Claim Filed in Response to Former Hartland Principal's Lawsuit
Attorneys for Argentine Township and officer Arch Ravert file response on Wednesday.
Lawyers representing the Argentine Police Department filed a response this week to a lawsuit filed against them by a former Hartland principal in which they stated that the department had probable cause to investigate Tracey Sahouri and that any damages she received was due to her own negligence.
The response, filed on Wednesday, was due to a lawsuit filed by Sahouri, former principal at Creekside Elementary in January against Argentine Township and Argentine police officer Arch Ravert, alleging she was “falsely and maliciously and intentionally” accused of having committed a crime was responded to by attorneys, according to the Press & Argus.
In July, Sahouri and her husband were ticketed and accused of knowingly hosting a party where minors were drinking. The charges were dropped in December, but Sahouri alleges in her lawsuit that she suffered from injuries and damages as a “direct and proximate” result of officer Ravert’s alleged misconduct of accusing her of knowingly allowing minors to drink at her home, according to the Press & Argus story.
In October, Sahouri was also involved in an unrelated incident involving the state’s investigation into Michigan Educational Assessment Program test irregularities at Creekside Elementary School. Sahouri was cited for a breach of security which later investigations by the state and Superintendent Janet Sifferman and Assistant Superintendent Scott Van Epps, found to be true.
"We conducted our own investigation," Superintendent Janet Sifferman said. "And we too felt that there had been a breach of security regarding the MEAP and of course that's not acceptable."
In November, Sahouri was reassigned as a vice principal at Hartland High School and replaced by Lawrence Pumford. Sifferman told Patch the decision was in the best interest of the schools.
In February, Patch reported that the Board of Education voted unanimously to consider not renewing Sahouri's administrative contract. It was determined there is sufficient reason to consider it, the resolution said.
"I have made the recommendation to the board that I would like her to be placed as a classroom teacher next year, not as an administrator," Sifferman said.
"Until the allegations regarding the MEAP," she said. "She (Sahouri) had received favorable evaluations from me and the superintendent prior to me, we had no reason to think she was not a good administrator."
Sahouri had 30 days to respond to the board's decision. The dealine for requesting a meeting with the board regarding her position was today, March 1. At the time of the interview, Sifferman still had not been contacted by Sahouri with her decision.
Sahouri is currently seeking damages that “far exceed $100,000,” and also alleges loss of wages and or/salary, loss of earning capacity, loss of job, emotional distress and mental anguish, extreme embarrassment and humiliation, and damage to reputation.
"There is no loss of wages," Sifferman said. "She maintains the wages she was paid prior to that and she has one more year on her administrative contract and if she is still employed with Hartland schools next year, she will receive the same wages she received this year."