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Adult ed supervisor sues BOE, board member for $1.5M

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By Beth Braden

JACKSBORO—Campbell County’s Board of Education and one of its members have been named in a lawsuit by adult education supervisor Rita Goins.
The suit alleges Eugene Lawson harassed Goins beginning July 30, 2012, and continuing through 2013. It was unclear if the harassment is still happening today.
On July 30, 2012, Goins learned Lawson had been allegedly making false statements about her performance “in a continuing pattern of intimidating, bullying and otherwise berating the plaintiff,” according to the suit.
On Aug. 6, 2012, Goins reportedly returned from a work-related conference and learned Lawson “had been stalking her.”
“Eugene Lawson made public comments to the plaintiff’s fellow workers, as well as school board members, that he knew when the plaintiff, Rita Goins, was otherwise leaving her home and coming to work and when she otherwise was at home,” the suit claims.
Lawson also told workers and other supervisors that he had “personally driven by the Plaintiff’s home to determine her routine of going to work, as well as coming home.”
Lawson continued to “interfere with the plaintiff’s employment relationship” last November by allegedly telling other board of education members he would vote to extend Director of Schools Donnie Poston’s contract if Poston would end Goins’ employment.
At the time, Lawson denied the allegations, but Poston maintained Lawson had told him the same thing.
Goins goes on to claim that Lawson’s actions were “intentionally calculated,” and “carried out in such a manger as to intimidate and harass the plaintiff during the twilight years of her employment.”
Goins seeks $750,000 in compensatory damages for emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment and injury to her reputation and good name. She seeks an additional $750,000 in punitive damages from Lawson.
Goins, 58, has been employed by the Campbell County Board of Education since 1973, when she was a senior in high school. She holds a Doctorate of Education from the University of Tennessee.
Lawsuits represent only one side of the claim.