When Luis Mario Rojas was fired from the Elizabeth Board of Education in 2006, he claimed he had been the victim of a political purge.
In a federal lawsuit, Rojas said that while district officials cited a poor work record and budget cutbacks, the real reason for his termination after nearly 20 years on the job was that he became viewed as a disloyal soldier. His sister, former board member Oneida Duran, had a falling out with those in control of the school district.
Earlier this year, board members agreed to resolve the matter. They gave Rojas $68,997 to settle his complaint. In addition, they paid out another $24,652 to settle a separate workers’ compensation case. Then they put him back on the payroll — paying him $60,064 annually until he becomes eligible for retirement in two years.
As part of the agreement, he promised never to say a word about it.