Law Firm Hired in School Board Trustee Misconduct Allegation Case Waives Fee

LaRusso And Conway, the law firm hired to handle the petition to remove Liz Barrett from the board, which was denied based on procedural errors, has waived its fee.


The law firm hired by the Kings Park Board of Education to investigate allegations of misconduct by board vice president, Liz Barrett, has waived their fees, releasing the district from any cost associated with their work on the case.

The to an undisclosed third party.  According to the findings released by the State Education Department last week, the petition was denied based on procedural errors, including the  failure to serve Barrett within the required 30 days from learning of the alleged breech as well as improper filing on behalf of the school's attorneys, LaRusso and Conway.

The state did not issue a certificate of good faith, requested by Barrett's attorneys, which would require that her legal fees be reimbursed. According to the findings, Barrett is responsible for her own legal fees.

The board did not allow public comments at the Tuesday evening meeting and read a prepared statement regarding the incident:

The Board of Education has met and discussed the Commissioner of Education's decision in regard to the petition brought against Ms. Barrett and accepts his decision.

The Commissioner of Education deemed the petition to be invalid based on procedural grounds and, as a result, the merits of the case could not be considered. Given the circumstances around the commissioner's decision, special counsel retained by the board has agreed to waive their fees, and the district and taxpayers will not be responsible for any cost associated with their work.

We sit here tonight united in our belief that this district and community must move past this issue and focus on the many legitimate educational challenges that our schools are facing. We look forward to working together to meet these challenges as we continue to raise the bar for the students and community here in Kings Park.

The board also declined to comment after the meeting regarding the findings.

The Commissioner's decision may be found at www.counsel.nysed.gov/decisions/volume52//d16422.html . A copy of the findings can also be found in the photo section of this article.


