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System offers to settle Horton grievance

By Greg Gelpi

The Clayton County school system made an offer to settle a grievance filed last week by former deputy superintendent Bill Horton.

Horton claims that he was treated unfairly and continued to be paid as a principal during the 13 months he served as deputy superintendent, a position he was placed in by the school board.

Horton claims Superintendent Barbara Pulliam, who moved him from his deputy superintendent post to his position as principal of East Clayton Elementary School treated him differently "than other employees similarly situated."

In his grievance Horton states, "She refused to pay me the salary to which I am duly entitled. Ms. Pulliam's discriminatory treatment of me, and her refusal to pay me the salary to which I am duly entitled, negatively impacts our professional relationship. I am requesting that Ms. Pulliam immediately cease her discriminatory treatment of me, that she pay me the salary to which I am entitled, and that she not retaliate against me in any manner or form (including evaluations) for filing this grievance."

The grievance doesn't state a specific dollar being sought but Horton says it would be a two-step increase, about $5,000 to $6,000.

"It's really kind of strange," Horton said Thursday. "It sounds like someone doesn't want me to work anymore. Until I decide to retire, I feel I should be allowed to work."

Horton said school board attorney Gary Sams extended the settlement offer to his attorney Fran Seville in exchange for him quitting his job.

School system attorney Gary Sams wouldn't comment on the situation.

"If you don't want someone working for you, you should tell them why so they can fix it," Horton said.

Pulliam has until Saturday to respond to the grievance. She transferred Horton to East Clayton during her first week on the job, but commended him publicly for the work he had done as interim deputy superintendent.