Todd claim dismissed, could be revived

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

AMORY – Former principal Leigh Todd’s claim she was interfered with in the course of her work, which brought about her firing, was dismissed Monday but could be revived.
Todd, who lost her job at Amory School District’s West Amory Elementary School, sued the district, its then-superintendent Dr. Gearl Loden and its special education director Dr. Candace Moore.
She claims she was unlawfully fired, that her contract was breached and that they interfered with her work to justify her termination.
In the new order, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills said that since Todd already gave up her claims of unlawful termination and breach of contract, the only issue left was the malicious interference.
“It would be premature for the court” to decide that issue now, because very little information has been put forth yet about the case, Mills wrote in his four-page order.
While he dismissed the defendants’ motion, he said it could be re-filed.
Defense attorney Brad Dillard of Tupelo said he and his clients are “pleased with the ruling and will seek dismissal of the remaining claims at the appropriate time.”
Todd’s attorneys, Jim Waide and Rachel Pierce of Tupelo, could not be reached.
Todd’s performance became an issue in March 2011 when she forced a special-needs student to stick out his tongue for several hours and failed to make sure he had lunch.
After a three-day public hearing, the school board affirmed her firing.
But Mills said Todd could proceed with her claims that Loden and Moore intended to keep her from getting the curriculum director job.
They deny her allegations.
Todd did not appeal her firing but filed the federal lawsuit in June 2011.
The civil case’s trial is set for June 3, 2013.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com