Pinnacle Schools headed to court over lawsuit against Huntsville City School Board

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Pinnacle Schools has filed a lawsuit against Huntsville City Schools for unpaid invoices. The lawsuit seeks damages and various other filings seek a court's intervention in the ongoing contract dispute.

The lawsuit, filed by attorney John Wilmer on behalf of Pinnacle Behavioral Services, names the members of the School Board as well as Interim Superintendent Tom Drake. Wilmer spoke exclusively with WHNT News 19 the week before about the disagreement.

The Huntsville City School Board recently ended its RAISE contract with Pinnacle, severing all ties to Pinnacle. Instead, the district opted to set up its own internal alternative school and to continue its own version of various programs Pinnacle used to have outside of their 2014 alternative school contract.

The dispute began following the departure of former superintendent Casey Wardynski.

Pinnacle ended some of its programs  last week, its CEO telling WHNT News 19 they could not continue to operate without payment. She also told her side of the story in an exclusive interview with WHNT News 19.

Click here to read the lawsuit in its entirety.

In the suit, Pinnacle's attorney John Wilmer asks the court to force the district to reinstate its 2014 contract and pay Pinnacle for its services. Otherwise, he says Pinnacle will suffer "irreparable loss and injury" in revenue, profits, and employees. He alleges Huntsville City Schools is now going after Pinnacle employees, offering staff members including management jobs with the district instead.

Friday, Huntsville City Schools released this statement in response:

We have read the complaint and it is factually incorrect and legally unjustified. We will provide a vigorous defense, in detail, to all of these matters in court and will seek all remedies to which Huntsville City Schools is entitled.

Friday at 3 PM, Madison County Judge Alan Mann issued an order scheduling a hearing in the case on November 1 at 1:30 PM. WHNT News 19 plans to be there.