Seattle Public Schools will settle lawsuit with former athletic director for $400,000

Dahlia Bazzaz

Seattle Times reporter

Seattle Public Schools and their legal insurer are paying $ 400,000 to settle a dismissal lawsuit filed by the district’s former sports director Eric McCurdy in 2018.

The Seattle School Board approved the settlement agreement 5-1 on Wednesday. The district pays $ 133,000, the rest the insurer.

McCurdy, the former president of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA), was fired in December 2018 after he was the subject of a harassment complaint from a former county employee. The employee received a $ 500,000 settlement from the district in October this year.

He argued the resignation violated his constitutional rights and jeopardized his career.

At the time, McCurdy claimed the district’s decision was based on incomplete information and “hearsay”. His claim for damages stated that his dismissal was “based on apparent or implied racial prejudice, on the assumption that Mr. McCurdy, an African American, had acted inappropriately toward Mrs. Brame, a Caucasian woman.” The allegation said the district’s internal investigation was flawed and did not include interviews with everyone on a McCurdy-provided list. The lack of a nondisclosure agreement with the former employee who filed a complaint against him was labeled “incompetent”.

Even as part of the settlement, neither the district nor McCurdy can publicly discuss the matter. School board member Leslie Harris, the only no-vote to the proposal, said she could not vote for approval because of that condition.

Local NAACP leaders who wanted Superintendent Denise Juneau’s contract terminated for “exacerbating racism” have cited McCurdy as an example of one of several black male leaders who have been evicted or abandoned from the district in what the Diversity weakens. Juneau ordered McCurdy’s release; In December, the school board voted not to renew her contract.

The settlement proposal also required the district to compile a list of McCurdy’s accomplishments during his employment. These include his work creating a student athletic hall of fame, his role as President of WIAA, and his raising of a $ 2.7 million grant.