HPS Supt. files federal lawsuit

HPS Superintendent Jaleelah Ahmed

By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck Public School District Superintendent Jaleelah Ahmed is fighting back.
Ahmed, who has been placed on leave, filed a lawsuit in federal court on May 23 accusing five board members and the teachers’ union of conspiring to get her fired.
She is also accusing them of discrimination and defamation.
Ahmed took a family medical leave of absence back in October, citing stress from handling school affairs during the Covid pandemic.
She had planned to return in January, but the school board placed her on extended leave. The board has not explained why they took that action, other than to say that Ahmed is under investigation, although the nature of that investigation has not been explained.
In her lawsuit, Ahmed is seeking back pay, but she has been on a paid leave. It’s not clear what back pay she is claiming.
Named in the suit are board members Evan Major, Showkat Choudhury, Regan Watson, Salah Hadwan, and Moortadha Obaid.
Boardmembers Daz’Shavon Hall and Jihan Aiyash were not named in the lawsuit. Aiyash, who was not re-elected among fellow board members as president of the board, has not attended a board meeting since January.
Neither Aiyash nor the school district have explained her absence.
Ahmed said in her lawsuit that trouble began with several job transfers of teachers, which resulted in backlash from some board members about former Human Resources Director Michelle Imbrunone.
Ahmed defended Imbrunone and her decision to make the job transfers because they were needed to fill positions required by federal guidelines.
In her lawsuit, Ahmed also pointed out that former Superintendent Tom Niczay had made job transfers but didn’t face opposition.
The board recently voted to not renew Imbrunone’s contract. Imbrunone also took a family medical leave back in October.
After Ahmed took a leave of absence, several teachers came forward at board meetings to complain about the management style of Ahmed and Imbrunone.
One teacher said that, since Ahmed became superintendent, the district has been “going backwards from our best years.”
Toni Coral, the president of the teachers’ union, characterized the working conditions in the district as “chaotic” – a description that was repeated over and over.
Another teacher said that there was “no confidence in the leadership,” and that the district was not prepared to start up the new school year with in-classroom teaching.
“This is not an environment I want to return in,” said the teacher.
Ahmed is the first Yemeni-American to be appointed as superintendent of the Hamtramck School District.
Since her leave, Nabil Nagi, who had been an administrator in the district, has been Interim Superintendent.
Posted June 3, 2022

2 Responses to HPS Supt. files federal lawsuit

  1. Mark M Koroi

    June 4, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    The Christine Adamczyk lawsuit that names Jaleelah Ahmed as a defendant still pends in federal court.

    It is being defended by the Plunkett Cooney law firm.

    There needs to be an accounting of all the legal fees that are being spent in the defense of these court actions.

    Whare have you gone Ton Niczay – a school district turns its lonely eyes to you – whoa, whoa whoa.

  2. Mark M. Koroi

    June 14, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    The federal lawsuit complaint identifies sex discrimination and national origin discrimination as two of the types of claims Ahmed is seeking.

    She is described in the complaint as a Yemeni-born female.

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