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Friday, May 27, 2011

Cheryl Nelson Sues St. Louis Public School Leaders Over Arrest

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM

click to enlarge Cheryl M. Nelson -- NOT happy with St. Louis Public Schools Administrators - PHOTO BY JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Photo by Jennifer Silverberg
  • Cheryl M. Nelson -- NOT happy with St. Louis Public Schools Administrators
On August 27, 2010, city police officers walked into the office of Cheryl M. Nelson, an employee of Ford Elementary School in Hamilton Heights.

They arrested her, informing her she was being charged with assaulting the new principal, Lisa Spann.

The charge has apparently been dropped, as no record of it exists in Casenet. But Nelson is now calling the episode a "fabricated" accusation meant to oust her from her job at the school, and has filed a federal lawsuit against St. Louis Public School leaders alleging the same. And more. A LOT more. 

(This isn't Nelson's first rodeo; she was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that blocked public financing for developer Paul McKee's ambitious NorthSide Regeneration Plan. Her attorney in that case, Eric Vickers, is representing her in this case as well.) 

Below you'll see a copy of the lawsuit. It's not chronological, and -- to be blunt -- pretty hard to follow. But from what we can discern, Nelson alleges that her arrest occurred because of an "ongoing campaign of harassment, discrimination and retaliation" that was actually launched by Spann's supervisor, John Windom -- a man with whom Nelson has a long history of animosity (she filed a sexual discrimination complaint against him in 2008).

There's more drama in this 13-page complaint than the 2011 season at the Muny. But the defendants -- Superintendent Kelvin Adams, school board leader Rick Sullivan, and the school board itself -- seem to be calling the whole thing hogwash by filing a motion to dismiss all of the counts (read it after the complaint).
Cheryl Nelson Complaint v. STLPS

Here's the defendants' defense (specifically, a motion to dismiss):
SLPS Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

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