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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, 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 . 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."

Hartland tax payer March 20, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Accountability needs to start at the top
Crystalball March 24, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Hey Patch readers... what needs to be followed up on is how many calls our former superintendant made to the current superintendant, as well as to the current #rd grade/former 4th grade teacher(Mrs. Woodbury). Isn't it true that Mr. Carlselli called Sifferman in August to get rid of Sahouri, because her pending case would bring DIRT to our 'precious' district. What the most pathetic part is...Caroselli a FORMER super, can still control this district when he's been out of office approx 8 yrs now!!! That's like having Clinton tell Obama what to do!
Crystalball March 24, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Oh yeah a side note... Caroselli hired Woodbury and Sifferman hired Gutteridge and if not aware - their families are neighbors of 30 + yrs!!! Both Caroselli and Sifferman hired these 2 and the principles had no say in these hires, - sounds alittle fishy. Board members your positions are above Sifferman so why are you being controlled by her and Caroselli: what are you afraid of.. they can't take your job away but you can take hers away(hint hint).
Crystalball March 24, 2012 at 01:57 AM
You board members really need to do some investigation work on your own, especially since you are above the superintendant. You have a legal responsibility!!!! So.. why haven't you asked questions. Why are you following Sifferman's opinion. Not one of you took advantage of your position and asked Mrs. Sahouri any questions at the last meeting. Instead you all kept your mouths shut and let her run the show. WHO IS ULTIMATELY IN CHARGE HERE??????
sassyme March 24, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Yawn, bigger Yawn.......zzzzzzzzzzz.........boring!

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