Defamation Expert Witness: Educator Suffered Loss of Earnings After Unfair Termination

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on October 10, 2017

Defamation Expert WitnessThis case involves the firing of a senior administrator of a school district in Florida. The Plaintiff in this case had previously fired employees who had close relationships with members of the school board. Subsequently, the Plaintiff was terminated with no due process, which was a right in her contract. The Plaintiff’s firing came shortly after she received a favorable performance evaluation. The Plaintiff alleged that she was fired for reasons unrelated to he job performance, and that her termination without due process was a deviation from the terms of her employment contract. Furthermore, she alleged that her firing would have a negative affect on her career prospects, and that she could expect a significant loss of earnings due to damage to her reputation.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What is your experience hiring for senior executive positions in education?
  • 2. How does one's firing from an executive position affect future chances for employment?
  • 3. To what extent are the circumstances surrounding one's firing considered in future evaluations?

Expert Witness Response E-044385

I have been in the education industry for 38 years, including Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent positions in California, Florida, and Arizona. Currently, I am a Lead Partner at a superintendent search firm that conducts about 40% of all outsourced superintendent searches in my state. Being fired from an executive position definitely adversely impacts a candidate’s opportunity in the hiring pool. I would estimate that a previously fired individual who is looking for a similar position is only successfully on-boarded about 20% of the time when an independent search firm is running the hiring process. When a school district or school board is handling the process on their own, the chances are even lower, because boards are so adverse to candidates with controversial prior history. In addition to having a lower chance of getting hired, terminated administrators may have additional lost earnings because they are less able to get consulting work after retirement.

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