DeKalb Schools now paying $750K to rejected superintendent candidate

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The DeKalb County School Board is paying $750,000 to a nationally known educator who was rejected as school superintendent.

A year ago, the board named Dr. Rudy Crew the only finalist to become the new superintendent. Two weeks later he was rejected in a 4-3 vote.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher has learned that the turnabout is now costing DeKalb taxpayers a lot of money.

“When I went to law school, somebody makes an offer, they’re authorized to do it, you accept it. You’ve got a contract,” Crew’s attorney Steven Wolfe said last summer.

Two months earlier, the school board surprised everyone when it declined to finalize a deal that looked like a certainty.

Crew filed a complaint with the EEOC alleging that the board illegally considered his age of 69 when rejecting him, and he charged he was the victim of racial discrimination.

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“One board member in particular apparently took offense about Dr. Crew’s race and the fact that he had been married to a white woman,” Wolfe said.

Now the school board has quietly agreed to pay crew $750,000 to settle the suit without acknowledging any wrongdoing -- a standard position in such settlements.

“It’s appalling, you know, that’s the taxpayers have to shell out money where the money could be spent in the schools and the facilities to improve, to educate our children,” said Joel Edwards.

Edwards and three other members of the good government group Restore DeKalb opposed Crew’s appointment. They say the settlement is new evidence of the financial mismanagement.

“It’s a shame that DeKalb County School District keeps wasting all your money taxpayer money. Everybody that voted to bring Rudy Crew in, they should step down,” said Marion Payne with Restore DeKalb.

Two members fear parents and taxpayers aren’t paying attention to the school district which spends far more tax money than DeKalb County’s government.

“We’ve got to get them at the table. Get them involved as far as when it comes down to where the money should be spent,” said Restore DeKalb’s Willie Pringle.

“Please, please get involved. Know what’s going on and speak your voice. You have a voice and you should be informed,” said Restore DeKalb’s Sandra Holmes.

Both sides agreed not to speak publicly about the settlement.