Romain Dallemand, former Rochester Public Schools superintendent, was ordered Tuesday to pay $47.5 million in damages in a civil lawsuit brought by Bibb County Schools in Georgia, according to the Macon Telegraph.
The judgement in a Macon, Ga., federal courtroom Tuesday was the latest — and perhaps the last — in a series of legal blows to befall the one-time trailblazing educator who once earned $230,000 a year.
The judgement appears to be largely symbolic. Bibb County School District is unlikely to see much or any of the money a federal judge ordered him to pay.
Dallemand, 50, is currently doing time in a federal prison in northern Florida where he is serving an eight-month sentence for tax evasion. He began serving his sentence April 29.
Dallemand's economic prospects, once he gets out of prison, are slight. He complained to a judge during an earlier trial that his status as a convicted felon made it impossible for him to get a better-paying job than work as an Uber driver and at a convenience store making $800 a month.
Dallemend served as Rochester schools superintendent from 2007 to 2011 before departing for the Macon, Ga., school district. Although his tenure in Rochester was controversial, Dallemand was never accused of the misdeeds and crimes that became the hallmark of his tenure at Bibb schools.
It was also clear from Judge Marc T. Treadwell's judgement that the judge wanted to send a stern warning for Dallemand's betrayal of the Bibb County school district. Dallemand received hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from organizations and businesses that sought business with the district.
The $47.5 million penalty leveled against Dallemand included $24.6 million in punitive damages — $1,000 for each of the 24,600 children in Bibb County schools at the time Dallemand committed his wrongdoing.
Current and former leaders of the Georgia district testified that they are still trying to restore the public's trust squandered under Dallemand, the Telegraph reported.
Dallemand was not present during Tuesday's hearing. It was apparently his choice. Although officials made arrangements to transport Dallemand to Macon from his Florida prison, Dallemand was a no-show.