Reinstated Tulsa School Principal To 'Pursue Legal Remedies' Against District

Thursday, April 28th 2011, 10:48 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The Tulsa elementary school principal who was reinstated to her position Thursday morning will "pursue legal remedies" against the school district, according to her attorney.

Hawthorne Elementary Principal Lynnette Dixon's complaint is centered on the school district's decision to allow TPS Police Chief Gary Rudick's return to work, the attorney says.

Tulsa Public School Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard announced Lynnette Dixon was reinstated to her position on Thursday morning. At the same time, he announced that the police chief whose email called for her prosecution would be allowed to resume his duties.

Tulsa Police arrested Dixon on March 7, 2011, at the Comanche Park Apartments. She was accused of interfering after police were called to her daughter's apartment.

Dixon was suspended from her job following her arrest.  This week the Tulsa City Prosecutor dropped the case against her.

Dr. Ballard says he has completed a review of the school district's police chief, Gary Rudick.  Saying while he finds Rudick's actions were inappropriate, "one mistake does not erase a career," said Dr. Ballard.

Rudick was placed on unpaid leave after an email he sent to Tulsa Police, urging them to keep pushing the case against her, was published.

Ballard says Rudick will return to work beginning Monday, May 9, 2011.

Richard O'Carroll, Dixon's attorney, released a response to Dr. Ballard's decision to allow Rudick to return to work early Thursday afternoon:

"Ms. Dixon is pleased to return to her educational responsibilities as Principal at Hawthorne School where she can focus on her administrative duties to further the education of her students.

I am disappointed that the School District has dismissed the grave and serious nature of Rudick's misconduct. Obstruction of justice is a crime. The administration appears unable to purge Rudick for his corruption because it too was involved. Thus, on behalf of my client, I will be constrained to pursue all legal remedies until the extent of the corruption in this matter is exposed, including a subpoena for all relevant hard drives."

4/27/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Police Chief Disappointed After Case Dismissed Against School Principal

Read TPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard's statement:

"In light of the city prosecutor's decision to drop the municipal charges against Lynnette Dixon, I am reinstating her as principal of Hawthorne Elementary effective Thursday, April 28, 2011.

I have completed my review of TPS Police Chief Gary Rudick, assisted by Chief of Staff Robert F. Burton, Sr. and Chief Operations and Information Officer Todd Lee. I want to make it clear that I found Chief Rudick's action inappropriate.

I have placed a reprimand in his file, and he has been put on an unpaid leave of absence for 12 days, retroactive to last Thursday, April 21. Chief Rudick has had an exemplary career as Chief of Police at TPS. One mistake does not erase a career. We will be glad to have Chief Rudick back beginning Monday, May 9.

There will be no further action taken."

It appears in Dr. Ballard's statement that he also addresses a request from the Tulsa Chapter of the NAACP to fire Rudick by saying "There will be no further action taken."