FORT WORTH -- A former assistant principal of Arlington Heights High School who claims he was fired after reporting falsification of student attendance records and misuse of booster club funds by officials has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the Fort Worth school district.Joseph Palazzolo is asking to be reinstated in his job or be given a comparable position with the school district and is seeking damages including court and attorney's fees. The suit was filed July 6.Palazzolo alleges that the school district fired him on Feb. 14, in retaliation for reporting the violations in June 2010.Besides the infractions involving attendance records and booster club funds, he also contends that disciplinary policies were unfair to minority students and that inappropriate sexual comments were made in the presence of students."This lawsuit is bigger than Joseph Palazzolo. It's about whether the school district is going to be truthful with families and treat students equally," said Jason Smith, a Fort Worth attorney representing Palazzolo.This is the second lawsuit Palazzolo has pending against the Fort Worth school district. He filed the first suit in October 2010 alleging that he was transferred into a job that paid less after he filed the complaints. He was later placed on administrative leave and terminated this year.The school district had no comment on this latest lawsuit."We have no response to pending litigation," spokesman Clint Bond wrote in a Tuesday email.Both lawsuits were filed in Wise County. The state's whistle-blower act allows a government employee to file such a lawsuit in any county within an established council of governments, such as the North Central Texas Council of Governments, which includes Tarrant and Wise counties.This article includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.
Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326; Twitter: @jessamybrown