Attorneys given a week to see if schools whistle-blower gets payday

A federal judge Wednesday ordered attorneys to file documents by April 8 to help him determine whether a fired Philadelphia School District administrator can collect for economic losses.

Two weeks ago, jurors found that the district, former Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman and a top aide had violated the First Amendment rights of Francis X. Dougherty when they suspended him and recommended his termination for disclosing information about a $7.5 million no-bid contract for surveillance cameras at 19 city schools.

The School Reform Commission approved the recommendation and terminated Dougherty in April 2011.

U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sánchez is considering whether Dougherty is entitled to recover lost wages and if so, the amount.

- Martha Woodall