Christopher Chieffo, an ex-Niles schoolteacher and since 2020 a member of the board of education that fired him in 2018, has reached a settlement in the lawsuit he filed against the district. The settlement was confirmed Monday by board President Tony Perrone and Superintendent Ann Marie Thigpen, both declining to provide specifics.

Our plan is to approve the agreement when the board meets May 25,” Thigpen told 21 News. “I think it’s appropriate to wait until the board approves all the terms of the agreement and after that, we can deal with the information.” Provisions of the agreement are public once the board approves.

There was no response from an email sent to Chieffo requesting comment.

Chieffo had sued the Niles Board of Education for $4 million in February 2018, one month after it fired him for alleged falsification of sick leave. According to his personnel file, Chieffo called off sick in October 2017 on a day when news accounts reported he was coaching the Howland High School Boys Golf Team at a tournament in Alliance. Chieffo’s lawsuit referred to the media accounts as “false and defamatory.”

Chieffo, whose lawsuit was dismissed by Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice, subsequently filed with the 11th District Court of Appeals, which ruled in his favor last December and sent the case back to the lower court for arbitration. The settlement apparently was reached during the arbitration proceedings over a period of several months.

Multiple sources have indicated to 21 News that terms of the agreement include a cash settlement, but an amount could not be confirmed.


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