The superintendent of the Chester County school district filed a lawsuit Monday against the school board chair and a former board lawyer, accusing both of defamation and conspiracy.
The lawsuit filed by Angela Bain, superintendent since 2016, against board chair Denise Lawson and former board lawyer Kenneth Childs of Columbia, centers on Bain’s outside work as a consultant and whether she will retain her job in Chester, the lawsuit shows.
The lawsuit was filed just a day before a special called meeting of the Chester school board, set for Tuesday, that has as its only agenda item a potential closed door meeting. The meeting of the Chester school board is only, “to receive legal advice concerning all matters related to the superintendent’s contract and other matters covered by attorney-client privilege in executive session,” the agenda states.
Bain claims in the lawsuit that her outside consulting work for other districts is allowed under her contract with the Chester school district. Yet she accused Lawson and Childs of making “false and untrue statements” about Bain’s consulting work, the lawsuit states.
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Bain “has been falsely accused of willfully defrauding the Chester County school district by accepting compensation from outside sources and being incompetent or unfit for her job due to the same,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit states that “allegations and insinuations” that Bain was “double-dipping,” have led to Bain’s “probable if not likely termination” with the Chester school district.
The lawsuit also alleges Lawson and Childs “schemed” to remove Bain as superintendent.
The suit also claims that Bain’s ability to “obtain supplemental income through her consulting work” has been diminished.
Bain wants actual and punitive damages.
Bain was hired soon after former superintendent Agnes Slayman resigned in 2015.
Lewis Cromer of Columbia, Bain’s lawyer, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Efforts to reach Lawson and Childs through school district and law firm phone numbers on their respective Web sites was unsuccessful.
The school board meeting Tuesday in Chester is at 6 p.m. at the Chester School district, 509 District Office Drive, Chester.