Former Bibb County school Superintendent Romain Dallemand has launched a second legal battle against the accounting firm Mauldin & Jenkins.
Dallemand filed a federal lawsuit against the Macon business Monday, alleging that it manipulated and falsified records that ultimately resulted in the loss of Dallemand’s educator license.
An audit of the Bibb County school system, presented to the school board in February 2014, criticized Dallemand, saying that he had violated school board policy during his administration by ordering more than $26 million in technology equipment and services without the required, prior approval of the board.
That audit was later forwarded to the state’s Professional Standards Commission, Georgia’s educator regulatory agency, and it led to the revocation of Dallemand’s license.
Contrary to the Mauldin & Jenkins audit, Dallemand contended in his suit that he did not violate board policy. At the time, policy required board approval of proposed contracts in excess of $500,000.
He said in his complaint that the contracts were actually “subcontracts” and did not require such prior approval. The filing says that “the execution of any such subcontracts” was within the authority of the purchasing department, project manager or general contractor, all of whom “had been previously duly appointed by the board.”
Dallemand, who filed the lawsuit himself in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, is seeking damages of more than $75,000, alleging fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, professional negligence, slander and “interference with advantageous relations.”
The newest legal action against Mauldin & Jenkins comes after a similar case in Florida, also filed by Dallemand. A judge dismissed it in May, citing venue and jurisdiction concerns.
“I will, pretty quickly, dispose of this by saying that the motion to dismiss and/or to transfer to Bibb County, Georgia, is appropriate and should be granted,” Judge Hugh Haynes said after listening to arguments for about 10 minutes.
Phone messages left for Dallemand were not returned.
William Newcomb, the attorney representing Mauldin & Jenkins, told The Telegraph his client denies all of Dallemand’s “baseless” claims.
In the coming weeks, he said, a pre-discovery motion will be filed addressing Dallemand’s allegations.
“We will hopefully get the judge to dismiss all the claims,” Newcomb said.
To contact writer David Schick, call 744-4382 or find him on Twitter@davidcschick.