070120_HDH_GadsonLawsuit

McDONOUGH — A federal lawsuit filed by a former superintendent candidate against the Henry County school district has been settled.

The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia by Dr. Timothy Gadson in June 2019 alleging race discrimination, retaliation and defamation.

The amount of the settlement was not immediately available.

In June 2017, Gadson was named the sole finalist for the superintendent position by the Henry County Board of Education. Weeks later, the BOE rescinded the offer claiming that contract demands made by Gadson “far exceeded what has been traditionally extended to previous superintendents by way of salary and compensation packages.”

In a statement issued by the school system on June 26, district spokesman JD Hardin said the matter was turned over to the district’s insurance carrier to be handled, adding that a financial settlement had been reached.

The lawsuit claimed Gadson suffered economic damages, emotional distress, inconvenience, humiliation and damage to his professional reputation, career and other indignities. Gadson asked for attorney fees, punitive damages, compensatory damages as well as a declaratory judgement “naming Dr. Gadson superintendent of HSCD and affording him all of the benefits of the three-year contract currently in place for the current superintendent or front pay in lieu of the same.”

On Monday, the Herald requested the settlement amount via the Freedom of Information Act and is awaiting an answer.

Gadson’s attorney Tracey Barbaree had no comment when asked about the settlement.

In addition to the HCS, board members Joshua Hinton, Pam Nutt and Holly Cobb were named as defendants in the case; however, they were dismissed from the lawsuit and are not parties to the settlement, Hardin said.

In its statement, the BOE wished “Dr. Gadson the best as he moves forward in future endeavors.”

It appears Gadson has remained in the field of education and is now working as an associate superintendent for high schools for a school district in Minnesota.

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