PORTLAND – The founder of Portland’s first charter school is suing the school, saying the board of directors falsely accused him of mismanaging the Baxter Academy for Technology and Science.


John Jaques said he is seeking punitive damages, according to a counterclaim filed Wednesday in Cumberland County Superior Court. The school sued him last week.

Cumberland County Superior Court granted the school board a civil temporary restraining order Friday, ordering Jaques to turn over all school property.

Howard Reben, the attorney for Jaques, was not available for comment on Thursday.


In his court filing, Jaques said he had returned everything, including passwords to online sites and Google Doc sites used to store school material.

The board said it fired Jaques for “a pattern of mismanagement.” Jaques said it was because a donor insisted on it before giving the school $250,000 if Jaques was no longer in charge. The donor confirmed that he tied his donation to Jaques not being in charge of the school.

Jaques says he is in an ongoing dispute with the board over compensation for his intellectual property associated with the school. 

Board Vice Chairwoman Allison Crean Davis said Thursday that the board is in the process of reviewing the material returned to the school. They plan to meet with parents this weekend and open in the fall as planned.


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