BURKE, Va. — Fairfax County Public School officials said in February of 2018, that Dave Thomas, the former Principal of Lake Braddock Secondary School, retired. But WUSA9 has confirmed he is still an employee of FCPS.
A picture taken by a Lake Braddock parent shows Thomas leaving the school and carrying a box.
It was taken on February 2nd, 2018, the same day Fairfax County Public Schools Assistance Superintendent Angela Atwater sent an email to the Lake Braddock Community.
"As Dave Thomas shared this afternoon, he is retiring from LBSS after serving the school system for 25 years," Atwater wrote.
But Monday, May 20, 2019, WUSA9 called the FCPS employment services office to check on Dave Thomas's status.
"Yes ma'am. He is still employed with us," said the school system employee. She confirmed his status was still principal and that he did not retire.
In a WUSA9 email inquiry, the same office responded that "Principal Dave F. Thomas Jr. has been out on Admin Leave for several months."
Thomas' last contract with FCPS was for an annual salary of $158,000. WUSA9 could not confirm his current salary.
The fact Thomas is still getting paid doesn't sit well with Lake Braddock parent Bill Park.
"He has been in a no-show fully paid job with an annual salary," said Park who found out last week that Thomas was still employed and informed the school at it's public budget meeting.
"One place this board can free up additional money immediately is cutting the salary of former Lake Braddock Principal David Thomas," he told the board.
A WUSA9 investigation in 2018 found school officials ignored players' complaints of sexual harassment involving a coach. Thomas told the parents he hadn't known about the allegations. But evidence WUSA9 uncovered suggested Thomas not only knew, but forced out two employees who claimed the principal did know.
Bill Park filed a federal complaint.
Now, he blames Superintendent Scott Brabrand for keeping Thomas employed. "Can the public trust our Superintendent to protect their children against Title 9 (sexual harassment) to tell the truth, and frankly, that we know our tax dollars are being spent in a very stewardship manner. And then second, to the school board, did you know about this?"
School Board member Elizabeth Schultz said she was surprised to learn Dave Thomas was still an employee. She said, "As always, I'm concerned about transparency for the public and use of their tax dollars. I will pursue for an understanding of how this has come to pass."
When WUSA9 asked school officials for specifics on Dave Thomas' employment, they said it was personnel issue and couldn't comment.