Former ACE employee sues school and director for wrongful termination

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The Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence along with its director are being sued by a former employee for alleged fraud, wrongful termination, and defamation.

Michael Dunn worked for approximately six years in ACE's finance department and was fired on March 25, 2011. Ten days prior to being fired, Dunn had sent a letter to the school's governing board addressing some concerns he had about finanical "irregularities" at ACE.

When Dunn's letter was received (along with other calls and emails from other school employees), the Beaufort and Jasper County school districts began an investigation, ordering that human resource and financial functions be turned over to the Beaufort County School District for a year.

The lawsuit states that Dunn's termination came after the school's finance department was consolidated. This consolidation resulted in "serious problems" with bill payment, payroll, payment authorization, accounting, and other financial areas.

Dunn states that he was informed that his position had been eliminated. However, he is convinced that he was fired in retaliation for reporting the financial issues. Dunn reapplied for his position when it was renamed and listed as a vacancy, but he was not hired. He is asking the court to order ACE to grant him monetary damages or reinstate his employment with back pay.

ACE director Chris Dinkins denies most of these claims, stating that Dunn's termination was due to his job being consolidated with other areas of human resources. Dinkins, along with ACE, has asked that the suit be thrown out.

Curiously enough, Dinkins resigned as the school director on July 1st.

Get the full details over at The Island Packet's report here.

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