WOODBURN, Ore. (AP) — A lawyer representing the Woodburn School District Superintendent, who has been placed on leave, has filed a notice saying he intends to sue the school district.
In the notice, lawyer Maria Witt says Superintendent Oscar Moreno Gilson was “targeted and retaliated against for attempting to institute a culture of accountability” within the Woodburn School District, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
Moreno Gilson assumed the top role in Woodburn last summer. In the notice, Witt said Moreno Gilson restructured the district’s senior leadership team and made changes based on the Oregon Department of Education’s Every Student Belongs rule, which prohibits hate symbols and requires districts to adopt policies around bias incidents.
Moreno Gilson received positive feedback but also faced pushback, and his leave was “prompted” by a complaint from a senior district employee, according to the notice.
The Woodburn school board voted to place Moreno Gilson on administrative leave in January while an outside investigator looked into a personnel complaint, board chair Anthony Medina said at the time.
Moreno Gilson intends to sue the district for claims including breach of contract, retaliation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
According to his attorney, Moreno Gilson submitted the notice Tuesday afternoon. Several hours later, the board held a special meeting that included a private, executive session.
In a statement sent to the news outlet Medina said, “The Woodburn School District has a practice of not commenting on litigation or personnel issues. We wish Mr. Moreno Gilson well in his future endeavors.”