Education

Twin Rivers settles with former employee with trustee paternity dispute

Twin Rivers Unified School District has agreed to pay $150,000 to a former employee who has a paternity dispute with district trustee Cortez Quinn.

Under a settlement agreement reached July 30, Twin Rivers will pay Sherilene Chycoski $125,000 to settle a multimillion-dollar suit alleging discrimination, harassment and retaliation by district employees other than Quinn. The district also agreed to hire Chycoski, the former director of visual and performing arts, on a temporary basis to prepare a report evaluating its recently expanded arts program. Half of the $25,000 contract was to be paid two weeks after the settlement was finalized and the other half when the report is completed.

Board members already have approved the $125,000 payment but will consider the arts contract tonight.

Chycoski, who had been in a relationship with Quinn, filed a paternity suit against the trustee in 2011. In her suit against Twin Rivers, she alleged the district abruptly withdrew approval of an extension of her work visa and breached her contract, forcing her to return to Canada with little notice.

DNA evidence collected last year led to Quinn’s arrest in November after it did not match a sample he provided for his paternity test. He faces up to 14 years imprisonment if convicted on 13 felony and five misdemeanor charges for allegedly falsifying the paternity test and for accepting $54,000 in loans and gifts from Chycoski without filing the required financial disclosure forms.

“It’s in the mutual interest of both Ms. Chycoski and the school district to have a way we can move forward,” Deputy Superintendent Bill McGuire said Monday.

He said Chycoski was instrumental in helping the district win a grant for the visual and performing arts program when she worked for the district. “We think we are in a very positive relationship with Ms. Chycoski,” he said.

The contract, which specifically says Chycoski will work from Canada, is on the consent calendar tonight.

Quinn took a 90-day leave of absence after his arrest. Board members asked him to resign, but he returned in February.

In return for the payment and job, Chycoski has agreed to drop her $3 million suit against the district, as well as release the district and its representatives from future litigation. The agreement does not extend to Quinn, whom Chycoski is suing for breach of contract and fraud for allegedly not repaying the loans she gave him, as well as for paternity.

Chycoski’s suit against the district claimed her trouble with district officials began in 2011. She also had a conflict with another woman that resulted in district officials creating a buffer between the two that restricted how Chycoski moved around the district office, Chycoski’s attorney Lisa Wible Wright said previously.

Wright said her client had no indication that the district would pull support for her work visa until the day before it was set to expire. Chycoski had to pack and leave the country within five days, Wright said.

The $125,000 settlement includes $72,500 paid to Chycoski and $52,500 paid to Wright for attorney’s fees. Wright could not be reached Monday evening.

Quinn appeared in court Monday for a settlement hearing in his criminal case, but Judge Laurel White agreed to delay proceedings “one more time” because his attorney was in trial on another case. The case is scheduled for Sept. 24.

A hearing last month was continued to Monday so that Quinn’s defense attorney, Vincent Maher, could review phone records from AT&T, which had just arrived.

Prosecutors allege Quinn colluded with Andre Antoine Pearson, 37, to falsify a DNA test. Pearson was the Comprehensive Medical Inc. employee responsible for collecting DNA swabs from individuals. Pearson also will be in court Sept. 24.

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