AEA says employees are thankful for legal help while fighting Chilton County school district on overpayment issues

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 9:31 PM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 10:14 PM CDT
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CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Education Association plans to sue Chilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin for demanding payment of more than $50,000 from employees who were allegedly overpaid by the district.

The AEA has been working with Chilton County School teacher Shellie Smith and lunchroom manager Christie Payne for weeks. They have been gearing up for this new lawsuit because the district wants them to pay back more than $50,000 total.

The AEA tells WBRC they’ll be filing the lawsuit against Superintendent Jason Griffin on May 20.

Griffin said he cant comment on the impending lawsuit when WBRC reached out. The AEA said demanding this repayment is “illegal” and is causing their families emotional and financial hardship.

AEA representative Tracy LeSieur has been working with the employees from the beginning and said they are frustrated, but thankful to have help.

“I think they are feeling more comfortable that they have AEA working for them and fighting for them,” LeSieur said. “I think that gives them a sense of relief knowing someone is helping them handle it while they go through the process.”

One of those employees is Shellie Smith. She is the wife of school board member Chris Smith. Chris sent WBRC a short statement on the lawsuit saying quote: “It’s a very unfortunate situation that helps no one. Our students, staff and system as a whole do not deserve to be going through this.”

The AEA will be holding a press conference at 10 a.m. on May 20 in Chilton County with more details on the lawsuit.

We will stream that on our WBRC Facebook page.


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