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STATE OF MICHIGAN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT COURT CIVIL DIVISION

CARLOS LOPEZ, an individual, Plaintiff, vs No. _________________CK 12-005247-CK THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF RIVER ROUGE, a municipal corporation; BOARD OF EDUCATION of the School District of the City of River Rouge, a public body; DOLORES REID, individually and in her capacity as Executive Director of State and Federal Projects of the School District of the City of River Rouge; VALVETA REESE, individually and in her capacity as President of the Board of Education of the School District of the City of River Rouge; DEBORAH HARPER, individually and in her capacity as Vice-President of the Board of Education of the School District of the City of River Rouge. Jointly and Severally, Defendants. FILED IN MY OFFICE WAYNE COUNTY CLERK 4/18/2012 11:26:36 AM CATHY M. GARRETT

ROBERT L. LEVI (P42598) ROBERT L. LEVI, P.C. Attorney for Plaintiff 6675 Edwood Avenue West Bloomfield, MI 48324 (248) 366-4412

There is no other pending or resolved civil action arising out of the transaction or occurrence alleged in the complaint.

___________________________________________/ VERIFIED COMPLAINT

The Plaintiff sues the defendants for breach of contract, violation of the Michigan Whistleblowers Protection Act, violation of the Michigan Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act, intentional interference with his contractual relations, defamation of his character, and, violation of his rights under the 1st, 5th, and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution. PARTIES 1. The plaintiff Carlos Lopez, Ed.D. is an individual who resides in Wayne County, Michigan. Via an employment contract and its extension, the School District of the City of River Rouge hired Dr. Lopez as Superintendent of that District for the period from July 1, 2008, until June 30, 2012. From July 28, 2008 through January 21, 2012, Dr. Lopez was actively employed as the Superintendent of that School District. On January 21, 2012, Board of Education of River Rouge School District voted to place Dr. Lopez on administrative leave with pay until the end of his contract on June 30, 2012. At the same time, the Board of Education voted not to renew his employment contract as Superintendent. 2. The defendant School District of the City of River Rouge (River Rouge School District) is a municipal corporation. The defendants principle place of business is in Wayne County, Michigan. 3. The members of the defendant Board of Education of the School District of the City of River Rouge (Board of Education or Board) constitute a public body. The defendants principle place of business is in Wayne County, Michigan. 4. The defendant Dolores Reid is an individual who resides in Wayne County, Michigan. She is sued as an individual and in her official capacity as Executive Director

of State and Federal Programs of the River Rouge School District. The defendants principle place of business is in Wayne County, Michigan. 5. The defendant Valveta Reese is an individual who resides in Wayne County, Michigan. She is sued as an individual and in her official capacity as president of the Board of Education of the River Rouge School District. The defendants principle place of business is in Wayne County, Michigan. 6. Deborah Harper is an individual who resides in Wayne County, Michigan. She is sued as an individual and in her official capacity as vice-president of the Board of Education of the River Rouge School District. The defendants principle place of business is in Wayne County, Michigan.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE 7. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction, because the amount in

controversy exceeds $25,000.00, exclusive of costs and interest. 8. Venue is proper in Wayne County, because the defendants reside in and

conduct business in Wayne County. Also, Wayne County is the place where the violations of law alleged against the defendants took place. 9. Jurisdiction and venue are proper in Wayne County under the following

acts: MCL 15.363(2)[ Whistleblowers Protection Act]; MCL 37.2801 [Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act].

COMMON ALLEGATIONS Plaintiffs Contract and Performance of Its Terms 10. On July 1, 2008, the defendant River Rouge School District through its

governing body the Board of Education entered into a contract with the plaintiff for him to serve as Superintendent of the River Rouge School District for three years from July 1, 2008 until June 30, 2011. Employment Contract (Contract) attached as Ex. 1. Pursuant to the Contract, the Board of Education extended the plaintiffs contract for an additional year for his services through June 30, 2012. 11. Under the terms of the Employment Contract, the plaintiff was entitled to

annual salary of $125,000.00 for the first year and a raise to $130,000.00 for the second and third years, provided he increased enrollment by 50 students each year. The Board promised to increase his salary even more if enrollment increased more than 50 students each year. 12. Under the terms of the Employment Contract, the plaintiff agreed to

faithfully perform his duties and obligations ...including, but not limited to, those required by federal, state and local law including the Michigan Revised School Code of 1996. 13. Under the Contract, the plaintiff agreed to perform the duties of

Superintendent in a competent and professional manner in compliance with the laws applicable to the school district and the bylaws, policies and regulations adopted by the Board of Education. It was the Boards custom and policy for its superintendent to communicate with the Board through the Boards president.

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The Contract stated: The Superintendent shall recommend, effect or

cause to be effected, the bylaws, policies, and regulations adopted by the Board of Education as may be needed. 15. The Contract stated: The Superintendent shall be responsible for

supervising and approving all District applications for grants available to public school districts, including, but not limited to, any and all grant applications which may be available through the United States Department of Education and the State of Michigan Department of Education 16. Under the terms of the Employment Contract, the Superintendent shall be

considered a just cause employee. If the Board elected to terminate the plaintiffs employment, the Contract gave him the right to appear before the Board with legal counsel and respond to all charges forming the basis for termination. 17. Under the Contract, unless the Board gave to the plaintiff a notice of non-

renewal of his contract at least 90 days before the termination of the contract, his contract would automatically renew for one more year. The Contract stated that the just cause standard for termination of the plaintiffs Contract did not apply to the non-renewal of the Contract at the expiration of its term, and, that the decision to not renew the Contract was discretionary with the Board. 18. Under the Employment Contract, the plaintiff was entitled to fringe

benefits in addition to his salary. Those fringe benefits included: health care insurance benefits that were to continue even after retirement or separation; dental insurance benefits that were to continue even after retirement or separation; vision insurance benefits that were to continue even after retirement or separation, vacation day pay; sick

leave benefits that accumulated and were payable upon retirement or separation; longevity pay; long term disability insurance, and; a Board-paid life insurance policy. The defendants have never paid the plaintiff the sick leave to which he is entitled from the inception of the Contract. Nor have the defendants paid to the plaintiff his longevity pay for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, or, compensation for his unused vacation days. 19. The plaintiff competently and excellently performed his duties as

Superintendent, from inception of his contract until January 21, 2012. Among other outstanding accomplishments, the plaintiff: balanced the operating budget through a deficit reduction plan; developed a comprehensive K-8 math curriculum and a tentative comprehensive teacher evaluation process; successfully turned the high school into at Title I school and began the process of creating a 21st century technology environment in it; rebuilt district-wide security; developed a 5-year comprehensive district-wide strategic plan; established a successful marketing plan that brought in over 300 new students to the District each year, and; developed a comprehensive system of support to address poor academic achievement behaviors, poor social/emotional challenges, and poor student attendance that impeded learning. 20. The Board conducted only one evaluation of the plaintiffs performance.

In winter 2008-2009, the Board assessed his performance as Superintendent as excellent. No Board member, either individually or collectively with other Board members, has ever expressed to the plaintiff criticism of his performance as Superintendent. The Hiring of Dolores Reid 21. During all times that the plaintiff served as Superintendent, defendant

Dolores Reid served as the Executive Director of State and Federal Programs. Reid has a

fiduciary duty to administer all funds under Title I of the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act for supplemental educational support for school districts. 22. The former superintendent of the District, Benny Bentford, hired

Defendant Reid, his girlfriend. Subsequently, that former superintendent was discharged and criminally prosecuted for extorting money from District employees under threats to adversely affect their employment status if they refused. High Priority Schools Initiative-Investigation by Wayne RESA Regarding Double Dipping of Coaches 23. In April, 2011, Wayne RESA (the intermediate school district) informed

the plaintiff that it was conducting an investigation and forensic audit of its contractors that provided services in connection with a program known as the High Priority Schools Initiative (HPSI). This is a program under Title I of the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act and provides funds for supplemental educational support for school districts. Wayne RESA suspected that the River Rouge School District was paying independent contractors with HPSI funds for the same services to the District for which the contractors were also receiving payment from Wayne RESA. (Wayne RESA offered those services to the District without cost.) Defendant Dolores Reid had attended Wayne RESA meetings where she had learned fully about the free services available from Wayne RESA. 24. Upon request from Wayne RESAs legal counsel, the plaintiff and Jan

Meeks, the Executive Director of Business and Finance (the chief financial officer) of the River Rouge School District, requested documents and information from Dolores Reid who was responsible for administering the HPSI programs in the River Rouge School District.

