The civil lawsuit filed by the disgruntled former N.P. Moss Middle School Principal Ken Douet has finally come to an end, with a decision rendered last week in the 15th Judicial District Court siding with the Lafayette Parish School Board.
School system legal counsel and Assistant 15th Judicial District Attorney James Simon notified the board in a July 1 email that earlier that day the court ruled against Douet’s claims that his contract was breached and policy was violated by the board’s decision not to offer him a promotion following the closure of N.P. Moss Middle School in 2011.
Photo by Robin May
LPSB attorney James Simon
As we had always argued, the court found that neither his contract, nor policy, was violated when he was displaced as principal of N.P. Moss Middle because there was no position of equal rank available for his transfer at that time. He was not guaranteed the position at (Early College Academy) as he argued because that would have been a promotion from middle school principal to high school principal. He finished his contract doing a lesser position for the same pay.
The court also found his resignation the day before his contract ended was voluntary, and he released the board when he signed his resignation papers.
Over the course of the suit, first filed in October 2011, the amount Douet claimed he was owed in damages was all over the place, starting with an original figure of $195,422, which then jumped within a year to a demand for more than $500,000. According to Simon's email, Douet made one final attempt with a $20,000 offer to settle the matter once and for all.
That, too, was refused by the board.
Based on last week’s ruling, it appears the only thing Douet will be getting now is a bill for legal fees and court costs.
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