The trial date for a lawsuit against Hartland Consolidated Schools by a former administrator spanning six years has again been pushed back.

Tracey Sahouri sued the district in 2012, alleging it violated the Whistleblower Protection Act when it removed her as principal from Creekside Elementary School. Sahouri claims her removal as principal and re-assignment to a teaching position was in retaliation for reporting “irregularities” in how the district administered state-mandated student achievement tests. The district had sought to dismiss the lawsuit, taking the case to the Michigan Supreme Court, which declined to hear the appeal, allowing the lawsuit to go forward.

The district contends Sahouri’s re-assignment was based on the conclusions of a state report that determined teachers at Creekside improperly gained access to material from the tests. Sahouri’s attorney alleges Hartland administration led a (quote)“out-of-control lynch mob” that “trashed” her career in part due to a ticket she received in the summer of 2011 for allowing a minor to consume alcohol at her Argentine Township home during a graduation party. The ticket was later dismissed and Sahouri settled a lawsuit over the matter with Argentine Township for $150,000. The district has contended that incident had nothing to do with its decision regarding Sahouri. Discussions over a possible settlement in the case have failed and a new trial date of August 28th was scheduled in Genesee County Circuit Court.

The Tom Pabst Law Firm is representing Sahouri and Attorney Mike Kowalko tells WHMI a motion was granted to adjourn the August 28th trial date, in part because the date coincides with the beginning of a new school year and could be disruptive since the suit involves teachers and administrators. Kowalko says the district’s most recent motion to dismiss the case was denied and the judge will be issuing an order on that. He says a new trial date will be worked out and likely take place during the school year, although not until sometime after March 1st.

Hartland Superintendent Chuck Hughes told WHMI there are also still some unresolved issues pertaining to discovery and the court has moved the trial date out to the spring to allow time for work on resolving those issues. (JM)