Eric McCurdy was the subject of a complaint from former employee Krystyana Brame, who said he bullied her. McCurdy says his firing violated his Constitutional rights and endangered his future career opportunities.
The Seattle Public Schools athletic director accused of bullying a former district employee is appealing his firing in King County Superior Court, claiming he was the subject of a vendetta based on inaccurate information and his race.
Eric McCurdy claims the termination violated his Constitutional rights, endangered his future career opportunities and had “a stigmatizing impact upon him.”
McCurdy was the subject of a complaint from former district employee Krystyana Brame, who said he bullied her and made sexually explicit comments on the job. In a settlement last month, the district agreed to pay Brame and her attorneys $500,000 but did not admit any wrongdoing. Soon after, the district said McCurdy would leave his job at the end of the year but offered few details.
In an appeal and complaint for damages filed in King County Superior Court Friday, McCurdy said he was fired from the school district and asked the court to reverse the district’s decision. McCurdy said in a news release from his attorney that he was fired “based upon hearsay and inaccurate information.”
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The district declined to comment on McCurdy’s claims.
The school district notified McCurdy of his potential termination on Nov. 2, according to his complaint. Superintendent Denise Juneau had reviewed the district’s investigative report about Brame’s complaint and had concerns about McCurdy’s ability to lead a program requiring “daily student, staff and parent interactions,” the complaint alleges. The district also cited “unfavorable public attention on the district” due to Brame’s settlement and “concerns about [McCurdy’s] ability to interact professionally with other district staff,” according to the complaint.
McCurdy “presented his case” about why he shouldn’t be fired at a pre-termination hearing Nov. 16 and Juneau fired him Nov. 20, effective Dec. 31, according to the complaint.
In his legal complaint, McCurdy took issue with the district’s internal investigation into complaints from Brame and another employee, claiming the investigator did not interview everyone on a list McCurdy provided. The complaint called the district’s failure to require Brame to sign a nondisclosure agreement as part of the $500,000 settlement “inept.”
In a claim for damages provided by his attorney’s office, McCurdy alleged the district violated state anti-discrimination law. Juneau terminated McCurdy “based on overt or implicit racial bias, assuming that Mr. McCurdy, an African American man, had acted inappropriately toward Ms. Brame, a Caucasian woman,” the claim said.
McCurdy’s complaint asks the court to review and reverse his firing and order damages for emotional distress and other costs.