The recent case, James v Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Board of Education, concerned an assistant principle who was dismissed for allegedly sexually harassing female employees. The plaintiff challenged his dismissal in a case manager hearing and prevailed. Nonetheless, the Superintendent recommended dismissal to the Board of Education, which was to have a hearing on the case. Plaintiff took issue with the hearing date set by the Board and Plaintiff’s counsel appeared before the Board to contest their jurisdiction over the matter because of their failure to schedule the hearing in accordance with statute. The Board rejected the argument and Plaintiff’s counsel left the hearing without presenting further argument on behalf of Plaintiff. The Superintendent presented his case at the hearing and the Board upheld the termination of Plaintiff.
The plaintiff then appealed in state court, but the petition for review was denied for failure to exhaust administrative remedies and on the merits. As to the former issue, the Court of Appeals agreed with Plaintiff’s stance that even though argument was not presented before the Board regarding his dismissal, he did request a hearing before the board and he did have counsel present at the hearing. That was sufficient to exhaust the administrative procedure. The Court then held that the Board did not act improperly in scheduling the hearing. Finally, on the merits, the Court found no basis to overturn the Board’s decision.
Categories: Judicial Decisions