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In May, 2011, upon receipt of the information and documents from River

Rouge School District, Wayne RESA determined that the District had, in fact, been paying independent contractors for services the District could have obtained from Wayne RESA without charge. In several cases, the same persons being paid by Wayne RESA to provide the services for free to the District were charging the District for those same services. Therefore, the District had paid $287,735.00 out of its Title I funds for services (such as principal coaches, literacy coaches, math coaches, data coaches, and process coaches) that the District could have obtained without charge from Wayne RESA. 26. The plaintiff and Jan Meeks discovered that defendant Dolores Reid had

written consultant contracts with the following individuals without the approval of the plaintiff or the Board of Education, even though the Districts policy stated that any contract over $500.00 must be approved by the Superintendent: Raynna D. Williams - $30,600 Mildretta Hughes - $51,300 Nadine Featherstone - $40,500 Tracy Jurek - $23,625 27. The terms of the consultant contracts written by Reid were so broad and so

poorly drafted, that the District was legally unable to terminate their services prior to the end of the contracts duration. 28. In June, 2011, the plaintiff informed defendant Reid that the District

would be subject to an upcoming State and Federal Audit of Title I Programs and Title I Financials. 29. On June 15, 2011, at a closed session of the Board of Education, defendant

Reid first revealed that she had been contracting on behalf of the District with her brother-in-law Brian Flaggs (dba Flaggs and Associates Educational Services, hereinafter

Flaggs) as one of the providers of services under the states Supplemental Educational Support Program (SES). Before that revelation, neither the plaintiff nor the Districts Executive Director of Business and Finance knew about that relationship. Thus, by contracting with her brother-in-law, Reid violated the Districts Conflict of Interest Policy. The SES Investigation 30. Under the direction of the plaintiff, the Districts Executive Director of

Business and Finance conducted an audit of expenditures and invoices paid to Flaggs. The District had paid to Flaggs $173,000.00 in 2010-2011. (The total District SES allocation for all vendors for 2010-2011 was $300,000.00.) 31. In early July 2011, Plante Moran presented to the plaintiff its audit of the

River Rouge School District for the year ended June 30, 2011. The audit identified $91,620.00 in questioned costs associated with two SES vendor contracts that did not have the proper documentation to support that the services occurred. Based upon Reids admission concerning her brother-in-law, the amount the district paid to him, and the HPSI investigation, the plaintiff admitted to Plante Moran that potential fraud may have occurred in the SES program. 32. Subsequently, the plaintiff learned that Dolores Reid had engaged in many

other violations of District Bylaws and Policies and State and Federal guidelines for SES services, including, but not limited to: a. Securing an additional $40,000.00 of Title I funds to employ Flaggs to teach a Pre-Algebra Camp to ELL (English Language Learners), without approval by the plaintiff and by forging the plaintiffs signature to a

contract on May 9, 2011, for a program that Flaggs was not qualified to conduct. (Flaggs is not an approved vendor for ELL students;) b. Forging the plaintiffs signature indicating the approval of an invoice from Flaggs for $70,680 in December 2010, paid to Flaggs by the District; c. Limiting in advance the number of students that other vendors besides Flaggs could service, in order to increase the number of students for which Flaggs would receive payment; d. Negating parental choice of other vendors by pre-assigning their children to Flaggs and recruiting students for Flaggs in violation of SES policy that the choice be parent driven; e. Assigning 91 students to Flaggs before students could apply with other vendors at an Open House or SES Fair; f. Continuing to favor Flaggs with contracts even though there was no data to show that student performance improved after services by Flaggs. (In many cases, Flaggs never submitted the required student sign-in sheets and student assessment reports or the required Individualized Learning Plans); g. Not notifying parents of the choices and differences between providers (i.e., some providers offered certified teachers); h. Giving Flaggs preferential, unlimited use of the Districts school buildings and computers, free of charge, and; i. Paying an invoice from Flaggs even though there was no signed contract for the alleged services.

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33.

Also, as a result of the plaintiffs investigation into Reids misuse of SES

funds, he discovered more nepotism by Reid: a. Ignoring the Districts Conflict of Interest Policy, in 2012, Reid had hired the following College Tutors for the high school in the District: her niece, the high school principals son, and the high school principals secretarys son. The secretarys son was not qualified to tutor students, since he himself was failing college. Reid had never brought the hiring of these employees to the Board of Education for approval, even though Board policy required Board approval. b. Ignoring the Districts Conflict of Interest Policy, in September, 2010, defendant Reid initially hired Candace Green, the niece of her boyfriend former superintendent Benson, as a tutor receiving Title I funding directly from the District. Then, in December, 2010, Reid arranged a pretext for Green to quit. Green subsequently was hired by an independent contractor, Academic Achievement, at a greater rate of pay than she had received from the District. Then, Reid contracted with Academic Achievement. The net result was that Candace Green, Reids boyfriends niece, ended up receiving more money for doing the same work, to the financial detriment of the district. 34. In July, 2011, the plaintiff presented to the Board of Education, via its

president Jonathan Tate, a written report concerning Wayne RESAs findings regarding the HPSI program double dipping and his own findings (as set out in paragraphs 32 and 33 above) concerning the violations of Federal statute and regulation and State guidelines

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regarding the SES program, and the violations of Board of Education Policies and Bylaws. See Ex. 2 attached. Also, in July, 2011, the plaintiff reported all of his above findings regarding the conduct of Dolores Reid to the Districts legal counsel, Richard Kroopnick. 35. When he received plaintiffs report in July 2011, President Tate told the

plaintiff that he was not going to present the report to the Board of Education at that time. Tate expressed that there would not be enough votes on the Board to terminate defendant Reid. At that point, the plaintiff requested an investigation by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) into the SES operations in the River Rouge School District, because he felt that the River Rouge Board of Education was not going to act to remedy the situation. Attorney Kroopnick told the plaintiff that, due to the favoritism of the Board towards Reid, if he requested an investigation by the MDE, the Board may fire him. 36. On August 2, 2011, Attorney Kroopnick presented his own written report

concerning the HPSI and SES violations to the River Rouge Board of Education. The report included, in summarized form, the findings that the Plaintiff had conveyed to Kroopnick. Kroopnick informed the Board that he had requested certain documents from Mr. Reid and would supplement his findings when they were received. Preliminarily, he concluded: From outward appearances, there is a serious question about the School Districts compliance with the specific requirements concerning SES. The plaintiff urged the Board that it had to do something about Dolores Reid. But the Board refused to act against Dolores Reid. Instead, the Board chose to wait until the Michigan Department

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of Education issued its own report. At this point, all of the defendants were aware that the plaintiff had requested an investigation by the MDE. 37. The Michigan Department of Education, Office of Education

Improvement & Innovation, Office of Field Services (MDE) is the state agency responsible for administering SES programs at the state level. During a conference call on August 10, 2011, and through correspondence and a written report dated August 3, 2011, authored by the plaintiff (Ex. 3 attached), the plaintiff reported to officials of the MDE his findings regarding defendant Reids violations of District Bylaws and Policies, and Federal statute and regulation and State guidelines for SES services. 38. After requesting and receiving documents from the District, on September

9, 2011, the MDE conducted an onsite review of the District SES documentation and face to face meetings with the plaintiff, Jan Meeks, and Dolores Reid. At this point, the onsite review team from MDE made all defendants aware that the plaintiff had reported the situation regarding SES violations to the MDE via a conference call on August 10, 2011, and through correspondence and his written report dated August 3, 2011. 39. On November 14, 2011, the plaintiff issued a written reprimand to Dolores

