BISD trustees' suit over new superintendent's contract info continued

By The SE Texas Record | Aug 23, 2012

A suit against the Beaumont Independent School District seeking contract information regarding the hiring of new superintendent Timothy Chargois has been continued.

As previously reported, trustees Tom Neild and Mike Neil filed a petition for an injunction against BISD and Beaumont attorney Tanner Hunt of Wells, Peyton, Greenberg and Hunt on May 16 in Jefferson County District Court, seeking contract information regarding the hiring of Chargois.

On Wednesday, Aug. 22, Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, granted the district's motion for continuance, court records show.

During a brief hearing, Judge Shuffield said that the parties had conferred and it was in their best interest to continue the case.

No date was given as to when the case would resume.

In its motion for continuance, BISD states that its plea to the jurisdiction, filed Aug. 20, has not yet been scheduled to be heard prior to any other motions on file.

The plaintiffs are also seeking summary judgment, court records show.

The petition alleges Hunt, who was retained by BISD to handle negotiations with Chargois, violated the trustees' rights by not providing them with documents concerning Chargois' employment contract.

On July 24 a Rule 11 agreement letter was filed in the case, stating the plaintiffs agree to nonsuit Hunt if he consents to withdraw any claims for fees and costs, court records show.

During the negotiations, the board took the stance that any salary increase would be the board's decision and not part of the contract, due to the "wide-spread public dissatisfaction" with BISD Superintendent Carrol Thomas' contract, which "resulted in automatic salary increases and the largest salary of any superintendent in the state of Texas," the suit states.

Channel 6 News broke a story that the May 1 agreement executed between Chargois and the district contained a provision for automatic salary increases.

Beaumont attorney Michael Getz represents the plaintiffs.

Germer Gertz attorney Larry Simmons of Beaumont represents Hunt.

Case No. D192-449

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