Waukee Schools Paying $1 Million to Former Employee Who Claimed She was Wrongfully Fired for Helping Investigation of Eric Rose
WAUKEE, Iowa — The financial fallout from the criminal activities of former Waukee School District COO Eric Rose continues for the school district.
On Wednesday the school district announced it is paying $1 million to Amy Patters to settle two lawsuits she filed against the district. Patters claims she was wrongfully terminated by Waukee Schools for aiding the investigation into the district’s former Chief Operations Officer, Eric Rose. She also claims the district violated the state’s open meetings laws by hold a closed-door meeting with the school board to discuss Rose. Patters has agreed to end both lawsuits in exchange for the payment.
Rose was arrested in December 2018 and charged with Soliciting to Commit a Felony, Felonious Misconduct in Office and Solicitation of a Restricted donor. Rose was accused of illegally altering employee time cards as well using his connections within the district to solicit donations for his son’s hockey team. Rose also directed district employees to run personal errands for him during the workday. He also kept a snowblower belonging to the district at his home.
Rose admitted to committing the crimes during an internal investigation conducted by the Waukee school district but he was not fired. He was placed on administrative leave after the State Auditor’s Office conducted a special investigation of Rose. He resigned his position after his arrest.
Earlier this year Rose agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. Felony charges were dropped and he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. he was fined $630 and placed on probation.
Patters is the third former employee of the Waukee School District to reach a wrongful termination settlement with the district. Former operations manager Nicholas Bavas was paid $175,000 in May of 2018. In January 2018 the district reached a $1 million settlement with Terry Welker, the district’s former Human Resources Director. Both men say they were fired for reporting on Rose’s illegal activities.
The Waukee Community School District released this statement on yesterday’s settlement with Patters:
“The Waukee Community School District has reached the terms of a settlement agreement to resolve two pending lawsuits filed by Amy Patters over the past two years.
The District, in consultation with its insurance carrier, has balanced a number of factors and has decided this settlement is in the best long-term interests of the District. While the District acknowledges the importance of the past, just as important is the ability to learn from the past and move forward in an intentional manner.
This work has already begun by providing additional training for our staff, putting people at the center of what we do, and fostering a culture of integrity with leadership in place to effectively take the District in a positive direction.
Our District has a lot of new and exciting things ahead of it and we look forward to a renewed focus on those things and the District’s overall mission of providing a high-quality educational experience to all of our students”.