The trial in a former Jefferson City School District employee's lawsuit against the district has been delayed for attorneys to add new claims to the suit.
Former technology coordinator Tammy Ferry is suing JCSD Superintendent Larry Linthacum and Director of Technology Joe Martin, her former supervisor, alleging retaliation, sex discrimination and a hostile work environment, according to court documents. Ferry filed the lawsuit in April 2017.
The previous trial date of Nov. 12 and a pre-trial conference scheduled for Oct. 15 have been taken off the docket so Ferry's attorney, Dennis Egan, can file new claims concerning her being fired from her employment with the district, Egan said.
"This raises new claims of retaliation, wrongful discharge for retaliation, defamation and the like," Egan said. "We need to file those, and we wouldn't be able to make it before trial."
Judge John Beger, of the 25th Judicial Circuit, will discuss a new trial date via telephone conference Dec. 16, according to court documents. The trial will remain in Cole County, Egan said.
The JCSD Board of Education fired Ferry in July, having concluded she had willingly and persistently violated several board policies on staff conduct, technology usage, and data governance and security — and violated federal privacy law regarding students — when she copied and transferred her district work account files to a personal email account in January.
In August, Ferry appealed the school board's decision to fire her. The appeal argued there was no evidence Ferry had disclosed any confidential student data to anyone or that she had willfully or persistently violated school board policy.
Ferry claimed she had copied and transferred her work account files because she wanted to be sure she would have them available for the upcoming trial in her employment discrimination lawsuit — as well as to have a record of her work for future employment opportunities.
JCSD asked the local court to dismiss Ferry's lawsuit against the district on the grounds her transfer of files containing student information to a personal account had violated court procedures on collecting evidence for a trial.
The district's attorney, Ryan Bertels, declined to comment Wednesday.