Xenia Community Schools has settled a lawsuit that alleges the board violated a fellow board member’s First Amendment right to free speech and defamed him when it reprimanded him in a resolution.
In March, the school board used a two-page resolution to publicly censure Dr. Robert Dillaplain. The resolution alleged Dillaplain, a gynecologist and obstetrician, engaged in demeaning, threatening, abusive, discriminatory and inappropriate conduct.
Dillaplain filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Courtin Dayton a month later. The complaint alleged the board violated federal and state laws as well as the U.S. Constitution. The judge dismissed the parts of the complaint related to federal law and constitution violations and declined to make a ruling on the issues related to state law.
After the ruling, Dillaplain filed a lawsuit in Greene County Common Pleas Court alleging the board violated state laws.
Ten months after the first lawsuit was filed, the school board reached a settlement with Dillaplain and on Feb. 10 rescinded the March 2013 censure of Dillaplain.
“With this agreement we are able to bring about a closure, which will allow all of us to focus our entire attentions on our single most important issue,” Dillaplain said in an email. “Now we as a Xenia team and community will be able to move forward and create an excellent education for our exceptional children every day.”
As part of the agreement, the board will pay Dillaplain $30,000 for legal fees.
“The board’s actions are steps toward moving forward with the business of educating the children of the district and putting this issue behind it for the good of the Xenia community,” said Cheryl Marcus, the Xenia school board president, in a written statement.