• West Mifflin superintendent files federal lawsuit against district, board members

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    WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. - The superintendent of the West Mifflin School District has filed a federal lawsuit against the district and six school board members.

    In the lawsuit, Daniel Castagna claims the district and board placed him on leave as retaliation for exposing wrongdoing and over political differences.

    Castagna is suing on four counts: political affiliation, First Amendment retaliation, the Pennsylvania Whistleblower law and breach of contract.

    Castagna was placed on paid leave in January while he was on sick leave for a back injury, sources told Target 11 at the time. The board voted to put him on unpaid leave on July 2.

    According to the lawsuit, Castagna claims board members retaliated against him because he did not support their political affiliations. 

    The suit also claims retaliation for a U.S. Equal Employment Oopportunity Commission pro se Castagna filed in December 2017, complaining that the board members were engaging in employment discrimination against him, as well as retaliation for reporting two employees for theft. Both employees were later terminated. According to the suit, both employees were affiliated with school board members.

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    Castanga also claims the district failed to make payments into a Tax Sheltered Investment Program, 529 plan or other program, as stated in his contract.

    The district solicitor, Gary Matta, said, "This is just Dr. Castagna attempting to distort the facts and trying to intimidate the board. We are going to vigorously defend the suit."

    Matta also told Channel 11 that the district will schedule a hearing to outline the reasons it took action against Castagna and Castagna will decide whether it's a public or private hearing.

    Last year, Castagna was charged with DUI and the school board, comprised of some different members, did not take any action against him.

    The case is scheduled to go to trial in October.

    Castagna has been with the district for 11 years and according to the lawsuit, he received good performance evaluations and was never reprimanded, disciplined or warned of any performance problems.


     

     

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