Bradley case to be heard Nov. 5
By By Robert Blankenship, Staff Writer
A lawsuit filed by former Escambia County Superintendent Margaret Breland-Bradley against the county board of education will be presented to a district court jury in Mobile on November 5, according to the district court's clerk office.
Bradley was superintendent of county schools for 21 months. She was hired in September, 1998 and the board voted to not renew her contract by a 4-3 vote in April, 2000. She filed a lawsuit against the school board citing reasons of discrimination based on sex and race.
The trial will begin at 9 a.m. in Mobile. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for October 10 at 10 a.m.
In the lawsuit, Bradley makes claims against board members Steven McGill, Janice Ash, Danny Benjamin, Jack Crutchfield, Michael Goolsby, Willie J. Grissett and Richard Hawthorne in their official capacities. It also cites former board members A.D. Johnson and James Dukes. She is also suing current and former board members Johnson, Ash, Goolsby and Dukes individually.
In a claim filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama, Southern Division, Bradley accuses the defendants of denying her right to be free of "arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory decision making, in violation of the 14th Amendment."
The suit was filed by Bradley's attorney, Ronnie L. Williams of Mobile.
Bradley seeks an injuncture requiring the school board to reinstate her as the superintendent position with full back pay and benefits, including vacation pay. She also seeks compensatory damages against the board and individual defendants in the amount of $1 million and punitive damages against the individual defendants for another $1 million. In addition, she seeks reimbursement for any costs and expenses of bringing the lawsuit.
According to documentation filed with the court, Bradley said she was told her contract would be extended at the end of her initial two-year contract. She also claims interference by board members in carrying out responsibilities as superintendent.