Ex-Paterson school district occupational health officer gets $175,000 in settlement | Paterson Times

Ex-Paterson school district occupational health officer gets $175,000 in settlement


The school district’s former environmental health and safety officer Brenda Zemo received $175,000 to settle her whistleblower lawsuit that alleged school officials fired her after she made-known the district improperly handled air quality problems, asbestos, and mold removal at 10 school buildings.

School board members approved the settlement following a closed-door meeting with the district’s attorneys at the Jun. 20, 2018 regular meeting. The district is paying $30,000 while the rest is being covered by its insurance provider.

The district is not admitting any liability.

Zemo alleged the district mishandled mold and asbestos removal at School 12, School 27, Eastside High School, School 25, School 24, School 10, School 4, Boris Kroll, and School 30. She also alleged school officials improperly handled air quality problems at the leased building on Colt Street that houses Harp Academy.

Former state-appointed superintendent Donnie Evan’s administration denied the allegations in the lawsuit. His staff issued a report refuting the allegations in the court complaint.

Zemo’s lawsuit prompted the teachers’ union to urge employees to get medical checkups done.

Evans at the time declared the school buildings were “environmentally safe.”

Zemo, who worked eight years in the district, was fired in Jun. 2016, according to her lawsuit. She filed her lawsuit in late 2016.

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