Law & Courts News in Brief

Arbitrator Sides With Leader Fired for Ignoring Threats

By The Associated Press — November 29, 2016 1 min read
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An arbitrator has sided with a former Fairbanks North Star Borough school district superintendent who was fired in 2014 for incompetence.

The arbitration opinion says that the Alaska district has been ordered to pay former Superintendent Pete Lewis $88,205 in damages. According to the opinion, the school board gave Lewis high marks in performance reviews but disagreed with some of his judgment calls. The arbitrator ruled that the board disagreeing with discretionary judgment is not grounds for termination for incompetence.

Lewis was fired shortly after sexual misconduct allegations came to light involving students and school employees. School officials say Lewis ignored signs of grooming behavior and failed to realize students were at risk.

Hutchison High School tutor Claude Fowlkes III is accused of having sex with a minor student while on campus. The case is scheduled to go to trial next month.

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