Former Charleston Co. School District Chief of Staff sues district over breach of contract

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 12:39 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - After her recent termination, former Chief of Staff Erica Taylor is suing her former employer Charleston County School District for breach of contract.

Earlier this month, interim Superintendent Don Kennedy eliminated Taylor’s position as part of what he called a “restructuring effort”. This news, according to the court document filed on Tuesday, came as a surprise to Taylor.

The lawsuit claims there was no provision in her contract regarding a restructure as an agreed-upon term to end it.

It also alleges that Kennedy’s explanation for why her position was eliminated was a fraudulent one created after the fact.

The lawsuit points out that Taylor’s contract only lists five reasons why it may be terminated. That includes by mutual agreement, disability, discharge for cause, termination after a good faith effort by the superintendent to mutually terminate the contract or death.

Taylor argues that the agreement was not mutual, there was no just cause and there was no discussion before her termination.

READ MORE: School board attempts, fails to reinstate fired employee

In the lawsuit, Taylor recalls never having received negative feedback from Kennedy, either verbally or written, about her work performance.

In fact, it describes Taylor was trusted enough to sign paperwork on his behalf for two weeks when he was out of the country.

Taylor had been with the district since 2012, according to the document.

The district reportedly offered Taylor three months’ severance.

There were almost two years left on her contract, which was set to expire in June 2024 with a leftover value of more than $328,000 in wages.

When Taylor rejected this deal, the district reportedly offered more but this was “contingent upon Plaintiff relinquishing the opportunity to ever work for CCSD again.”

Taylor is suing for damages related to lost wages, lost income and benefits, embarrassment, and attorney fees.

The Charleston County School District says it does not comment on pending litigation.

Taylor’s lawyer has not yet returned a request for comment.