Former Evanston Township High School Special Education Director Diona Lewis says she was targeted for termination only after she had filed a discrimination charge against District 202 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In a letter sent to the RoundTable on Thursday morning, March 9, Lewis said after she filed her EEOC charge she received a letter on Feb. 16 from Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Scott Bramley with the results of an investigation into her conduct and a recommendation that she be dismissed from the job.
The RoundTable reported Wednesday, March 8, on the ETHS investigation, which alleges that Lewis violated school board policies in her hiring of new employees and secretly recorded an investigative interview with Bramley without permission. The ETHS board voted to dismiss her at the end of the current school year at its meeting later in February.
“The sudden materialization of that letter [from Bramley] was the first time I heard of those allegations,” Lewis said in her Thursday email to the RoundTable. “Had you interviewed me before publishing that story, you would also have learned that the District did not give me the opportunity to tell my side of the story nor to name witnesses who would support me.”
The RoundTable initially attempted to contact Lewis through her ETHS phone number and email since she has returned to remote work at this point. Lewis has since clarified that she no longer has access to those accounts or contacts.
“The individual who supposedly made the initial allegation that gave rise to ETHS’s ‘investigation’ has affirmed in writing that she did not make any such allegation against me,” Lewis said.
Lewis later declined a request for a phone interview, saying that her note is “all I am at liberty to say at this time.” She is working with a lawyer to gather information needed “to respond in a meaningful and productive manner,” she said.
An ETHS spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on Lewis’ statements regarding the nature of her firing.
Lewis has worked for ETHS since 2020. She was on paid administrative leave from Oct. 3 through mid-February and is currently working remotely.
I think there’s a lot we don’t know about what happened here. Inevitably there will be a lawsuit – we will learn more.