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Vendor files suit in federal court against DCSS

ALBANY, Ga. -- Global Partnership Schools Inc. (GPS) has filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Dougherty County School System alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment

The suit, filed in the Middle District Court of Georgia, on May 17, seeks nearly $102,000, plus interest, in damages and reasonable attorney's fees. The company is also seeking a jury trial.

Based in New York, GPS is a company that provides learning and educational consulting services to public and private school systems. According to the company, its services "create educational environments which accelerate student progress and achievement, and improve the instructional capacity of educators."

GPS and the system, at the urging of former superintendent Joshua Murfree, entered into a agreement on Oct. 1, 2011. GPS was retained by the DCSS to support Albany High School and implement strategies contained in the District's Race To The Top proposals.

The contract stated GPS would provide these services for $136,000 in equal monthly payments of $11,333.33. The contract also contained a termination date of Dec. 31, 2013. It also included a provision that it could be terminated upon written notice by the DCSS before Nov. 1 of the previous year.

GPS says that beginning in January of 2012, the system stopped making payments, and the company claims the system never provided written notice of intent to terminate the agreement.

In addition, the company said it continued to provide services, which were later moved from Albany to Monroe High School.

A DCSS source familiar with the contract said last week "I think the district will have a good shot at defending itself (against the suit) because nobody is sure if they ever provided any services."

The suit, however, alleges that in regard to payment collection, "DCSS has acted in bad faith and caused GPS unnecessary trouble and expense."

The company is being represented by Chris Cohilas of the Albany law firm of Watson, Spence, LLP.