NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – A Girard couple who worked for Niles City schools is suing the district after one of them was fired.
In the lawsuit, Christopher and Abbey Chieffo claim the district invaded their privacy and defamed them.
The suit alleges that Christopher Chieffo, the former vice-principal at Niles Primary School, was passed over for the job of principal at McKinley High School in place of Michael Guarnieri, who at the time did not have an Ohio principal’s license. The suit alleges that board members exchanged text messages inferring that Guarnieri was the chosen candidate even before the job was posted or interviews conducted.
The lawsuit also alleges that there was bad blood between Chieffo and Superintendent Ann Thigpen over the principal position and work Chieffo was having done as his property. The lawsuit says that Thigpen’s husband, Michael, “did not take kindly” to the fact that Chieffo was not using Thigpen Excavating, LLC, for the work he was having done at his house and that Chieffo was allegedly “badmouthing” Ann Thigpen over the principal’s job. Thigpen Excavating, LLC, is owned by Michael and Ann Thigpen.
The suit also claims there were other conflicts between the couple and the school district.
Niles fired Christopher Chieffo last month, saying he misused sick days. He’s appealing his firing.
Our print partners at the Tribune Chronicle report that Abbey Chieffo still teaches in Niles.
The superintendent says she read the lawsuit but would not comment.