By Carolyn Marnon – Wayne Westland Community School District Superintendent Dr. Shelley Holt, who was put on paid administrative leave on June 20 pending an investigation into allegations made against her, filed a $2 million lawsuit against Wayne Westland Community Schools, Board of Trustees of Wayne Westland Community Schools, David Cox, Mark Neal, Carol Middel, Melandie Hines, Shawna Walker, Frederick Weaver and Tom Buckalew on July 15. According to a press release from Mario Morrow and Associates, “The foundation of her complaint stems from the School District retaliating against her for reporting violations of federal and state laws governing the operation of the district.”
The Honorable Craig S. Strong, Third Judicial Circuit Judge of Michigan, issued a Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause on July 16. The court determined Dr. Holt has a likelihood of success on the merits of her claims, she will suffer irreparable harm and loss if the Defendants’ violation of the Open Meetings Act continues unabated, she has no adequate remedy at law, her due process has been violated by the Defendants conduct because of the secret nature of proceedings conducted against her, and she will suffer greater injury from the denial of preliminary injunctive relief than Defendants will suffer from granting such relief.
A restraining order was issued to block further action on the part of the Board of Trustees pending a hearing in accordance with the requirements of the Open Meetings Act. The Defendants are prohibited from continuing administrative leave and disclosing confidential information about Dr. Holt to third parties until the hearing for preliminary injunction or further order of the court.
Dr. Holt is granted leave to commence discovery immediately, including the deposition of Defendants and persons who have filed complaints against her.
The Defendants must turn over all documents provided by third parties complaining about her conduct. They must also copy all computerized files taken from Dr. Holt or others and return the copies to her. They must preserve and not delete and not use any computerized information taken from her until further order of the court.
This order remains in force until the court orders otherwise.
Since this order, additional actions taken on the case according to Wayne County Circuit Court Odyssey Public Access records:
July 17-Motion for Injunction filed
July 18-Special Conference and Motion for Miscellaneous Action granted, order to follow
July 22-Service of Complaint filed
July 30-Show Cause hearing cancelled
August 5-Proof of Service and Brief filed
On the schedule:
August 8-Special Conference
October 21-Status Conference
According to WWCSD Communications Director Jenny Johnson both sides are trying to work out an agreement.