HR director challenging recent dismissal from St. Francis School District

A director of human resources who was hired by the St. Francis School District in July 2011 is alleging that his dismissal has been ordered without cause or due process.

David Lindberg
David Lindberg

In a letter that he said was also being shared with the district’s attorney and District 15 School Board members, David Lindberg, of Oak Grove, stated that Superintendent Ed Saxton presented him with a letter of dismissal and a final paycheck at 1:45 p.m. Jan. 8.

Alleging that the immediate action without explanation was in violation of school board policy, Lindberg said he would hold the check but without deposit or endorsement before an appeal.

Lindberg, a native of Blaine, further cited Minnesota Statute 197.46, which requires that any honorably discharged veteran be granted a hearing before dismissal from a hired or appointed position with a county, city or school district.

Lindberg is an Army veteran, said his wife, Wendy Lindberg, who spoke to the Anoka County Union on her husband’s behalf.

He trained as a combat medic at Fort Polk, La., before a deployment to Baghdad, Iraq, from March 2003 to April 2004, his wife said.

Lindberg wrote in his letter that he greeted Saxton and a police officer as he collected and carried personal belongings from his District 15 office shortly after 6 p.m. Jan. 8.

Lindberg alleges in his letter that Saxton’s action that day was personal, partly because Lindberg previously had challenged Saxton’s leadership style among other issues.

Saxton, a former St. Francis High School principal who has served as district superintendent since 2003 and received a three-year contract renewal last June, did not return two phone calls from the Anoka County Union on this matter before press time Jan. 15.

The issue was not on the school board’s agenda for discussion at a scheduled meeting Jan. 13. Wendy Lindberg addressed the board during a time for visitor presentations, when the audio is not recorded for future webcasts in accordance with board policy.

Board member David Roberts, who was elected that night as board chairperson for 2014, later told the Anoka County Union that he could not comment on Lindberg’s letter or the human resources position as the situation was then an administrative issue.

Wendy Lindberg said her husband has conferred with legal counsel, filed a grievance and is seeking placement on paid administrative leave from District 15.

The family came to Oak Grove and St. Francis from the Wahpeton, N.D., area, where Lindberg served as director of human resources for the North Dakota State College of Science starting in May 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile.

After the family’s move from Louisiana to the Midwest, Lindberg served two years as human resources manager for a certified public accountant firm with 60 employees in Willmar.

Listed honors on his LinkedIn profile include a Labor Relations Pacesetter Award, received in January 2013 from the Minnesota Public Employer Labor Relations Association.