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Lawyer Fees For Trustee Accused of Misconduct Not Being Paid For By District

Susan Agruso says the district is not covering attorney fees for trustee under investigation.

District Superintendent Susan Agruso said the district is paying only the cost of the attorney that is investigating the allegations and is not paying attorney fees for the board trustee being investigated.

"That attorney is not being paid for by the district,” Agruso told Patch. “The district is paying for the lawyer who is conducting the investigation, that’s all."

Neither the board nor the district has confirmed who that trustee is and have said that doing so would interfere with the investigation.

Jay Worona, General Counsel and Director of Legal and Policy Services for the New York State School Boards Association, said that generally speaking, the district would not cover the expense of a lawyer in a case such as this.

“Generally I don’t think they would be defended. It would be contrary in interest to the board."

Robert LaRusso, the attorney investigating the allegation, said if the trustee is found to have shared information with a third party, the commissioner of education would make the final decision and that the removal of a trustee from the board is left to the commissioner and not the board.

“The board is not going to make the decision. It wouldn’t be right, generally speaking, for one party to make a decision about someone that is part of their own group,” said LaRusso. “The commissioner will make the determination whether or not it was confidential. It will rest with the commissioner of education.”

According to LaRusso, once an allegation is made, the board has 30 days in which to submit it to the commissioner.

“There is a request that when an allegation is brought, you have 30 days to bring it before the commissioner."

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mary wellbourne June 12, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Dearest Ben, I will be there to watch our money flying out of the budget to a lawyer that was not needed. You can bet on it that the verdict will be what the three board members wanted but needed a lawyer to firm it up for them. It then will move to Albany where she will be exonerated but the district will be out the money. Then the real problems start Motherway leaves, the board is split two/two with Mr.Leo acting as THE GREAT COMPRIMISER---that was Henry Clay in your time Ben. Then next year the BOE will have elections and we will see another new face on the board. Mr. Leo be Henry Clay not Benedict Arnold till than.
Albert Noesei June 13, 2012 at 12:17 AM
If anyone goes, post an update as to what they actually come out with. Should be interesting.
San Remo June 13, 2012 at 04:26 AM
If you were not able to see the meeting when the accusations were presented from the BOE I recommend you watch them online. http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/8602520/may_29_2012_p4.swf http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/8602519/may_29_2012_p5.swf
San Remo June 13, 2012 at 08:32 PM
YEAH IM SURE YOU KNOW PLENTY SINCE YOUR MOTHER WORKS FOR THE TRUSTEE NOW I UNERSTAND WHY YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT I HAVE TO SAY.
Liberty June 16, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Read the article then read the Smithtown News. then answer this question did someone with a high paying job who is looking for a 7% raise put their foot nin their mouth.

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