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13WMAZ's Attorney Reviews Dallemand's Contract Options | Schools

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13WMAZ's Attorney Reviews Dallemand's Contract Options
Schools

Two Bibb County school board members told 13WMAZ that Superintendent Romain Dallemand has invited the board to make him an offer to buy out his contract.

13WMAZ's attorney Ed Sell reviewed the superintendent's contract and says Dallemand could propose any amount of severence in a buyout deal as long as the board agrees.

If the school board decided to act on their own, Sell says the contract gives them the choice to remove him with or without cause.

"With cause" would cover offenses like neglecting his duties or immorality. That would require a hearing where the board could present evidence for their claims and the superintendent would have the opportunity to defend himself. 

Sell says, even if the school board decided to remove Dallemand for a cause, the superintendent would receive a full year's salary, which is $198,000. He would also get a year's worth of benefits like health, dental, and vision insurance.

If the board chose to terminate the contract without cause, Sell says they would not have to give a reason, and it would only take a majority vote to remove him.

Sell says that route may be easier for the board, but it would cost them.

Dallemand would receive a full year's salary and benefits plus $70,000 for each year of service.

School board officials told 13WMAZ they're still trying to schedule a school board meeting next week, but would not confirm if they will be discussing Dallemand's contract.

Meanwhile, Dallemand faces a legal challenge next week from a Lizella man who says the superintendent's contract is illegal and should be thrown out.

The school board extended a contract offer to Dallemand December third, and he accepted days later.

A suit filed by Brad DeFore, a long-time Bibb county resident, claims the offer the board voted on doesn't match the contract Dallemand signed, according to the minutes from the December third meeting.

For example, DeFore says those minutes don't include the paragraph that gives Dallemand a year's salary if the board ends the contract with cause. The suit argues those discrepancies make the contract void.

Sell told 13WMAZ that receiving money under the "with cause" circumstances "is a little unusual."

DeFore's suit also says the December third meeting and vote violated open meetings laws. That's because board members came out of a closed-door session and voted on the offer in public, but the meeting's agenda didn't advertise a public vote.

Also, the contract is good for 3 years, but he suit claims that's unconstitutional because a subdivision of the state, like a school district, can only debt one fiscal year at a time, unless there's a clause in the contract that renews it automatically each year unless the board chooses not to renew. Dallemand's contract has no such language.

DeFore says he doesn't know how this suit would be affected if the school board accepts the superintendent's buyout offer. His attorney Charles Cox wasn't available for comment.

DeFore's lawsuit has a February 1 court date, and that same day, a judge is also expected to hear former Bibb County CFO Ron Collier's whistleblower lawsuit against Dallemand. Collier claims he's being punished for raising questions about spending.

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