D.C. settles with former school food services director for $450,000

Jeffrey Mills, former director of food and nutrition services for D.C. Public Schools, filed a lawsuit after he was fired for alleged mismanagement and fraud.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The District has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the city public schools’ former head of food services, who had alleged he was fired for raising alarms about the system’s mismanagement of a money-losing contract with its largest food vendor.

Jeffrey Mills argued in a federal complaint that Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality overcharged the school system, billed the schools for spoiled produce and shorted the city millions of dollars it was due in rebates. Mills also alleged that top D.C. Public Schools officials ignored evidence of what he said was the company’s waste and abuse.

Mills sought back pay and other damages from the District and two other defendants: Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Anthony deGuzman, the school system’s former chief operating officer.