“She put our children in jeopardy:” Former teacher receives $75K after showing up to field trip drunk
JANESVILLE — The city of Janesville has agreed to pay a former teacher $75,000 — after she showed up to an elementary school field trip drunk in 2013, and was fired from the district.
Maria Caya had a blood alcohol level of .27 the day of that field trip — three times the legal limit.
After the city made that BAC public, Caya sued — to the tune of $5.5 million. Caya said in the lawsuit the releasing of that blood alcohol level test caused her stress and public embarrassment.
Instead of taking that multi-million dollar lawsuit to court, the Janesville City Council agreed to pay a $75,000 settlement to Caya. This, on top of the $18,000 payout she received from the district.
One councilman did vote against the settlement — saying residents he talked to thought Caya should be held accountable for her actions.
“I think that there’s a lot of things that happened that day and I would think that a judge and jury of her peers would be able to see through all of that and make the correct decision on that,” Jens Jorgensen said.
One parent said she has a daughter who was in Caya’s class and took part in the field trip on the day of the incident. She said she doesn’t feel enough has been done to penalize Caya for putting students in danger.
“I feel like we were victimized once. She put our children in jeopardy, and now the money that I pay to the city in taxes could go to pay her for victimizing our children,” Christine Nimmo said.
The Janesville city attorney said the settlement would be covered by the city’s insurance policy and would not be payed for with taxpayer dollars.
It’s still unclear whether the Janesville Police Department violated any laws by releasing Caya’s blood alcohol level.