Reid for falsifying and giving misleading information about him in relation to the layoff of Title I staff in spring 2011. In April, 2011, Reid had notified the plaintiff and his administrative assistant that every Title I position had to be laid off until the MDE approved the 2011-2012 Consolidated Application. Per this information from Reid, the plaintiff laid off the Title I staff. This resulted in the Districts liability for thousands of dollars in unemployment compensation. But on November 8, 2011, Reid had falsely accused the plaintiff of mandating the layoff and alleged that she had told him it was

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unnecessary. Reid challenged the reprimand before the Board of Education. The Board instructed the plaintiff to remove the reprimand from her file. 40. On December 15, 2011, the MDE issued a report concerning its Findings,

Exceptions, and Questioned Costs in a document entitled Onsite and Document Review of the Title I, Part A, Supplemental Educational Services. In that report, the MDE confirmed all of plaintiffs findings regarding the irregularities in the SES program. The MDE indicated its intent to recapture from the District $241,173.22 in questioned costs associated with expenditures not in compliance with State and Federal guidelines for SES services. The MDE required the District to prepare a plan to bring its SES program into compliance in all areas where deficiencies existed. 41. At a closed Board meeting in winter 2011, plaintiff notified the Board that

Reid had forged his name to the invoice and contract mentioned in paragraph 32(a) and 32 (b) above. 42. On December 15, 2011, the plaintiff received a copy of the MDE report.

The MDE report stated that the plaintiff had requested the MDE investigation by reporting the SES violations to the MDE via a conference call on August 10, 2011, and through correspondence and his written report dated August 3, 2011. On that same day, the plaintiff made a report to the Board of Education (by email message to president Tate) itemizing the findings of the MDE and informing the president that the relationship between Dolores Reid and Flaggs violated Board policies (Board Policy 3520, Fraud Prevention and Investigation1; Board Policy 5230, Conflict of Interest2) and federal law:

In relevant part, Board Policy 3520 states: The Board expects all employees, Board members, consultants, vendors, contractors, and other parties maintaining any business relationship with the District to act with integrity,

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The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Section 1116(a)[ 20 USCS 6316e(2)(B)3]. The plaintiff finally stated: Due to the seriousness of these findings, violations of board policies, as well as the fact that Dolores Reid has failed to accept responsibility or show remorse for her actions, I am recommending the following: *The immediate termination of Dolores Reid Executive Director of State and Federal Projects/Curriculum with the option to resign; or *The reassignment of Dolores Reid to the 3rd Grade Vacant Teaching Position available at Ann Visger. 43. On and after December 15, 2011, the plaintiff tried to convince the

members of the Board of Education to meet as a whole to consider the MDE report and
due diligence, and in accordance with all laws in their duties involving the Districts fiscal resources. The District is entrusted with public dollars and no person connected with the District should do anything to erode that trust. .... Any employee who suspects fraud, impropriety, or irregularity shall report their suspicions immediately to his/her immediate supervisor and/or the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall have primary responsibility for any necessary investigations and shall coordinate investigative efforts with the Districts legal counsel, auditing firm, and other internal or external departments and agencies, including the Wayne County Prosecutors Office and law enforcement officials, as the Superintendent may deem appropriate.
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In relevant part, Board Policy 5230 states: District employees are prohibited from engaging in activities which may be construed as a conflict of interest and detract from the effective performance of their duties. No employee shall attempt, during the school day or on school property, to sell or endeavor to influence any student to buy any product, article, instrument, service, or other such item, which would benefit said school employee directly or indirectly. Any District employee shall report alleged violations of the conflict of interest policy to the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall make an initial investigation to determine whether said policy has been violated.

20 USCS 6316e(2)(B) states: (2)Each local educational agency subject to this subsection shall .... (B) if requested, assist parents in choosing a provider from the list of approved providers maintained by the State.

See also 20 CFR 200.46(a)(2). The SES Guidelines of the State of Michigan, Department of Education state: An LEA [local educational agency] is not permitted merely to assign students whose parents request assistance to an LEA-or school-administered SES program. Guideline I-1.

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consequences for Dolores Reid. The Board members refused to meet as a whole. So, instead, between December 15, 2011 and December 21, 2012, the plaintiff conferred with each Board member individually, except Kevin White (who was not available,) either by telephone or in person (according to the preference of the individual.) The plaintiff explained the MDE report to each Board member, paragraph by paragraph. 44. From December 15, 2011, through January 21, 2012, the Board of

Education never met to consider the MDE report or to decide whether to terminate Dolores Reid. Nevertheless, the plaintiff continued to urge the Board of Education to terminate Dolores Reid. The Demotion of the Plaintiff 45. In December, 2011, Board president Tate asked the plaintiff to put the

renewal of his employment contract for the 2012-2013 school year on the Superintendents Bulletin for the next Board meeting. Tate warned the plaintiff that he should freshen up his resume, because Dolores Reid could become superintendent. At the Board meeting, without giving a reason, the Board refused to consider the renewal of the plaintiffs contract. 46. In early January, 2012, the Board of Education elected defendant Valveta

Reese president and defendant Deborah Harper, vice-president of the Board. 47. On information and belief, on January 11, 2012, in a closed session

without the plaintiff present, the Board discussed the plaintiffs employment contract. 48. On January 19, 2012, the Board secretary posted a notice of a special

board meeting to be held on January 21, 2012. The notice stated: PURPOSE: To consider the Superintendent [sic] request to extend or renew the Employment

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Contract between the School District of the City of River Rouge and Dr. Carlos Lopez. There was no notice that the Board would consider whether to terminate the plaintiff as Superintendent during the term of his current Employment Contract. Thus, the plaintiff had no notice that the Board was going to discuss terminating his services before the renewal date of his contract. Accordingly, the plaintiff did not hire legal counsel to assist him in challenging any charges brought by the Board. 49. On January 21, 2012, by resolution, the Board voted to not renew the

plaintiffs employment contract for the period July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. But the Board went further. The Board passed the following resolution: FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Education has determined to place Dr. Lopez on an administrative leave with pay commencing as of January 19, 2012 through the expiration of the Employment Contract in order to facilitate his search for future employment opportunities. The Board gave no reason for removing the plaintiff from actively fulfilling the duties his position, except that the Board wanted to go a different way, wanted change. The Board appointed James Doig as Interim Superintendent from January 19, 2012, until June 30, 2012. 50. The Board did not have good cause for demoting the plaintiff and

terminating him from actively fulfilling the duties his position. The Board terminated the plaintiff from actively fulfilling the duties his position, because: a. He had made a report to the River Rouge School Board in July, 2011, concerning the unethical and illegal activities of Delores Reid concerning her administration of HPSI and SES programs; b. He had made a report to the River Rouge School Board August 3, 2011, concerning the unethical and illegal activities of Delores Reid concerning her administration of HPSI and SES programs;

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c. He had made a report to the Michigan Department of Education, on August 10, 2011 and thereafter, concerning the unethical and illegal activities of Delores Reid concerning her administration of SES programs; d. He had issued a reprimand to Dolores Reid on November 14, 2011, for her falsifying and giving misleading information about him in relation to the layoff Title I staff in spring 2011; e. He had made a report to the River Rouge School Board December 15, 2011, and thereafter concerning MDEs report on the unethical and illegal activities of Delores Reid concerning her administration of SES programs, and; f. He had made a report to the River Rouge School Board December 15, 2011, and thereafter urging the Board to terminate or demote Dolores Reid on account her unethical and illegal activities concerning her administration of SES programs. 51. After January 21, 2012, the plaintiff has remained an employee of

defendant School District for the City of River Rouge, but has suffered an unjustified demotion and loss of fringe benefits after being removed from active service as Superintendent. As an employee, he has also continued to suffer discrimination by the defendants in the form of defamation of character and exclusion from a Board meeting called to address the MDE report and findings against Delores Reid. 52. In February, 2012, the plaintiff sought his fringe benefits from the Board.

