Education

Outgoing LCPS superintendent alleges hostile work environment, seeks 2-years pay to settle claim

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Greg Ewing, the outgoing superintendent of the Las Cruces Public Schools, alleged in a resignation letter obtained by ABC-7 that he was subjected to a hostile work environment and is seeking a payment of two years salary in order to drop his potential legal claim against the district.

It is unknown if the district has engaged in any negotiations with Ewing or his lawyer about the allegations, which involve two members of the school board. However, once the resignation letter was submitted, the board voted to place Ewing on administrative leave with pay until his Sept. 9 departure date.

Ewing contends he was the target of gender-based discrimination and retaliation by board members Maria Flores and Terrie Dallman and plans to file a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission. He also maintains board president Ed Frank was aware of the problem and asked to address it.

In the letter dated Aug. 9, which was authored by Ewing's attorney on his behalf, he offered to settle any employment claims with LCPS in exchange for a payout of two years salary and potential ongoing consulting work with the district for a year.

Friday's release of the letter to ABC-7 came in response to a public records request filed with LCPS. Previously, the district had released a mostly redacted version of the letter that failed to disclose Ewing's allegations.

A spokesperson for Ewing issued a statement on his behalf Friday evening that coincided with the disclosure of the letter's contents. In that statement Ewing reiterated his claims of "severe board misconduct" and said he had "also filed a formal complaint with the New Mexico Secretary of State in accordance with the New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act."

"I am hopeful this legal complaint and my resignation letter will shed light on inappropriate behavior that distracts from the important work already done to make improvements at the district," his statement concluded.

The district didn't directly address Ewing's allegations, saying in a statement that it "does not comment on personnel matters or threatened litigation, and so will not do so regarding the claims raised by Dr. Ewing in his letter of resignation."

However, an LCPS spokeswoman maintained, "the public record shows that the Board has been steadfast in its commitment to equity and nondiscrimination."

Samantha Lewis, the school district's public relations coordinator, said there were five claims of discrimination lodged against the district while Ewing has served as superintendent. In all of those cases, she noted, state officials determined "no probable cause existed to believe that discrimination occurred."

The entire resignation letter obtained by ABC-7 can be read below.


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