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District settles with fired teacher

Adami receives severance payment, drops case filed by teachers union

ROCK FALLS – A longtime Montmorency School teacher who had been on workers’ compensation or paid sick leave for more than 3 years has received a $38,000 severance payment in exchange for dropping her case against the school.

Lauri Adami of Rock Falls, a tenured fourth-grade teacher hired in 1981, was fired in October for her “lack of fitness for duty as a teacher,” according to a school board resolution.

In the settlement agreement between Adami and the school district, the district agreed to a $38,000 severance payment for Adami, as long as she agreed to waive her right to a dismissal hearing and to waive a grievance filed by the teachers union on her behalf.

Adami also agreed to release the district from any claims or complaints she might have against it, except her workers’ compensation claim. She also agreed to reimburse the district a salary overpayment of almost $2,500.

In the agreement, the district also agreed not to object to any claims for unemployment benefits Adami might file with the district and to provide a reference in the form of a neutral letter that states Adami was employed as a fourth-grade teacher from 1981 until the 2012-13 school year.

Adami signed the agreement March 19. Montmorency School Board President Mike Lewis and Secretary Jay Morthland signed the agreement March 20.

Adami had been on sick leave since falling off a stepladder on the first day of school in 2009. She received workers’ compensation for about a year, until she no longer was eligible for it. She had accrued 370 sick days, which ran out in early February.

She had requested a dismissal hearing and had been suspended without pay since late October.

Both Adami and the district preferred to settle the disagreement, rather than go through the lengthy and costly hearing and arbitration processes, said attorney David Weldon of Robbins Schwartz, which represents the school district.

“I think both sides were ready to move on and put this behind them,” he said.

The settlement does not have any effect on the current collective bargaining agreement and its provisions, including sick days.

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