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DeKalb Schools Superintendent pushes back on report he’s late paying former district

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DeKalb Schools Superintendent pushes back on report he’s late paying former district

FILE PHOTO FROM 2023: Dr. Devon Horton, the sole finalist for DeKalb County School District Superintendent, speaks during a town hall at the DeKalb County School District administrative and instructional complex in Stone Mountain on Friday, April 14, 2023. This was the third of three town halls hosted by the school board to introduce Dr. Horton. Photo by Dean Hesse.

DeKalb County, GA — When DeKalb County Superintendent Devon Horton left his old job in Evanston, Ill., there was a catch.

According to the independent news website FOIAGRAS, he owed his former employer, District 65, $25,000 because he didn’t give 180 days’ notice.

But FOIAGRAS reports that Horton has been late and even missed some of those payments, which has been confirmed by the Illinois-based Evanston Roundtable and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

On March 12, Horton disputed that reporting.

“Dr. Horton stated that the reported information was incorrect and that all seven payments had been made,” a spokesperson for the district said.

District 65 begs to differ and informed Horton that if he didn’t keep up with his payments, he’d be charged the full amount due, according to the Roundtable. The Roundtable filed a Freedom of Information Act request and obtained a letter from the school board president and vice president to Horton addressing the late payments.

“You have failed to make one $700 payment and have been consistently late on nearly all your other payments,” the letter says. “You are currently in default and the District has the right to require the entire remaining amount immediately due and assess significant additional late penalties. This letter serves to disabuse you of any assumption that the District accepts your pattern of late payments.”

FOIAGRAS and the Evanston Roundtable reported that Sarita Smith, a student assignments manager for District 65, made the payments on Horton’s behalf. According to School Board member Allyson Gevertz, the district recently hired Smith away from District 65 and a school board agenda from February.

Horton’s current salary is $325,000 a year.

To read the full story from FOIAGRAS, click here.

To read the Evanston Roundtable story, click here.

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