Discrimination suit against Aspen School District settles confidentially

A federal magistrate judge recently approved the dismissal of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the Aspen School District by a former employee.

Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter, on Jan. 29, signed a minute order dismissing Donald Stalker’s complaint against the district after parties on each side agreed to end the litigation.

The judge closed the case with prejudice, which means Stalker cannot file the same complaints against the district in the future.

Assistant Superintendent Tom Heald declined comment about the dismissal, saying it was done on confidential terms.

Stalker’s attorney in the case, Tedd Hess of Glenwood Springs, also would not discuss specifics for the same reason.

“There was a confidential settlement and I really can’t go into the details,” he said. “And Mr. Stalker is happy with the settlement and that’s about all I can say.”

Stalker originally filed his complaint in April in Pitkin County District Court before it was transferred later that month to federal court in Denver.

The Eagle County resident filed an amended complaint July 31, citing claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.

Stalker’s suit said he started work with the ASD as a maintenance technician for the elementary school in October 2014; he was transferred to the high school in 2017.

Stalker’s suit alleged the high school fired him in December 2017 after he missed multiple days of work because he was afflicted with the bacterial disease E. coli. Stalker said he had notified ASD authorities of his condition in August 2017 because he had to reduce his work output, but after he received doctor’s clearance to work full-time, ASD terminated him.