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School board poised to settle with fired maintenance worker

Tribune staff
Published:   |   Updated: April 23, 2014 at 09:33 PM

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The Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday could approve a $5,000 settlement with a former school maintenance employee who sued the district for wrongful termination last summer.

George Olmo, fired in April 2012, argued in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa that his decision to hand out ballot petitions for a potential school board candidate did not rise to the level of campaigning on school property. The district also said he commandeered a district-owned vehicle for personal use.

School district investigators said Olmo was handing out campaign petition forms on behalf of District 1 member Susan Valdes in Leto High School’s cafeteria in January 2012, violating school board policy banning campaigning on school property.

But Olmo argued in the complaint that he did not encourage any of the workers to vote for any candidate, did not wear campaign paraphernalia endorsing a candidate and did not collect signed petitions.

The school board will discuss the settlement during a 3 p.m. board meeting Tuesday, 901 E. Kennedy Blvd.

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