Former West Mifflin Area PR woman's contract suit settled

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According to federal court documents, West Mifflin Area School District has settled with former public relations coordinator Robyn Tedesco in the wrongful termination suit she filed in U.S. District Court in January.

The docket notation in federal court states simply that the case was settled last Thursday, but does not disclose the terms.

Mrs. Tedesco's attorney, Colleen Ramage Johnston, could not be reached for comment, nor could district solicitor Jack Cambest.

The Post-Gazette has filed a Right To Know request under the state Open Records Law to get the financial details of the settlement, but district right to know officer Dennis Cmar said the district did not have a formal executed agreement.

Mrs. Tedesco, of North Huntingdon, worked for the district as public relations coordinator/grant writer from April 16, 2007, until June 30, 2010, when she was terminated by the district along with a dozen other employees as part of the district's efforts to balance the 2010-2011 budget.

The suit was filed against the district and the board members who voted to terminate the employees. They were: Michael Price, Theodore Cale, Nicholas Alexandroff, Kathleen Bracco, Phil Shar and the late John Donis, who died Oct. 16. Mr. Price, who was board president at the time, said the terminations were no reflection on the employees' job performance, but were necessary due to budget constraints.

However, in her suit, Mrs. Tedesco said she had a five-year employment contract with the district that ran until April 15, 2012. Her annual salary at the time she was terminated was $59,200.

Mrs. Tedesco's suit said the board members' actions violated her rights to due process and caused her to suffer lost wages and benefits, emotional distress and other harm. It asked for her to be reinstated to her job and awarded damages including lost wages and benefits and damages for emotional distress, and that the district pay the cost of legal expenses.

Mrs. Tedesco's reported settlement marks the second one paid to a former employee this year. In March, former director of security Joseph Gajdos, who was also terminated in June 2010, agreed to a $65,000 settlement. Mr. Gajdos' suit also claimed he had a five-year employment contract with the district, which ran from Dec. 10, 2007, to Dec. 9, 2012.


Mary Niederberger: mniederberger@post-gazette.com ; 412-851-1512.


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