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Landon Discrimination Lawsuit and Countersuit Trial Underway This Week

A lawsuit alleges that The Landon School terminated the employment of an employee for reporting racially discriminatory behavior. A countersuit by the school claims otherwise.

The Landon School. Patch file photo.
The Landon School. Patch file photo.
A lawsuit alleging that an employee of a boys' school in Bethesda was fired for speaking up against racial discrimination at the school went to trial on Monday.

Former chief operating officer at The Landon School Timothy Harrison was placed on administrative leave in March 2012. (His two-year contract expired on June 30, 2012.) 

According to Harrison's defense team, Harrison—during his employment at the school—reported to Headmaster David Armstrong about several instances of racial discrimination made by two building and grounds supervisors, according to case documents.

Harrison reported that Hispanic employees, in particular, told Harrison that they were ridiculed by the two supervisors, called names and not treated equally to non-Hispanic employees. One said that working for his supervisor was "torture" because the supervisor treated him like "garbage," according to case documents.

But a countersuit filed by The Landon School states that Harrison reported on the discrimination only after he was told that he would not be given a new employment contract, the school's attorney Tom McCally, of Carr Maloney, told Patch.

The countersuit also states that Harrison was not given another employment contract due to his mismanagement of the school's finances and business office, and that Harrison breached his contract with the school by failing to disclose his business relationship with a vendor that he recommended for the school's health insurance plan. Harrison also entered into five separate side consulting agreements—something that was not permitted according to his contract, McCally said.

According to Harrison's defense team, Harrison also alerted Armstrong about possible IRS violations in which the school might be engaging, with respect to Armstrong's excessively high compensations and benefits (estimated at a value of $800,000 a year, according to the case documents).

The lawsuit was filed in June 2012. Last month, Maryland Circuit Judge Michael J. Algeo determined that the case would go to trial this week.

Harrison's attorney is Adam Augustine Carter of The Employment Law Group.

Editor's note: This post has been updated. It has been corrected to include quotes and information from The Landon School's attorney. Patch regrets the error.

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