Taegu American teacher sues principal, DODDS
January 31, 2006
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — A Taegu American schoolteacher has sued principal Helen Bailey, charging she violated his privacy and then sought to trump up an excuse to fire him after he registered a grievance.
The complaint is filed in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Fla., on behalf of teacher Stephen J. Bogdan, who is claiming whistleblower status under federal law, said his attorney, George E. “Bud” Day Sr. of the law firm Day & Meade in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
In addition to Bailey, the teacher names as defendants Kathleen Stander, a Taegu American assistant principal; the Department of Defense Dependents Schools System; and Joseph D. Tafoya, Department of Defense Education Activity director.
It contends Stander created “a hostile work environment” for Bogdan by supporting Bailey’s “illegal plan,” and accuses Tafoya of failing to “perform his duties” to halt the alleged wrongdoing.
The complaint seeks unspecified damages, attorney fees and costs, and also asks the court for a temporary restraining order that would block Bailey from firing Bogdan. The school is on Camp George in Daegu.
Bogdan said he was placed on administrative leave with pay Wednesday and told he faces dismissal for failing to meet the terms of a job performance improvement plan the school placed him under in October. His complaint contends the plan was imposed to create a basis for firing him.
Bailey on Friday said she cannot comment on the lawsuit or related matters.
Jonathan Beyer, an attorney and adviser to DODDS-Pacific, also said Friday that officials would not be free to comment on the matter due to the ongoing litigation.
The federal government has 60 days to respond to the complaint, which Day said was filed within the past 30 days.