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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