The Board did not respond. 53. In January and February, 2012, the Board of Education hired an

independent forensic auditor who found nothing out of order in the plaintiffs handling of the Districts finances. Defamation of Plaintiffs Character By Defendants Reid, Reese, and Harper to the Madison Heights School Board 54. On February 17, 2012, the plaintiff applied for the position of

superintendent for the School District for the City of Madison Heights, Michigan. The

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Madison Heights Board of Education was favorably impressed with the plaintiff. On March 22, 2012, plaintiff and that Boards attorney finished negotiating and drafting an Employment Contract for a term of four years at a starting salary of $150,660.00 for the first year (reduced to $139,500.00 by agreement between the parties), and thereafter a annual salary of not less than $150,660.00 for the next three years. The contract also included fringe benefits and payment for professional development. Employment Agreement attached as Ex. 4. 55. A meeting of the Madison Heights Board of Education was set for March

22, 2012, for the purpose of signing the Employment Agreement with the plaintiff. 56. On or about March 22, 2012, Al Morrison, the president of the Madison

Heights Board of Education and another Board member Alexander Marr, attended a site visit to the River Rouge School District. They met with River Rouge Board of Education president defendant Valveta Reese, vice-president defendant Deborah Harper, defendant Dolores Reid, and four teachers. Morrison and Marr told the defendants that the Madison Heights School District intended to hire the plaintiff as superintendent, and, that they were in River Rouge to obtain that Districts evaluation of the plaintiffs performance there. 57. Defendants Reese, Harper, and Reid told Morrison and Marr the following

defamatory statements regarding the plaintiffs performance in the River Rouge School District: a. Poor performance regarding management challenges and follow up; b. Poor leadership qualities; c. Poor performance regarding delegation of responsibilities;

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d. Too many open-ended projects or toys; e. Problems with unprepared projects/grants, and; f. Mismanagement of grants. 58. The above statements about plaintiffs performance were untrue.

Defendants Reid, Reese, and Harper knew the statements were untrue when they made them. 59. As a direct and proximate result of the defamatory statements made about

the plaintiff, on March 22, 2012, the Madison Heights School Board refused to enter into the Employment Agreement (Ex. 4) to hire the plaintiff as superintendent. President Al Morrison told the plaintiff that the statements made during the site visit in River Rouge were the reason the Madison Heights School Board refused to enter into the Employment Agreement. 60. As a direct and proximate result of the defamatory statements made about

the plaintiff, he was subjected to harassment and ignominy in the Madison Heights Community. 61. The defendants acted intentionally and with actual malice in making the

false public statements. They made their statements with knowledge of their falsity. 62. The defendants knew or should have known that the statements made

about the plaintiff would hold him up to hatred, scorn, contempt or ridicule in the community. 63. The accusations made by the defendants are false and defamatory of the

plaintiff and caused him damages.

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64.

Under this set of circumstances, exemplary and punitive damages are

necessary and proper to make the plaintiffs whole in this matter. Defamation by Delores Reid at Board Meeting on April 2, 2012 65. On April 2, 2012, the Board of Education of the School District for River

Rouge held a special meeting to consider the MDE report on SES violations and the conduct of Delores Reid. The Board gave no notice to the plaintiff of this meeting and plaintiff had no opportunity to appear with legal counsel to dispute the charges against him by Delores Reid. This lack of notice and opportunity to be heard constituted discrimination against the plaintiff by all the defendants. 66. At the Board meeting on April 2, 2012, Delores Reid spoke and made the

following defamatory statements about the plaintiff: I informed the former superintendent that I was going to inform the auditor [of the Office of Field Services, Michigan Department of Education] that there were two instances where parents were not given the opportunity to choose a provider for SES tutoring. I was informed that I should only answer the questions that I was asked and not offer any information to the auditors. I notified the former superintendent that Flaggs was my brother-in-law when the District began its first open house for SES. I was informed that he was an approved provider and that it was OK. Flaggs was asked by the former superintendent and the high school principal at that time to participate in a high school assembly, because the students were threatening to walk out because they were failing their online classes. Flaggs was asked by the former superintendent to provide tutoring services to the students who were failing the online courses during the day. I informed Flaggs and the former superintendent that the 20% set-aside for SES does not support tutoring for the school day. There was an issue regarding providers being able to have tutoring services in the building. The former superintendent stated that the providers were servicing our children and that we would not be charging them to use our facilities. The high school received a $6 million grant. They get $2 million each year. Me [sic] and the former superintendent constantly had disagreements about what was

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allowable expenses. And that last instance was that I would not approve an expenditure. The superintendent approved it and I questioned the SIG monitor about it and was pulled from the SIG grant completely. There was a conflict of interest [regarding Flaggs] and I expressed that to the former superintendent and I was told they were an approved provider and that it was OK. Even this fall semester, the former superintendents secretary was writing on peoples forms [SES applications] who the provider was going to be. So we had to ask those parents to give those back. I know that in the past not only I did it [recommend an SES provider to a parent], Dr. Lopez did it, and the principal did it. You know what I am saying? 67. The above statements about plaintiff alleged statements and acts were

untrue. Defendant Reid knew the statements were untrue when she made them. 68. As a direct and proximate result of the defamatory statements made about

the plaintiff, on April 2, 2012, he was subjected to harassment and ignominy in the community. 69. The defendant Reid acted intentionally and with actual malice in making

the false public statements. She made her statements with knowledge of their falsity. 70. The defendant knew or should have known that the statements made about

the plaintiff would hold him up to hatred, scorn, contempt or ridicule in the community. 71. The accusations made by the defendant are false and defamatory of the

plaintiff and caused him damages. 72. Plaintiff had made written reports to the Board and the MDE stating that

Reid was responsible for the preference shown to Flaggs in connection with the SES program. But Reids allegations were that the plaintiff, by approving of her contracting with Flaggs, was responsible for any wrongdoing. Plaintiff had mailed or wired his

written reports to the MDE. If Reids accusations at the April 2, 2012 Board meeting

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were true, that would make the plaintiffs reports to the Board and the MDE false and fraudulent. Therefore, Reid's accusations impute that the plaintiff had committed a crime: common law fraud, and mail and wire fraud (18 USC 1341, 1343). Accusation of the commission of a crime is defamatory per se, meaning that special harm need not be proved. 73. Under this set of circumstances, exemplary and punitive damages are

necessary and proper to make the plaintiffs whole in this matter. 74. At the end of the Board meeting on April 2, 2012, no board member

moved to terminate Reids employment or punish her in any way. The Board adjourned without taking any action against Reid. COUNT I BREACH OF CONTRACT

75. 76.

The plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 74 above. Under his Employment Contract, the plaintiff was (1) responsible for

performing duties and obligations as required by and in compliance with local, state, federal law, and, (2) responsible for supervising all government grants. All actions he took regarding the HPSI and MDE investigations were pursuant to those contractual duties. 77. The Employment Contract provided that the defendants River Rouge

School District and River Rouge Board of Education would not terminate the plaintiff during the term of his contract absent good cause. 78. On January 21, 2012, defendants River Rouge School District and River

Rouge Board of Education terminated the plaintiff from active duty as Superintendent without good cause in breach of the Employment Contract.

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79.

