Busey files federal lawsuit against Richland School District

<p>Dr. Jim Busey</p>

Dr. Jim Busey

The former superintendent of the Richland School District Dr. Jim Busey, files a federal lawsuit against the district and its school board members, accusing them of violating his civil rights by firing him.

The lawsuit states the Richland School District and board members did not have proper grounds to fire Busey, and they did not properly handle his termination.

The lawsuit is asking for at least $1 million dollars in damages.

The school board fired Busey last month.

Board members said he conducted a long-standing extramarital, sexual affair with a subordinate school district employee, and they say he pursued another romantic relationship with a woman he met through the district.

They say this violated a morals clause in his contract, and board members said Busey had lost their trust.

In the lawsuit, Busey admits to having a relationship with a staff member, but says he was not her immediate supervisor, and the relationship was consensual.

He also says he told the school board about the relationship back in November.

The lawsuit claims the school board did not notify Busey before he was terminated, and Busey's attorney says that violates state law.

"We have a statute that's very clear and requires the school district to provide notice of probable cause, and an opportunity to have a hearing before termination. And that did not occur in this case" said Brian Iller, Busey's attorney.

"Certainly not unexpected. We're focused on the superintendent search, on moving forward in our educational system, on implementing the last voter approved bond. We're looking forward not back" said Rick Jansons, Richland School Board president.

In the lawsuit, Busey states his relationship with the staff member did not affect his work performance.

He also believes he should still be employed, because he says the school district did not follow proper procedure.

Iller says Busey is frustrated that this issue has come to a lawsuit.

He says during the next few months, he will continue collecting evidence.

A potential hearing on the case could be months away.

The lawsuit also states that under state law, Busey has a right to be free of discrimination in employment based on marital status.

He argues his marital status and the relationship outside of his marriage was a substantial factor in his termination.