David Butts also filed a separate motion with the school district's attorneys on Wednesday asking them to dismiss the man appointed to preside over Ellis' hearing because of a conflict of interest.
In the lawsuit, Butts is asking the court to compel the district to provide him with documents he deems necessary to Ellis' defense.
The laws governing school personnel hearings do not require attorneys to share documents, but Butts said that doesn't mean they can't do so.
"Why not give it to us," he said. "What are you hiding? Give us a fair chance."
Butts' suit also claims that the administration is intimidating potential witnesses to keep them from talking to Butts. He is asking the court to stop that intimidation and to allow him to interview these witnesses, which include students, teachers and parents.
The suit also asks that the hearing officer be dismissed and requests the payment of court fees.
Tupelo School Board attorney Otis Tims said he had just received a copy of the motion and the suit and would comment when he had a chance to review them.
Ellis was dismissed Oct. 28. The school district presented him with a list of reasons for his dismissal, but neither Butts nor the school district has elaborated on what those reasons are.
The suit does note three of charges, such as the expenditure of funds from the "Tupelo Choral Booster's Club," that Ellis signed contracts obligating the TPSD to payment of funds and that Ellis "intimidat(ed), threaten(ed) and coerc(ed)" students to not attend classes.
Ellis denies all three claims, Butts said, noting that the district has not provided him information on any of the three.
Tupelo's School Board voted 4-1 in a specially called meeting Monday to use John Compton as a hearing officer for Ellis' appeal instead of directly hearing that appeal.
In asking for a dismissal of that hearing officer, Butts claims that Compton has a conflict of interest because of his association as an attorney for the Meridian and Lauderdale County School districts.
Both districts are members of the Mississippi School Boards Association, as is Tupelo. Jim Keith, the attorney for MSBA, was retained by the Tupelo School District for its case against Ellis.
"It is improper and unethical, or would appear to be unethical, for Mr. Compton to preside over the hearing in this case, as Mr. Compton has, or potentially has, a conflict of interest," the objection states.
In his motion, Butts asks the board to reconsider its decision to appoint a hearing officer. If the board decides to use a hearing officer, he asks that it allow him to work with the district's attorneys to select an officer that both sides deem fair.
Butts' lawsuit is against the school board, the district, interim superintendent David Meadows, Tupelo High School Principal Jason Harris, the district's attorneys, Compton and other confidential parties.
The other parties represent others who may be intimidating witnesses, Butts said.