SJSD Responds to Musser Lawsuit

Published 06/18 2014 04:50PM

Updated 06/18 2014 10:59PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph School District is firing back against an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by former Chief Financial Officer Beau Musser.

Tom Mickes, attorney for the school district, filed a response to Musser's lawsuit Friday in Buchanan County Circuit Court.

In the response, Mickes denied nearly all allegations in Musser's lawsuit including that the district made up sexual harassment claims against Musser and offered to pay him to resign in an effort to keep him quiet over alleged illegal and inappropriate stipends paid to top administrators.

One of the few admissions revealed in the response is the district acknowledges that Musser was placed on administrative leave on March 28. According to the response, that action took place one day after the district received complaints of sexual harassment against Musser.

"On March 27, 2014 the District received reports of sexual harassment and hostile work environment against Plaintiff. The District also received reports of Plaintiff's improper communication regarding other employees' real or perceived sexual orientation," the response stated.

Musser's lawsuit claims that Superintendent Fred Czerwonka, Human Resources Director Doug Flowers and St. Joseph School Board Member Dennis Snethen made up the sexual harassment complaints against him to suspend him and damage his credibility.

Musser filed the lawsuit more than a month after he was put on administrative leave.

Musser claims he began finding improprieties with the school district's books from his second day on the job including unauthorized spending and $375,000 in what he called illegal salary increases for certain administrative district employees.

According to Musser's lawsuit, when he confronted Czerwonka and Flowers about it, they did nothing.

A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled in August.

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