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Ex-Mifflin director got $200,000 to drop suit, resign [Reading Eagle, Pa.]

By Liam Migdail-Smith, Reading Eagle, Pa.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Feb. 16--A Gov. Mifflin School Board member who had been fired from a district job before she was elected is being paid $200,000 to drop her legal claims against the district and resign from the board.

According to the district's settlement with Rachel Dombrowski, Mifflin will pay $50,000 and its insurance company will cover the rest.

As part of the deal, the district must give Dombrowski a neutral reference for future jobs and try to withdraw an ethics complaint it made against her.

Dombrowski can't take any future legal action or ever work for the district again. She may not return to the school board until at least 2019.

The school board simultaneously approved the settlement and accepted Dombrowski's resignation Monday but would not discuss details of the settlement. The Reading Eagle obtained the settlement Friday through a Right-to-Know Law request.

Board President James D. Ulrich declined to comment Friday, citing a clause in the deal that prohibits either party to discuss it publicly.

Dombrowski also said she could not comment on the settlement, but said she was happy to have been able to work with the district.

"It's been an honor, and I really enjoyed serving the Gov. Mifflin School District as both a board member and an administrator," she said.

Dombrowski was elected to the board in November 2011, less than a year after she was fired as the district's technology manager.

Mifflin officials said then that she was fired from the $91,000-a-year job over accusations that she accessed private computer documents of Dr. Mary T. Weiss, then superintendent, and committed other breaches of policy.

Dombrowski said she was acting under a subpoena when she accessed the files.

She contended she was fired because she was friendly with and testified on behalf of another administrator who sued the district for racial discrimination in 2009.

Between her firing and election to the school board, Dombrowski filed charges against the district with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and also sued the district in federal court.

The district plans to seek candidates to fill Dombrowski's seat through the end of the year and make an appointment at its meeting March 4.

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Whoever is appointed must run for election this year to stay on for the remainder of Dombrowski's term, which ends December 2015.

Contact Liam Migdail-Smith: 610-371-5022 or lsmith@readingeagle.com.

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(c)2013 the Reading Eagle (Reading, Pa.)

Visit the Reading Eagle (Reading, Pa.) at readingeagle.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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