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Dump Agruso October 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Of course they dropped their fees. Has anyone checked the balance in the super secret blackmail account.
John K Massaro October 17, 2012 at 07:37 PM
There is not a word this woman can say from this point on that I would take for truth. Regardless of the outcome, her silence on the entire matter, her failure to speak out for herself against her allegations, her willingness to hide from servers & not face the music speaks all the volumes of truth I need to hear. At this point, she is nothing but a distraction on the board & if she really cared at all for the community she is supposedly serving & not for her own personal agenda, she would step down from her post immediately...
Dump Agruso October 17, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Dr. Agruso is a liar. She has been caught so many times lying about students, parents, money and school topics. She lies so much she cant remember her lies. How can we ask anybody on the board to be better. I dont know what happened about a board member speaking about a student. I can tell you that when the board speaks in their private session its not so private. I think what needs to be done is the Commissioner needs to send someone to oversee the board and Dr. Agruso.
Tim October 17, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Blah Blah Blah
John K Massaro October 18, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Brilliant rebuttal, Tim...
bbaro October 18, 2012 at 01:38 AM
for those of you have sooo much to say. Please attend the next board meeting and speak your mind, and stop hiding behind the patch. I'm out!
new guy October 18, 2012 at 04:38 PM
john with all due respect, your posting about a situation that i dont think you have had first hand knowledge of. (me niether)i dont find it unusual for someone not to comment on a accusation like this. i think most attorneys would prefer if their clients kept their mouths shut. what i find strange is that one woman here on patch has made it her mission to discredit ms. barrett. another thing i cant wrap my head around is if ms. barrett is so awful then why did the board vote her in as vice president of the board. i'm sincere when i say with all due....i'm not looking for a pissing match. maybe someone can chime in about how and why she went from a trustee to vice pres while this investigation was ongoing. thanks.
new guy October 18, 2012 at 04:39 PM
thats a good idea.
tr young October 18, 2012 at 06:04 PM
very good idea! except in kings park we are corrupt always , probally always will be. if you attend make sure your family has nothing to lose .such as if you work for the school district or your kids go there be careful there will be repercusions,even if what you say is true. kind of like a mafia!!please bbraro- dont make me start explaining in detail.....fyi ilivehere,workhere(currently) and my kidsgohere. im not hiding behind patch just protecting my family .thank you patch.
mary wellbourne October 18, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Local/John---this whole case goes back to the last election to the BOE. Certain members did not want want one of the nominees to be elected. They went out of their way to come up with someone to run. When the votes were counted the handpicked nominee lost. At this point the woman writing all the posts about Barrett went to the schoolboard making accusations hoping that Barrett would resign and the loser of the election would be appointed to Barrett's position. Part of the board still wanted the loser to become part of the board so they accepted what the accusations were but decided to wash their hands and hire a law firm to investigate. The law firm decided to go forward but only spoke to the accuser. After reviewing the paperwork the state BOARD did not go forward due to papers not being filed correctly. As you can see it is only one woman on her own vile campaign. Hopefully our boe can now move forward and bring to our schools what they deserve.
LCDR October 18, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Betcha no law firm steps up to offer a legal malpractice action against this "fast asleep" legal (?) firm. But don't get between any of them and a medical malpractice suit.
mary wellbourne October 19, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Thanks for your words of wisdom TRISH !!!!!!!!!!!!
Annmarie Delmonte October 19, 2012 at 12:40 AM
ah mary- anyone who disagrees with you must be trish?
John K Massaro October 19, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I've said it before & I'll say it again. If Ms. Barrett were innocent, why hasn't she spoken out against the allegations against her? She needs to step down immediately. Her presence is nothing but a distraction & a blemish on this already questionable school board. As long as she has a seat on this board, it will not be taken seriously & there will always be doubt as to how well this board can & will serve the community as opposed to serving their own personal agendas. There is absolutly no trust in this school board as long as Ms. Barrett resides on it...
Annmarie Delmonte October 19, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Well said John.
new guy October 19, 2012 at 01:53 AM
i'm still missing something here. if she was considered guilty by her peers, then why did they vote her in as V.P.? something doesnt seem right.
truth vs October 19, 2012 at 02:09 AM
i think because there was two new ones who couldn’t be and maybe the one that should’ve been maybe couldn’t take on responsibility because its a big election year and his paid job would require a lot of time so there was no one else. maybe they had to pick one and were forced to pick her even though
new guy October 19, 2012 at 02:22 AM
o.k. thanks i appreciate your response. i'm not in the loop and i think being on the outside looking in, this just gets a little confusing.
sally pruslow October 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Sally Pruslow The fact that the BOE silenced the community and did away with the public comment part of the BOE agenda is not the way to be more open and inclusive. When things turn rough they return to Mr. Motherway's way of running a meeting. The refusal of the BOE to let our attorney John Gross answer questions was telling. The fact that they attorney hired by the BOE waved their fees is good for the district and probably saved a malpractice case. The sad part of all of this is Ms. Barrett in order to defend herself spent probably in excess of 25,000 dollars. The other issue is that BOE might have set a precedent that BOE members for what ever reason can bring charges against each other, frivolous or not, and have a school district pick up the tab ...... What a sad commentary.
mary wellbourne October 19, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Annemarie D , Truth vs and Trish all the same person---just wondering
mary wellbourne October 19, 2012 at 07:15 PM
when you talk to tdj I hope that you use a large mirror to read you own lips!!!
John K Massaro October 19, 2012 at 07:21 PM
With all due respect Mary, you're wrong. Take it from a self-proclaimed "professional" chat blog veteran. I can tell the difference just by grammar & sentence structure that they are three different people. I'm pretty sure Trish wouldn't mis-spell her own initials...
kper October 20, 2012 at 05:21 AM
sounds like TDJ has a hard on for Mrs. Barrett I mean really stop this non sense and worry about more important things, and now she has affidavits of what, to my knowledge you just cant do a foil request for things like that. Mrs. Barrett did something to piss off TDJ because if they were really that great of friends TDJ wouldnt have started this.
mary wellbourne October 21, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Local----Tom wanted the VP slot but couldn't get the votes. If you were in the hall prior to the meeting you might have heard him complaining that he wanted it. The two new board members spoke on unity and Liz Barrett was the unifier. If the same evidence was given to the present board nothing would have been done.
truth vs October 21, 2012 at 02:05 PM
The state did not issue a certificate of good faith, case closed.
JOHN J October 24, 2012 at 07:02 AM
Stevo October 24, 2012 at 07:24 PM
It's sad really!! KP has become a modern day Peyton Place.


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