School & District Management

Ex-Albuquerque Superintendent Sues District for $125,000

By Corey Mitchell — February 20, 2015 1 min read
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Former Albuquerque, N.M., schools Superintendent Winston Brooks is suing the school district, claiming that his replacement breached an agreement that said neither the district nor Brooks would vilify each other.

Television station KOAT reported that Brooks is seeking $125,000 plus attorney’s fees for comments that interim schools chief Brad Winter made in an Albuquerque Journal article published Sept. 16, roughly a month after Brooks agreed to resign. At that time, he and Albuquerque Public Schools signed a termination agreement with a $350,000 buyout.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that Winter said:

“I just couldn’t work with him (Brooks) anymore,” because he was fed up with what he described as Brooks’ unwillingness to work with the business community, the state Public Education Department, and neighborhood groups.

The lawsuit described five statements made by Winter that Brooks claimed violated the buyout agreement and would make APS subject to damages of $25,000 each.

The settlement document between the school system and Brooks said “the board and central office administration will not disparage the conduct, character, performance or ethics” of Brooks or his wife, the newspaper reported. The agreement also said APS would not file any legal complaints against Brooks or his wife, and Brooks agreed he would not disparage the district or its board.

Brooks had led the district since 2008; the reasons behind his resignation have not been publicly revealed. Before his departure, the school board hired a law firm to investigate a personnel matter involving Brooks.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.