The Employment Contract provided that, if the defendant Board of

Education sought to terminate him, the plaintiff would have an opportunity to hire his own counsel and to dispute the charges against him. On January 21, 2012, the defendants River Rouge School District and River Rouge Board of Education breached the contract by considering his termination and terminating him from active performance of his duties without giving him notice in advance. There was no notice that the Board would consider at the January 21st meeting whether to terminate the plaintiff as Superintendent during the term of his existing Employment Contract. In addition, at the meeting itself neither the defendants nor the other members of the Board of Education expressed any charges or criticism against the defendant. The Board gave no reason for removing the plaintiff from actively fulfilling the duties his position, except that the Board wanted to go a different way, wanted change. 80. On March 22, 2012, defendants River Rouge School District and River

Rouge Board of Education breached the Employment Contract when the Boards members criticized the plaintiffs performance of his duties, presented such criticism as the basis for his termination, and published such criticism to two members of the Madison Heights Board of Education without affording the plaintiff the right to appear with legal counsel and respond the charges forming the basis for termination. 81. On April 2, 2012, defendants River Rouge School District and River

Rouge Board of Education held a Board meeting to discuss the MDE report and the potential culpability of Reid. Since the defendants had actually terminated the plaintiff because he assigned culpability to Reid and sought her dismissal, the subject of this April 2nd meeting was, de facto, to determine the validity of the charges forming the basis for

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the plaintiffs termination. The defendants breached the Employment Contract with the plaintiff by holding the April 2nd meeting without affording the plaintiff the right to appear with legal counsel and respond the charges forming the basis for his termination. 82. The breaches of contract by Defendants River Rouge School District and

River Rouge Board of Education caused the plaintiffs damages: (1) loss of longevity pay for the 2010-11 school year and 2011-12 school year; (2) loss of accumulated vacation pay; (3) loss of future fringe benefits from January 21, 2012 forward -- These future fringe benefits include: health care insurance benefits that were to continue even after retirement or separation; dental insurance benefits that were to continue even after retirement or separation; vision insurance benefits that were to continue even after retirement or separation; longevity pay; vacation pay; sick leave benefits; and; a Boardpaid life insurance policy $50,000.00 to be furnished upon retirement, and; (4) expenses associated with seeking other employment. COUNT II - VIOLATION OF THE WHISTLEBLOWERS PROTECTION ACT 83. 84. The plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 82 above. The plaintiff was engaged in a protected activity under the Michigan

Whistleblowers Protection Act, MCL 15.362 et seq. He reported, verbally and in writing, violations of a law, regulations, and rules promulgated pursuant to a law of this state, the River Rouge School District, and the United States to public bodies, as stated in paragraph 50 (a-f) above. 85. The reports of the plaintiff, as stated in paragraph 50 (a-f) above,

concerned the violation of the following: River Rouge Board of Education Policy 3520; River Rouge Board of Education Policy 5230; The Elementary and Secondary Education

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Act, Section 1116(a)[ 20 USCS 6316e(2)(B); 20 CFR 200.46(a)(2); SES Guidelines of the State of Michigan, Department of Education, Guideline I-1; MCL 750.249 (Forgery of records and other instruments; uttering and publishing), and; 18 USC 1002 (Possession of False Papers to Defraud the United States.) 86. The defendants River Rouge School District, its Board of Education,

Reese, Harper, and Reid individually and in their official capacities and in conspiracy with the other defendants, discriminated against the defendant: by demoting him by placing him on administrative leave (effectively terminating his active employment and depriving him all of his responsibilities as superintendent), by withholding fringe benefits due, by refusing to renew his Employment Contract, by withholding from him notice of the meeting with members of the Madison Height Board of Education on March 22, 2012 and the River Rouge Board of Education meeting on April 2, 2012; by making false and defamatory reports about his work performance to members of the Madison Height Board of Education on March 22, 2012, and; by defaming the plaintiff at the Board meeting on April 2, 2012. 87. There was a causal connection between the plaintiffs reports to public

bodies and the discriminatory actions by defendants. Defendants discriminated against the plaintiff (1) to remove the plaintiff from his employment so that they could avoid taking any corrective actions against Dolores Reid and allow her to perpetrate corruption with impunity, and, (2) to retaliate against the plaintiff for making the reports. 88. As a result of the defendants wrongful discrimination, the plaintiff has

suffered feelings of anguish, distress, embarrassment, humiliation and indignity.

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89.

The defendants wrongful discrimination is the proximate cause of

plaintiffs damages, including, but not limited to: damages for loss of fringe benefits before June 30, 2012, loss of salary and fringe benefits after June 30, 2012, emotional distress, exemplary damages, expenses associated with seeking other employment, loss of salary and benefits from employment with the Madison Heights School District, attorneys fees and costs. 90. The defendants acted against the plaintiff intentionally and with an evil

motive. Therefore, the plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages. COUNT III VIOLATION OF THE ELLIOT LARSEN CIVIL RIGHTS ACT 91. 92. The plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 90 above. As a Caucasian, Hispanic male, the plaintiff is an individual and,

therefore, a protected person under the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA), MCL 15.362, et seq., according to Lind v. City of Battle Creek, 470 Mich 230, 232-233, 681 NW2d 334 (2004). 93. 94. Defendants Reid, Reese, and Harper are African-Americans. When the Board of Education of the River Rouge School District hired the

plaintiff in 2008, four Caucasians and three African-Americans sat on the Board. As time passed, the Board became comprised of predominately African-Americans. From January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011, when the investigations regarding HPSI and SES occurred, five African-Americans and two Caucasians sat on the Board. After December 31, 2011, six African-Americans and one Caucasians sat on the Board. The latter was the composition when, on January 21, 2012, the Board voted not to renew his contract and to place the plaintiff on administrative leave, on March 22, 2012, when

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defendants Reese, Harper, and Reid defamed the plaintiff, and, on April 22, 2012, when the Board chose to impose no consequences on Delores Reid. 95. Even though the Board had an existing attorney who was Caucasian, the

almost all African-American Board of Education hired an African-American attorney to conduct the meeting on January 21, 2012 when the Board terminated the plaintiffs status as active Superintendent. 96. After Board terminated the plaintiffs status as active Superintendent, it

hired an African-American accountant to conduct an audit to try to find fault with the plaintiffs administration of the District. 97. During the time that the Board of Education was becoming more

predominately African-American, the plaintiff was recruiting Caucasian (predominately Hispanic) students from neighboring Southwest Detroit. (One of the plaintiffs missions, per his Employment Contract, was to recruit more students for the River Rouge School District.) 98. The plaintiff was highly qualified for the position of Superintendent for

the District. His performance during his entire tenure was excellent. The Board voiced no criticism of his performance during his tenure or even when the Board terminated the plaintiffs status as active Superintendent. 99. On January 21, 2012, the Board terminated the plaintiffs status as active

Superintendent. The defendants River Rouge School District, its Board of Education, Reese, Harper, and Reid, individually and in their official capacities and in conspiracy with the other defendants, discriminated against the defendant: by demoting him by placing him on administrative leave (effectively terminating his active employment and

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depriving him all of his responsibilities as superintendent), by withholding fringe benefits due; by refusing to renew his Employment Contract, by withholding from him notice of the meeting with members of the Madison Height Board of Education on March 22, 2012, and notice of the River Rouge Board of Education meeting on April 2, 2012, by making false and defamatory reports about his work performance to members of the Madison Height Board of Education on March 22, 2012, and, by defaming the plaintiff at the Board meeting on April 2, 2012. 100. Before January 21, 2012, the Board of Education was considering hiring a

new Superintendent. All of the candidates that the Board was considering were African Americans. 101. On January 21, 2012, the Board of Education replaced the plaintiff with

James Doig as Interim Superintendent from January 19, 2012, until June 30, 2012. James Doig is Caucasian. The Board of Education hired Doig, just as Interim Superintendent, in order to influence the Caucasian residents of River Rouge to vote for the then upcoming non-Homestead millage. 102. The defendants discriminated against the plaintiff, because he is

Caucasian/Hispanic. The Board wished to hire an African-American as the permanent superintendent after Doigs interim appointment. 103. The defendants have violated the ELCRA by disparately treating the

plaintiff in his job duties and conditions of employment on account of his race. 104. As a result of the defendants wrongful discrimination, the plaintiff has

suffered feelings of anguish, distress, embarrassment, humiliation and indignity.

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105.

The defendants wrongful discrimination is the proximate cause of

plaintiffs damages, including, but not limited to: damages for loss of fringe benefits before June 30, 2012, loss of salary and fringe benefits after June 30, 2012, emotional distress, exemplary damages, expenses associated with seeking other employment, loss of salary and benefits from employment with the Madison Heights School District, attorneys fees and costs. 106. The defendants acted against the plaintiff intentionally and with an evil

motive. Therefore, the plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages. COUNT IV - TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE WITH A BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP

107. 108.

The plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 106 above. There existed between the plaintiff and the Madison Heights School

District a valid business relationship and/or expectancy that the latter entity would hire the plaintiff as its superintendent. 109. Defendants Reid, Reese, Harper, and the Board of Education knew or

should have known about the business relationship and/or expectancy that existed between the plaintiff and the Madison Heights School District. 110. By the conduct described herein, Defendants Reid, Reese, Harper,

individually and in their official capacities, and the River Rouge Board of Education, in conspiracy with each other, intentionally and improperly interfered with the contract and business relationships and/or expectancy of plaintiff and the Madison Heights School District.

