Wardynski Doubles Legal Fees in Five Months


Thanks to a regular reader (and proofreader as well), I thought it would be interesting to see just exactly how much Dr. Casey “Then su . . . then you have recourse” Wardynski had spent on legal fees in the five months he’s been here and how that number compared to the previous nine months before he arrived. (I went back 14 months because that’s all that is currently available on the HCS website. If anyone has a copy of the September 2010 check register, it would be interesting to know those numbers as well.)

As always with our system, the actual numbers are much worse than I had assumed.

In five months, Dr. Wardynski has spent $351,488.92 on “Legal Fees.” In the nine months preceding his tenure, the system had spent $338,096.57. In fourteen months, Huntsville City Schools has paid $689,585.49 in legal fees.

In other words, Dr. Wardynski has more than doubled the fees paid to lawyers since he’s been here.

In the previous nine months, the system’s monthly average for legal fees was $37,566.29. Since Wardynski has arrived that monthly average has jumped to $70,297.78.

If he keeps up that average for the next seven months, Dr. Wardynski will spend $843,573.41 not on teachers, aides, therapists, supplies or even facilities. He will have spent $843,573.41 on lawyers.

What could we buy with that funding if Wardynski weren’t so quick to suggest legal action to parents who ask questions? Here are a few ideas:

  • 23 First Year Teachers at $36,000 per year.
  • 93 Instructional Assistants at $9,000 per year.
  • 23 Therapists at $36,000 per year.

In short, for the amount of funding that our superintendent pays to lawyers, we could nearly double the number of instructional assistants or therapists working with our students. We could increase the number of classrooms by 14%.

But instead of meeting the needs of students, Dr. “Sue Me” Wardynski would prefer paying $522,812.41to Mr. Brooks’ firm, Lanier, Ford, Shaver, and Payne.

Many readers have long since suggested to me that I should pursue legal action against the system. As I am loath to be the cause of our local educational funding going to something other than our students, I have done every thing possible to avoid legal action. Dr. Wardynski, because he refuses to discuss his reasons for cutting special education funding more than any other area, has made this impossible.

I have therefore filed a grievance with the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education as a start. Perhaps he will be willing to answer their questions.

"Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.


  1. Great place to start, Russell!!!! Glad you finally did it! Keep us posted on what happens. I assure you that they will take you seriously. But I agree that it’s ridiculous that you have to do this. However, since he challenged you, take ’em on. There are a lot of parents who agree with you.

  2. And they will have no choice but to answer the OCR’s questions. Can’t wait to hear the answers.

  3. Just playing devil’s advocate – some of those fees are undoubtedly related to the teacher and principal terminations which require full hearings.

    I applaud your activism and efforts.

    1. Dear Anon,

      You’re right. That’s exactly why we see a huge spike in legal activity for the past two months. But here’s why he’s still responsible for those: he decides which cases to settle and which to push ahead on. He seems to have taken the approach to push ahead on all of them.

      While this past spring was terrible, there was proration the previous spring as well, and yet there wasn’t a huge spike in the costs last fall.

      Thanks for playing devil’s advocate. I really appreciate it when people keep me honest. And thanks for reading.

    1. Thanks. Hopefully it will bring some answers and make the board a bit more responsive in the future when other parents have questions about other issues.

  4. I am always in awe of how you manage to persevere. I know it can’t be easy. Being a full time teacher and dad. Your family must be so proud. Thank you for all your extra time you devote to our children. Anything I can do just let me know. Absolutely love it.

  5. You said-In short, for the amount of funding that our superintendent pays to lawyers,

    Should read, for the amount of funding that we the taxpayers pays to lawyers. the super isn’t paying anything, as a matter of fact, we the taxpayers are paying him too.

    Good for filing the OCR complaint, but he’s just going to turn it over to the school board attorneys, which means more money for them and less money for the students they are supposed to serve and protect.

    1. They most certainly will turn it over to the school board attorneys. BUT Dr, Wardinski and the Board can’t ignore the questions when they’re being asked by the Federal Gov’t. They’re ignoring everyone else, so that seems to be our only recourse.

    2. Redeye,

      You’re right, and I knew that going in. That was why I tried every other method available to me other than filing a complaint to get an explanation of the cuts. I’ve been asking for an explanation since September 24th via emails with my board member and with the Superintendent and the whole board as well.

      I was told that the SPED presentation in November would give me the answers I was seeking. I was the only person at that meeting to discuss the cuts at all.

      I’ve been asking publicly at every board meeting since November 17th for an answer.

      I’ve filed a formal grievance with the system that was ignored.

      In other words, I’ve tried to avoid engaging the lawyers. I’m still willing to withdraw the grievance if someone in the central office is willing to answer a few simple questions.

      I am requesting an open and public review of these numbers, and a written justification for why the cuts have been inordinately applied to Special Education.

      I am requesting that if these numbers are shown to be correct and without legal justification, that the board re-open the budgeting process and correct the funding discrepancy.

      61% of the cuts made in the system should not come from 11% of the population.

      It would be easy for the central office to answer these questions without legal or outside intervention. I would certainly prefer that they do so.

      So far, the only response Wardynski has offered is that I should pursue this legally.

  6. So far, the only response Wardynski has offered is that I should pursue this legally.

    This is what they do, force you to spend more of your money. You might want to look at the last OCR complaint that was filed against the School system for some insight.

  7. GO for it!!!!! Sue them and show Dr. W that he will soon have to answer the citizens questions along with the federal government questions also.

  8. Just a thought here: The Budget was examined by an outside Auditing CPA…Jerry Mercer and Associates…. Correct?
    Just wondering if they might be able to shed some light on the legality of the budget cuts?
    Just thinking…

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