LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A leader in the Oldham County Public School system is being accused of slander, malice and negligence. A woman who faced criminal charges for lying to get a Louisville teen enrolled in Oldham County Public Schools claims in a lawsuit it was the school system that got it wrong. WAVE 3 Troubleshooter Eric Flack investigated.
Donna Claggett has been cleared of wrongdoing by the courts and now claims the school district rushed to judgment.
Last fall, Oldham County Public Schools went public with its fight to keep out of county students out of its classrooms.
"A child loses," Assistant Superintendent Dan Orman said last August, "because a child is being asked by a trusted parent to lie every day at school about where he or she lives."
Orman was the chief investigator for OCPS collecting evidence against parents accused of lying about their addresses. Then the school district went a step further, asking the county attorney to criminally charge people like Charles Lauron for theft of taxpayer money spent to educate out of county kids.
But Claggett was also charged with theft in the Lauron case. "Right now I feel not only betrayed by him but the school system," she told WAVE 3 last August.
She was accused by Orman and the school district of conspiring to give the impression Lauron and his son lived in her Oldham County home so he could attend school there. A grand jury dismissed the case against Claggett for lack of evidence.
Now, she's suing Orman for negligence, slander and malice claiming he ignored key facts.
Discovery filed with her lawsuit, obtained by the WAVE 3 Troubleshooter Department, revealed a note signed by Claggett affirming Lauron was renting a room from in her made no reference to Lauron using her Oldham County address to establish residency of his son. In fact, it doesn't mention his son at all.
The note was used by Orman to build the case against Claggett. It was written back in 2004 when Lauron's son started attending Oldham County Schools but Claggett said she knew nothing about that.
The school district's other key piece of evidence, is a residency affidavit Lauron turned into the school district last August. Claggett claims her name and signature are forged. She spells Claggett with two "t"''s and in two places on the affidavit it only has one.
When reached for comment, Orman said he couldn't comment about the lawsuit. Orman did say he wanted it known a judge found probable cause in Clagett's theft case, before a grand jury cleared her.
Orman testified he called Claggett two times to get her side of the story before charges were filed and she never called him back. Claggett's attorney said they have phone records that show she called Orman back twice, but never reached him.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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