Beaumont Independent School District sued by ex-teacher after fraud investigation

Joel Brakken Jan. 14, 2014, 8:01am

A former middle school teacher is suing the Beaumont school district claiming he was wrongfully terminated after making a whistleblower claim. 

George W. Thomas Jr. filed a lawsuit Dec. 23 in the District Court of Jefferson County against the Beaumont Independent School District, Superintendent Dr. Timothy Chargois, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Patricia Lambert, Director of Human Resources Sybil L. Comeaux and Principal Duaine Harris, citing a whistleblower claim.

The plaintiff says he began teaching at South Park Middle School in the fall of 2008 in the position as In-School Suspension teacher until he was removed Aug. 26, 2013.

According to the complaint, Thomas received no adverse evaluations or reprimands during his tenure in the position. He alleges that Principal Harris asked him to add students who were out-of-school suspended to the in-school suspension attendance sheet.

Thomas says shortly after June 2013, he consulted with the Texas State Teacher's Association representative regarding illegal acts requested by Principal Harris and began to cooperate with the Texas Education Agency for their investigation of the attendance fraud at South Park Middle School.

On Aug. 26, 2013, Principal Harris came to Thomas and advised him he was not on the teacher's role, when he was, and instructed Thomas he had been relieved of his position, according to the lawsuit.

Thomas is seeking an amount of damages in excess of the jurisdictional limit.

He is being represented in the case by attorney Kevin S. Laine.

Jefferson County District Court Case No. B195-084


This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the District Court of Jefferson County 60th Judicial District. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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