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111.

As a direct and proximate result of that interference, Defendants Reid,

Reese, Harper, and the River Rouge Board of Education caused or induced the Madison Heights School District to terminate its contractual agreements or prospective business relations with the plaintiff. 112. The Defendants acted with malice and without justification. The

defendants motive, in interfering with the contractual relationship of the plaintiff, was to obtain revenge and retaliation for the plaintiff making reports to the River Rouge School Board and to MDE and for the plaintiff seeking to terminate defendant Reids employment in the River Rouge School District due to her unlawful conduct. The defendants motive is obvious, because the Board president Reese and vice-president Harper permitted Reid to provide an evaluation to the Madison Heights Board, even though her antagonistic animus towards the plaintiff was obvious. It would have been obvious to any reasonable person, acting in good faith, that Reid could not provide a fair and objective evaluation of the plaintiffs performance. 113. The defendants wrongful interference is the proximate cause of plaintiffs

damages, including, but not limited to: emotional distress, exemplary damages, expenses associated with seeking other employment, loss of salary and benefits from employment with the Madison Heights School District, attorneys fees and costs. 114. The defendants acted against the plaintiff intentionally and with an evil

motive. Due to their bad faith, defendants Reid, Reese, and Harper are not entitled to governmental immunity. Due to their bad faith, defendants Reid, Reese, and Harper were not involved in a government function when they interfered with plaintiffs contractual relations. The Board of Education was not involved in a government function when it

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orchestrated the interference with plaintiffs contractual relations, and so, the Board of Education is directly and vicariously liable. None of the defendants are entitled to governmental immunity. Furthermore, the plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages.

COUNT V DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER AGAINST DEFENDANTS REID, REESE, AND HARPER 115. 116. The plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 114 above. On or about March 22, 2012, Defendants Reese, Harper, and Reid,

individually and in their official capacities, in conspiracy with defendants School District for the City of River Rouge and the River Rouge Board of Education, told Morrison and Marr from the Madison Heights Board of Education defamatory statements regarding the plaintiffs performance in the River Rouge School District, as set out in paragraph 57 above. 117. The statements about plaintiffs performance were untrue. Defendants

Reid, Reese, and Harper knew the statements were untrue when they made them. 118. As a direct and proximate result of the defamatory statements made about

the plaintiff, on March 22, 2012, the Madison Heights School Board refused to enter into the Employment Agreement (Ex. 4) to hire the plaintiff as superintendent. 119. As a direct and proximate result of the defamatory statements made about

the plaintiff, he was subjected to harassment and ignominy in the Madison Heights Community. 120. The defendants acted intentionally and with actual malice in making the

false public statements. They made their statements with knowledge of their falsity.

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121.

The defendants knew or should have known that the statements made

about the plaintiff would hold him up to hatred, scorn, contempt or ridicule in the community. 122. Defendants Reid, Reese, and Harper made the statements under the

direction of the River Rouge School District and Board of Education to create a pretext for the Boards termination of plaintiff which was actually without case and for improper and illegal purposes. 123. The defendants defamation is the proximate cause of plaintiffs damages,

including, but not limited to: emotional distress, exemplary damages, expenses associated with seeking other employment, loss of salary and benefits from employment with the Madison Heights School District, attorneys fees and costs. 124. The defendants acted against the plaintiff intentionally and with an evil

motive. Due to their bad faith, defendants Reid, Reese, and Harper are not entitled to governmental immunity. Due to their bad faith, defendants Reid, Reese, and Harper were not involved in a government function when they defamed the plaintiff. The Board of Education was not involved in a government function when it orchestrated Reids defamation of the plaintiff, and so, the Board of Education is directly and vicariously liable for the defamation of the plaintiff. None of the defendants are entitled to governmental immunity. Furthermore, the plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages. 125. Under this set of circumstances, injunctive relief is necessary and proper.

COUNT VI DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER AGAINST DEFENDANT REID

126.

The plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 125 above.

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127.

At the Board meeting on April 2, 2012, defendant Delores Reid,

individually and in her official capacity and in conspiracy with defendants School District for the City of River Rouge and the River Rouge Board of Education, spoke and made defamatory statements about the plaintiff as set out in paragraph 66 above. The statements about plaintiff were untrue. Defendant Reid knew the statements were untrue when she made them. 128. As a direct and proximate result of the defamatory statements made about

the plaintiff, on April 2, 2012, he was subjected to harassment and ignominy in the community. 129. The defendant Reid acted intentionally and with actual malice in making

the false public statements. She made her statements with knowledge of their falsity. 130. The defendants knew or should have known that the statements made

about the plaintiff would hold him up to hatred, scorn, contempt or ridicule in the community. 131. The accusations made by the defendant are false and defamatory of the

plaintiff and caused him damages. 132. Plaintiff had made written reports to the Board and the MDE stating that

Reid was responsible for the preference shown to Flaggs in connection with the SES program. But Reids allegations were that the plaintiff, by approving of her contracting with Flaggs, was responsible for any wrongdoing. Plaintiff had mailed or wired his

written reports to the MDE. If Reids accusations at the April 2, 2012 Board meeting were true, that would make the plaintiffs reports to the Board and the MDE false and fraudulent. Therefore, Reid's accusations impute that the plaintiff had committed a

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crime: common law fraud, and mail and wire fraud (18 USC 1341, 1343). Accusation of the commission of a crime is defamatory per se, meaning that special harm need not be proved. 133. Defendant Reid made the statements under the direction of the River

Rouge Board of Education to implement the purpose of that Board to create a pretext for the Boards termination of plaintiff which was actually without case and for improper and illegal purposes. 134. The defendants defamation is the proximate cause of plaintiffs damages,

including, but not limited to: lost wages and fringe benefits, emotional distress, exemplary damages, expenses associated with seeking other employment, attorneys fees and costs. 135. The defendants acted against the plaintiff intentionally and with an evil

motive. Due to her bad faith Reid is not entitled to governmental immunity. Defendant Reid was not involved in a government function when she defamed the plaintiff. The Board of Education was not involved in a government function when it orchestrated Reids defamation of the plaintiff, and so, the Board of Education is directly and vicariously liable for the defamation of the plaintiff. None of the defendants are entitled to governmental immunity. Furthermore, the plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages. 136. proper. Under this set of circumstances, injunctive relief is necessary and

COUNT VII - 42 USC SECTION 1983 DEPRIVATION OF PROPERTY WITHOUT DUE PROCESS 137. The plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 136 above.

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138.

Through his Employment Contract with the River Rouge School

District, the plaintiff has a property interest in his salary and fringe benefits from his position as Superintendent from July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2012, and, for some fringe benefits, after June 30, 2012. That contract provided that he could not be terminated from employment during the term of the contract except for good cause. 139. Thus, plaintiff has a legitimate claim of entitlement to unpaid past and

future fringe benefits from the School District. 140. By failing to pay the plaintiff the longevity pay, accumulated sick pay and

vacation pay due and, by implication, refusing to pay all the future fringe benefits to which the plaintiff is entitled, all of the defendants, individually and in their official capacities, in conspiracy with each other, have deprived the plaintiff of property without due process of law under color of law in violation of the 5th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution. 141. On January 21, 2012, the defendants demoted the plaintiff and terminated

him from actively carrying out his duties as Superintendent without providing him any notice of the charges against him and, therefore, without any opportunity to be heard. The notice of the January 21st meeting merely stated: PURPOSE: To consider the Superintendent [sic] request to extend or renew the Employment Contract between the School District of the City of River Rouge and Dr. Carlos Lopez. There was no notice that the Board would consider whether to terminate the plaintiff as Superintendent during the term of his existing Employment Contract. In addition, at the meeting itself neither the defendants nor the other members of the Board of Education expressed any charges or criticism against the defendant. The Board gave no reason for removing the plaintiff

