Attorneys press court to dismiss school superintendent’s lawsuit

ONTARIO – Lawyers for the Ontario School District are seeking to have court claims it discriminated against its superintendent tossed out.

Nikki Albisu, the district’s superintendent, sued her employer in 2022 in U.S. District Court, claiming she had suffered gender discrimination, detailing in her complaint instances involving former Ontario School Board members dating back five years.

But attorneys for the district said in court filings that Albisu has received good job reviews and pay raises, contradicting claims that she has suffered.

The district maintains there is no dispute about those facts and that Albisu’s case should be dismissed.

Brett Merserau, an attorney for the school district, wrote that Albisu’s allegations were “factually unsupported.”

But the case apparently will go on hold because Albisu and the district recently agreed to try to mediate their dispute.

In that arrangement, the judge will act as a mediator in a settlement conference and help the opposing sides sift through the facts, analyze the legal issues, and impartially evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the case in hopes of getting both sides to a compromise.

According to the filing, the attorneys wrote that “the parties believe referral to a federal judge for mediation would be the most effective option at this time.”

No date has been set for the mediation, which is confidential.

Albisu, sued the school district for gender discrimination and retaliation after she complained to  the school district’s human resources manager. In her complaint, she recounted instances involving two former Ontario School Board members dating back five years.

Her initial complaint left it to a court to decide whether she is entitled to any money and how much. Now, the two sides will in “good faith” work toward a resolution to avoid a trial, according to court documents.

Albisu was named interim superintendent in 2012 and was appointed permanently a year later.

In 2022, Albisu signed a three-year contract that started July 1. Her annual salary, not including health insurance and retirement benefits, is $145,300, plus increases equal to the cost-of-living increases for district licensed staff plus 0.5% in 2023 and cost of living increases plus 1% in 2024 and 1.5% in 2025 with additional cost of living increases.

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