Type to search

Former DeKalb Schools official behind whistleblower lawsuit passes away

Metro ATL Trending

Former DeKalb Schools official behind whistleblower lawsuit passes away

DeKalb County School District Administration and Industrial Complex on Mountain Industrial Blvd. in Stone Mountain. Photo by Dean Hesse

DeKalb County, GA — Former DeKalb Schools COO Ben Estill, who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the district, has passed away.

Estill was 55 when he died. A reporter with the education news website The 74 first alerted Decaturish to the news and said Estill died in a car crash in Michigan. The Bloomfield Township Police Department confirmed this.

Estill’s attorney, Steven Wolfe, confirmed that his client has died.

“I really will miss Ben,” he said. Wolfe said he could not comment on the future of Estill’s lawsuit against the district.

His whistleblower lawsuit, filed in March 2021, alleges he was terminated for asking questions about irregularities in the district’s finances.

Estill was fired by the school district last summer. At the time, WSB-TV reported that Estill was the subject of an investigation by the district alleging Estill engaged in “unprofessional conduct,” that included harassment, creating a hostile work environment and bullying. He was also accused of drinking too much alcohol at a professional conference.

Estill’s lawsuit offers a different version of events and accuses former superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris of retaliating against him for raising his concerns about the district’s finances. His lawsuit references concerns about special purpose local option sales tax money spending.

For more information about that lawsuit, click here.

If you appreciate our work, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $6 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here

Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here