WINNSBORO — The Fairfield County School Board voted 5-2 Tuesday night to settle an ongoing lawsuit with former Fairfield County School Superintendent Patrice Robinson.
The entire settlement was for $150,000 with the district paying $56,250 and the district’s insurance carrier picking up the tab for $56,250.
Board members Andrea Harrison and Annie McDaniel voted against settling. The motion was brought by William Frick and seconded by Bobby Cunningham.
According to School Board Chairwoman Beth Reid,
“In taking this action, the board decided that the District’s insurance carrier’s recommendation that this case be settled was a cost effective means to conclude and resolve a disputed claim with both parties, Dr. Robinson and the Fairfield School District, admitting no wrongdoing,” said Beth Reid, chair of the school board.
The agreement includes a non-disparagement clause that prevents either party from making negative comments about the other. Robinson was placed on administrative leave in October 2011 and subsequently fired by the school board.
She then filed a lawsuit in response. Among other things, the lawsuit disputed whether Robinson had been fired for cause and if she had been properly notified of the reasons she was placed on administrative leave.
In a statement, Reid said that the board unanimously regretted having to make the expenditure but that the majority of board members believe it to be cost effective.
Per legal advice, they believe “a lengthy trial would be expensive and disruptive to the School District and Fairfield Community, with no real winners and possibly result in a prolonged legal proceeding followed by appeals which could go on for years.”
The board believed it best to put the matter behind the district and instead to focus on the current, strong relationship with the current administration.
“The board (wishes) to focus on our recent progress in strengthening educational services to the district’s students and continuing to improve the district’s image in the community,” Reid said. “We wish Dr. Robinson and her family a successful future and consider this matter concluded.”
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