Mt. Vernon Register-News

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July 26, 2013

Attorney withdraws on behalf of MVTHS

MT. VERNON — A Mt. Vernon attorney representing the Mt. Vernon Township High School District in a civil lawsuit has withdrawn.

Jerome McDonald of the law firm of Black, Hedin, Ballard, McDonald, P.C. filed a motion on June 28 to withdraw as a representative for the school district in a 2012 complaint filed by former faculty member Kenneth Feather. Feather is represented by attorney Don Prosser of the law firm of Gilbert, Huffman, Prosser, Hewson and Burke, Ltd. The court accepted McDonald's withdrawal on July 17.

Feather filed the complaint on Oct. 11, 2012, naming the District 201 Board of Education and school superintendent Dr. Michael Smith as defendants.

In making the withdrawal, the law firm stated, "After conversations with the District's superintendent, Michael Smith, it was determined it would be in the best interests of the District for other counsel to represent the District and Michael Smith."

According to the complaint, the District offered Feather employment for the 2011-2012 school year and offered compensation of $88,604. Feather accepted the offer and "fully performed his assigned duties," completing those duties on or about May 22, 2012. Feather continued to receive monthly payments and provided "certain employment benefits" until Aug. 20, 2012, court records state.

Pursuant to Section 5 of the Illinois' Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Board of Education was obliged to make payment of final compensation due to Feather in full at the time of separation, or if payment was not possible, no later than the next regularly scheduled payday for the employee. The District paid Feather $66,435 for wages and compensation for his services for the school year, according to court documents. On or about Aug. 27, Feather demanded the Board fulfill the agreement and to pay him an additional $22,170 for wages earned during the 2011-2012 school year — which he has not received.

In his complaint, Feather states he is entitled to receive interest at a rate of 5 percent per annum for all monies that have become due per the employment agreement; and requested the court to tax as costs against the district reasonable attorney's fees "with other properly allowed costs of suit."

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