The Bibb County Board of Education filed a $7.5 million counterclaim Friday against former Superintendent Romain Dallemand in response to his $10 million claim, which he filed Feb. 10 alleging violations of his severance agreement.
The board claims that Dallemand’s severance agreement was procured by fraud, which renders it void and unenforceable because it requires the board to do “unethical and illegal things,” according to documents obtained by The Telegraph.
Dallemand’s original filing with the American Arbitration Association contends that board members “flagrantly and intentionally” breached his severance agreement and committed “acts of libel and slander” against him.
The board’s counterclaim refutes his accusations and states that no statements, verbal or written, have been made by the board or the district that would violate Dallemand’s severance agreement.
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The counterclaim adds, “Any and all statements the Board of Education or the district have made about Dr. Dallemand are true. Dr. Dallemand therefore cannot recover on his claims for libel and slander.”
Attempts to contact Dallemand by phone on Friday were unsuccessful. Board members refused to comment on the pending litigation.
The $7.5 million counterclaim total comes from Dallemand’s “unauthorized purchases” that were discovered in an audit report from the accounting firm Mauldin & Jenkins nearly a year ago.
That audit, presented to the Bibb school board after Dallemand had left the district, said Dallemand had repeatedly violated school board policy by ordering more than $26 million in technology equipment and services without the required, prior approval of the board.
The school board’s counterclaim mentions a handful of those technology service upgrades mentioned but hones in on two specific purchases: $3.2 million made to Pinnacle/CSG and $3.7 million made to CompTech.
The board is seeking to recoup these two expenditures as well as the $350,000 it paid Dallemand in severance, plus additional legal expenses, and other benefits he received.
The district “has only received a small part of the items” from Pinnacle and adds that “the items it has received are of no use to the district.”
The $3.7 million CompTech purchase was for 15,000 Ncomputing devices. According to the counterclaim, only 200 of the devices are in use, and the other 14,800 “remain in their boxes in a warehouse and are of no use to the district.”
The board contends it “would not have entered into the severance agreement” with Dallemand had board members known about these outstanding and unauthorized purchases.
Dallemand’s “suppression of that information ... constitute fraud and breach of fiduciary duty,” according to the school board’s counterclaim.
Last month, Dallemand filed an appeal with the state’s Professional Standards Commission, Georgia’s educator regulatory agency, to reverse the revocation of his certification.
The revocation of his certification -- revoked last October after a copy of the Mauldin & Jenkins audit was forwarded to the PSC and state Attorney General -- is one of the alleged violations of his service agreement.
To contact writer David Schick, call 744-4382.