CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Dr. Eric Gallien, the newly hired superintendent of the Charleston County School District (CCSD), has filed a lawsuit against the district after being placed on paid administrative leave.
The lawsuit alleges that the board of trustees hindered his ability to do his job, that the district has breached his contract along with board policy, and even violated the Freedom of Information Act for allegedly holding an illegal meeting which ultimately led to him being placed on leave.
Dr. Gallien was placed on leave during a Board of Trustees meeting held on September 25. It was later revealed that the decision was related to a personnel matter after a complaint from an employee had been filed.
According to the lawsuit, Dr. Gallien told the board he intended to hire two administrators with whom he worked back in Wisconsin to be part of his administration; however, he was told by the board chair that the individuals could not be hired.
It also outlines Dr. Gallien wanting to move a high-level employee into a job with fewer responsibilities, but Chair McKinney told him he could not do that either.
This ultimately culminated in Dr. Gallien being placed on leave and follows what he said were discussions between Moms for Liberty-backed board members in an illegal meeting prior to September 25.
Dr. Gallien also filed an injunction to prohibit the Charleston County School District and “anyone on its behalf” from interfering with or violating his employment contract and to “preserve the status quo and thus avoid possible irreparable injury to a party pending litigation.”
He accuses the Charleston County School District of violating their own policies and the Freedom of Information Act. According to documents, the motion calls for an order allowing Dr. Gallien to return to work.
Gallien’s attorneys are requesting the motion be heard within 10 days or less.
Dr. Gallien’s attorneys declined to comment on the lawsuit due to pending litigation.
CCSD also told News 2 that it did not have a comment; however, it provided the following statement: “We do want our community to know school and district staff will not be distracted from our commitment to providing life-changing educational opportunities for every student in our classrooms. We are thankful for the support we have received from parents, guardians, and community members as we focus on student outcomes.”