Cook County Record

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Hales Franciscan High School and principal named in retaliatory discharge lawsuit

By Whitney Brakken | Dec 24, 2013

A Kane County resident is suing her former employer over claims of retaliatory discharge.

Rochelle Daniels filed a lawsuit Dec. 12 in the Circuit Court of Cook County against Hales Franciscan High School and Erica Brownfield, individually and as an agent of the school, citing retaliatory discharge, interference with prospective business advantage and violations of the Illinois Whistleblower Act.

Daniels states that in August 2010 and during the 2012-2013 school year, she was employed by Hales, a school in Chicago, as an English teacher and received excellent performance reviews.

On Oct. 31, according to the suit, Daniels was told by a female student that she had been sexually assaulted by two male students, spurring her to report the incident to the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services.

Daniels claims Brownfield, the high school's principal, became hostile toward her once she reported the incident to DCFS, including falsely accusing her of not submitting grades on time. On Nov. 18, Daniels asserts she was terminated from the school as a direct result of making a report to DCFS.

She is seeking reinstatement, back pay with interest, compensatory damages in excess of $50,000, punitive damages, costs and fees. She is being represented in the case by Chicago attorney Joel F. Handler.

Circuit Court of Cook County Case No. 2013L014033.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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