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from actively fulfilling the duties his position, except that the Board wanted to go a different way, wanted change. Thus, neither by the notice of the meeting nor by the Boards discussion did the plaintiff have notice of the charges against him or an explanation of the employers evidence against him. 142. On March 22, 2012, all of the defendants conspired to present defendants

Reid, Reese, and Harper as representatives of the Board of Education and the School District to respond to the inquiries concerning the plaintiff by the Madison Height Board of Education. Defendants Reid, Reese, and Harper, individually and in their official capacities, criticized the plaintiffs performance of his duties, and presented such criticism as the basis for his termination, and published such criticism to two members of the Madison Heights Board of Education without affording the plaintiff notice of the meeting, notice of the charges against him, or the opportunity to be heard.. 143. On April 2, 2012, defendants Reid, Reese, Harper, River Rouge School

District and River Rouge Board of Education held a Board meeting to discuss the MDE report and the potential culpability of Reid. Since the defendants had actually terminated the plaintiff because he assigned culpability to Reid and sought her dismissal, the subject of this April 2nd meeting was, de facto, to determine the validity of the charges forming the basis for the plaintiffs termination. At the meeting, defendant Reid published several defamatory statements concerning the plaintiff. The defendants held the April 2nd meeting without affording the plaintiff notice of the meeting, notice of the charges against him, or the opportunity to be heard. 144. Since the defendants provided the plaintiff neither with prior notice of the

nature of the meetings nor prior notice of the charges against him nor prior explanation of

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the employers evidence against him, the plaintiff did not have an opportunity to present his side to the employer on March 22, 2012 or April 2, 2012. The defendants deprived the plaintiff of his property, the fringe benefits, without procedural due process. 145. In fact, the defendants had no good cause to terminate the defendants

active employment or to deprive him of fringe benefits. Therefore, defendants deprived the plaintiff of his property, the fringe benefits, without substantive due process. 146. These unconstitutional deprivations of plaintiffs liberty interests

implement or execute a policy statement, ordinance, regulation, or decision officially adopted and promulgated by the Board of Education for the City of River Rouge. Alternatively, the constitutional deprivations resulted from the "custom" of Board officials even though such custom did not receive formal approval through the Board's official decisionmaking channels. The policy or custom of the Board was to ignore nepotism and corruption perpetrated by African-American officials within the School District, and especially that of Dolores Reid, and to punish any person who attempted to uncover such corruption. This policy or custom is evident from the Boards

procrastination in taking action against former superintendent Bentford, its discharge of the finance director who reported Bentfords corruption, its rescission of its own nepotism policy regarding Board members hiring relatives in 2008-09, its procrastination and ultimate failure to take any action against Reid, and, its demotion of the plaintiff. Thus, the Board of Education and the School District for River Rouge are liable under 42 USC Sections 1983 and 1988. 147. Under 42 USC Sections 1983 and 1988, the defendants unconstitutional

acts are the proximate cause of plaintiffs damages, including, but not limited to:

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damages for loss of fringe benefits, emotional distress, exemplary damages, expenses associated with seeking other employment, loss of salary and benefits from employment with the Madison Heights School District, injunctive relief, and attorneys fees and costs. 148. In depriving the plaintiff of procedural and substantive due process, all of

the defendants acted with evil motive and intent. Their motive was to remove the plaintiff from his employment so that they could avoid taking any corrective actions against Dolores Reid and allow her to perpetrate corruption with impunity. Therefore, the defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity and the plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages.

COUNT VIII -42 USC SECTION 1983 DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY WITHOUT DUE PROCESS

149. 150.

The plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 148 above. A person's reputation, good name, and honor are among liberty interests

protected by the due process clause of the 5th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution. The liberty guaranteed by the 14th Amendment includes right of the individual to contract and to engage in any of the common occupations of life. 151. Defendants Reid, Reese, and Harper, as individuals and in their official

capacities, in conspiracy with the other defendants, made false and defamatory statements to third parties on March 22, 2012 concerning the plaintiff, as set out in paragraph 57 above. 152. The defamatory statements seriously damaged the plaintiffs standing and

associations in his community. By their defamatory statements, the defendants imposed on the plaintiff a stigma or other disability that unjustly foreclosed his freedom to take

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advantage of employment with the Madison Heights School District and will unjustly limit his future employment opportunities. 153. Defendant Reid, as an individual and in her official capacity, in conspiracy

with the other defendants, made false and defamatory statements to third parties on April 2, 2012 concerning the plaintiff, as set out in paragraph 66 above. The defamatory statements seriously damaged the plaintiffs standing and associations in his community. Reids defamatory statement imputed guilt of dishonesty and immorality to the plaintiff. Reids charges of fraud and untruthfulness infringed upon the plaintiffs protected interest in liberty. By her defamatory statements, the Reid imposed on the plaintiff a stigma or other disability that foreclosed his freedom to take advantage of other employment 154. The defendants deprived the plaintiff of his reputation, good name, and

honor without notice and an opportunity to be heard. 155. The defendants never made know to the plaintiff that he could have an

opportunity to clear his names upon request, before the defendants publicly disseminated the false accusations. This defamation about plaintiff amounts to a deprivation of their liberty interests without due process of law. 156. By making the defamatory statements without providing the plaintiff

notice and an opportunity to be heard, the defendants deprived the plaintiff of his liberty interest to serve out the rest of the existing term under his Employment Contract, without due process of law. Also, by making the defamatory statements without providing the plaintiff notice and an opportunity to be heard, the defendants deprived the plaintiff of his

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liberty interest to the renewal of his Employment Contract for future terms, without due process of law. 157. These unconstitutional deprivations of plaintiffs liberty interests

implement or execute a policy statement, ordinance, regulation, or decision officially adopted and promulgated by the Board of Education for the City of River Rouge. Alternatively, the constitutional deprivations resulted from the "custom" of Board officials even though such custom did not receive formal approval through the Board's official decisionmaking channels. The policy or custom of the Board was to ignore nepotism and corruption perpetrated by African-American officials within the School District, and especially that of Dolores Reid, and to punish any person who attempted to uncover such corruption. This policy or custom is evident from the Boards

procrastination in taking action against former superintendent Bentford, its discharge of the finance director who reported Bentfords corruption, its rescission of its own nepotism policy regarding Board members hiring relatives in 2008-09, its procrastination and ultimate failure to take any action against Reid, and, its demotion of the plaintiff. Thus, the Board of Education and the School District for River Rouge are liable under 42 USC Sections 1983 and 1988. 158. Under 42 USC Sections 1983 and 1988, the defendants unconstitutional

acts are the proximate cause of plaintiffs damages, including, but not limited to: damages for loss of salary and fringe benefits from the River Rouge School District, emotional distress, exemplary damages, expenses associated with seeking other employment, loss of salary and benefits from employment with the Madison Heights School District, injunctive relief, and attorneys fees and costs.

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159.

In depriving the plaintiff of his liberty interest, all of the defendants acted Their motive was to remove the plaintiff from his

with evil motive and intent.

employment so that they could avoid taking any corrective actions against Dolores Reid and allow her to perpetrate corruption with impunity. Therefore, the defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity and the plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages. COUNT IX - 42 USC SECTION 1983 DEPRIVATION OF RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH UNDER THE 1st AMENDMENT

160. 161.

The plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 159 above. The plaintiff has the right to freedom of speech under the 1st and 14th

Amendments to the United States Constitution. 162. Defendants River Rouge Board of Education and River Rouge School

District, in conspiracy with the other defendants, demoted the plaintiff, deprived him of fringe benefits, refused to renew his Employment Contract, and defamed him, because he expressed himself to the Board and the MDE regarding the official corruption of Delores Reid, and, because he expressed to the Board the need to discharge Ms. Reid. 163. The 1st Amendment protects a citizens right to criticize public officials,

report official corruption, and to seek redress of grievances against the government. The plaintiffs speech concerning official corruption was a matter of public concern and was, thus, protected by the 1st Amendment. 164. The defendants violated the plaintiffs 1st Amendment rights by taking

adverse employment action against him and by defaming him. 165. These unconstitutional deprivations of plaintiffs liberty interests

implement or execute a policy statement, ordinance, regulation, or decision officially

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adopted and promulgated by the Board of Education for the City of River Rouge. Alternatively, the constitutional deprivations resulted from the "custom" of Board officials even though such custom did not receive formal approval through the Board's official decisionmaking channels. The policy or custom of the Board was to ignore nepotism and corruption perpetrated by African-American officials within the School District, and especially that of Dolores Reid, and to punish any person who attempted to uncover such corruption. This policy or custom is evident from the Boards

procrastination in taking action against former superintendent Bentford, its discharge of the finance director who reported Bentfords corruption, its rescission of its own nepotism policy regarding Board members hiring relatives in 2008-09, its procrastination and ultimate failure to take any action against Reid, and, its demotion of the plaintiff. Thus, the Board of Education and the School District for River Rouge are liable under 42 USC Sections 1983 and 1988. 166. Under 42 USC Sections 1983 and 1988, the defendants unconstitutional

acts are the proximate cause of plaintiffs damages, including, but not limited to: damages loss of fringe benefits before June 30, 2012, loss of salary and fringe benefits after June 30, 2012, emotional distress, exemplary damages, expenses associated with seeking other employment, loss of salary and benefits from employment with the Madison Heights School District, injunctive relief, and attorneys fees and costs. 167. In depriving the plaintiff of his freedom of speech, all of the defendants

acted with evil motive and intent. Their motive was to remove the plaintiff from his employment so that they could avoid taking any corrective actions against Dolores Reid

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and allow her to perpetrate corruption with impunity. Therefore, the defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity and the plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages.

MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY AND PERMANENT ORDER OF MANDAMUS DIRECTED TO THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 168. 169. Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1-167 above. The defendants, members of the River Rouge Board of Education, as

officials in control of the School District, have a clear legal duty under the Employment Contract and under the constitutional, statutory, and common law provisions stated above to provide the past and future fringe benefits and salary claimed by the plaintiff. 170. The defendants have no discretion to withhold past or future salary or

benefits from the plaintiff under the circumstances alleged in the Complaint. 171. 172. There is a need for immediate action to protect the benefits of the plaintiff. The plaintiff is entitled to a preliminary order of mandamus compelling

the members of the Board of Education to provide the following fringe benefits to the plaintiff now: (1) longevity pay for the 2010-11 school year and 2011-12 school year; (2) accumulated vacation pay through June 30, 2012, and (3) accumulated sick leave pay through June 30, 2012. 173. The plaintiff is entitled to a permanent order of mandamus compelling the

members of the Board of Education to provide the following to the plaintiff: (1) future fringe benefits from June 30, 2012 forward, (2) future salary from June 30, 2012 forward, and (3) other damages for which the defendants are found liable.

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MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER 174. 175. Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1-173 above. Immediate and irreparable injury, loss and damage will result to the

plaintiff from the delay required to effect notice to the defendants or from the risk that notice will itself precipitate adverse action before an order can be issued. 176. The plaintiff has applications for employment pending with several school

districts in the state. It is likely that, if those districts wish to employ the plaintiff, they will first inquire about his performance from officials in the River Rouge School District. 177. If the plaintiff files this Complaint without obtaining a temporary

restraining order, it is highly likely that the defendants will publish defamatory comments to plaintiffs prospective employers upon being served. 178. In the time necessary to hold a hearing on a preliminary injunction, it is

highly likely that the defendants will further interfere with the plaintiffs freedom to take advantage of other employment opportunities. MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION 179. 180. Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1-178 above. A real and imminent danger of irreparable injury arises if a preliminary

and a permanent injunction are not issued to stop the defendants from defaming the plaintiff. The plaintiff has applications for employment pending with several school districts in the state. It is likely that, if those districts wish to employ the plaintiff, they will first inquire about his performance from officials in the River Rouge School District. 181. The defendants have intentionally and maliciously defamed the defendant

on two occurrences already. They have caused the plaintiff to lose a valuable

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employment opportunity. It is likely that this malicious conduct will continue after this suit is filed. Therefore, there is an immediate risk of irreparable harm, if the defendants are allowed in the future to disseminate false information about the plaintiffs performance. 182. There is great likelihood that the plaintiff will succeed at trial on the

merits of his claims for defamation of character, interference with contractual relations, and violation of the 5th and 14th Amendments. 183. There exists no adequate remedy at law to halt the defendants from

sabotaging the plaintiffs future employment. 184. Others will not be harmed if the Court grants a preliminary injunction.

The potential future employer can review plaintiffs personnel file instead of speaking with River Rouge School District employees and officials. 185. The public interest is in favor of a preliminary injunction. The public

interest is in preventing discrimination in employment due to a person reporting official corruption and due to race. In terminating the plaintiffs active employment with pay, the defendants expressed their intent to thus facilitate him finding future employment. Therefore, the defendants themselves have acknowledged the public interest is in facilitating the plaintiffs future employment. 186. Justice requires that the court grant the injunctions.

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RELIEF REQUESTED: The plaintiff seeks the following relief: A. Plaintiff request that, upon filing of this Complaint, the Court issue a Temporary Restraining Order, prohibiting all of the defendants, their successors in office, agents, employees, assigns, attorneys, and all persons acting in concert with them with knowledge of the Order, from providing any information except the plaintiffs personnel file to any board of education or its members from any local or intermediate school district in the State of Michigan until the Court enters an order on the motion for preliminary injunction. B. Plaintiff requests that, upon filing of this Complaint, the Court issue an Order to Show Cause why the Court should not issue (1) a preliminary injunction prohibiting all of the defendants , their successors in office, agents, employees, assigns, attorneys, and all persons acting in concert with them with knowledge of the Order, from providing any information except the plaintiffs personnel file to any board of education or its members from any local or intermediate school district in the State of Michigan, and (2) a preliminary writ of mandamus compelling defendant Board of Education for the City of River Rouge to furnish to the plaintiff (a) longevity pay for the 2010-11 school year and 2011-12 school year; (b) sick leave pay and vacation pay through June 30, 2012, until this Court enters final judgment in this case. C. Plaintiff requests that, upon hearing of the Order to Show Cause, the Court issue a preliminary writ of mandamus and a preliminary injunction against all defendants and their successors, reflecting the relief sought in the Orders to Show Cause. D. Plaintiff requests that, upon final hearing in this case, the Court:

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(1) enter a permanent injunction prohibiting all of the defendants their successors in office, agents, employees, assigns, attorneys, and all persons acting in concert with them with knowledge of the Order, from providing any information except the plaintiffs personnel file to any board of education or its members from any local or intermediate school district in the State of Michigan; (2) enter a declaratory judgment against the defendants determining the future salary and fringe benefits to which the plaintiff is entitled from the River Rouge School District; (3) enter a permanent writ of mandamus compelling the defendants River Rouge School District and River Rouge Board of Education to pay to the plaintiff his future salary and fringe benefits from June 30, 2012 forward; (4) enter a permanent writ of mandamus compelling the defendants River Rouge School District and River Rouge Board of Education to pay to the defendant his other compensatory, exemplary, and punitive damages and, to his attorney, reasonable attorneys fees and costs. (5) enter a monetary judgment against the defendants, individually and in their official capacities, for compensatory, exemplary, and punitive damages, and for the plaintiffs reasonable attorney fees and costs.

[The Complaint is continued on next page.]

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(6) grant such other relief as the Court deems fair and equitable.

I declare that the statements above are true to the best of my information, knowledge, and belief. /s/ Carlos Lopez CARLOS LOPEZ

Signed and sworn to before me in Wayne County, Michigan, on April 17, 2012.

Notary's Stamp JOANNE ISSA Notary Public Michigan Wayne County My Commission Expires July 17, 2018 Acting in the County of Wayne

Notary's Signature /s/ Joanne Issa

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Robert L. Levi Attorney for Plaintiff 6675 Edwood Avenue West Bloomfield, MI 48324 (248) 366-4412 robert@robertlevilaw.com Dated: April 18, 2012

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EXHIBIT 1

EXHIBIT 2

EXHIBIT 3

EXHIBIT 4