise take any action, that may reasonably be considered to disparage of impugn the other's work and/or reputation."

Bibb wants $3,247,200 for technology allegedly ordered by the former superintendent from Pinnacle/CSG without approval. In the filing with the American Arbitration Association, the system says he bought various teacher pay tracking systems and an accounting system from the company, plus 80 hours of training and a license fee.

The more than $3 million was wired to the company on Dec. 19, 2012. The school board states it didn't receive all of the items procured, and "the items it has received are of no use to the District." It did not go into further detail.

Two days later, on Dec. 21, 2012, the Bibb school system allegedly wired $3,768,000 to CompTech Computer Technologies, Inc for virtual desktops without board approval or following the district's bidding process. About 200 of the 15,000 units purchased are in use. The rest "remain in their boxes in a warehouse and are of no use to the District," the document states.

The school board approved Dallemand's contract in December. A month later, on Jan. 17, 2013, the superintendent informed the board he couldn't work with them and wanted a buyout.

After negotiations, and a 7 to 1 vote, the board agreed to buy out his contract. Board member Lester Miller voted no.

Dallemand's last day as Bibb superintendent was Feb. 25, 2013.

Critics said Dallemand should have been fired, and not given the $350,000 severance, plus pension, and February salary payment. The deal included health insurance premiums for he and his family for another year unless he found new employment.

Their filing claims the board would not have bought out Dallemand's contact and paid severance if the district knew about the Pinnacle/CSG and CompTech purchases. The filing calls that "fraud" on Dallemand's part.

The school board said "Dr. Dallemand acted with the specific intent to cause harm to the Board of Education and the District."


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