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Written by Queenie Wong Statesman Journal
Nov. 1, 2013 | statesmanjournal.com
A laid off Willamette Education Service District teacher and her lawyer will get $150,000 as part of a settlement to a whistleblower lawsuit filed against the district three years ago.
Former teacher Terri Moore claimed she lost her job because she repeatedly reported safety violations at the high school at Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility and filed a formal complaint about harassment and bullying by Bill Conlon, the school’s principal.
She filed a lawsuit in Marion County Circuit Court in 2010 asking for as much as $500,000, plus attorney fees and reinstatement as a full-time teacher.
Under the settlement, Moore will get $86,355.75 and the law firm representing her — Lafky and Lafky —will receive $63,644.25. She won’t be entitled to return as a full-time employee at WESD, but still could work as a substitute teacher, according to the agreement.
WESD’s liability carrier, the Special Districts Association of Oregon, decided to settle the lawsuit because of the costs of going to trial last month. The district’s board chairman Ken Hector said in a statement Friday he understood the carrier’s decision to settle the case. “Choosing to move forward to defend the case at trial would burden WESD with all attorney fees and costs, impacting our general fund,” Hector said. “The ultimate outcome of resolution for this case is best for WESD and the districts we serve.”
District Judge Ann M. Donnelly recently granted the Plaintiffs’ motion to amend their 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint against the Suffolk County, New York jail,