A petition filed to remove Liz Barrett from the Kings Park Board of Education has been denied by the state Commissioner of Education.
The to an undisclosed third party. According to the findings released by the State Education Department, 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.
"The petition is dismissed in its entirety," said David Sobotkin of Bracken Margolin Besunder, the law firm representing Barrett. "Every court and administrative agency in the United States assesses cases first on procedural ground, if there are no deficits, they move on."
A copy of the findings can be found in the photo gallery of this story.
According to Sobotkin, "there were a number of procedural deficits and that is why there is no discussion of the merits of the case."
The state did however, deny a certificate of good faith, which was requested by Barrett's attorneys, which would require that her legal fees be reimbursed. According to the finding, Barrett is responsible for her own fees.
Sobotkin said they were no decisions made regarding an appeal and that they would be "considering their options."
Joseph Conway of LaRusso and Conway, the firm representing the district in the case, said he was disappointed that the merits of the case were never heard.
"It is disappointing that the merits couldn’t be reached based on the service technicality," said Conway.
Conway said the "window was short" to serve Barrett based on how much time was left after they completed the investigation and that they made "numerous attempts to serve her."
"We essentially camped out at her house for 4-5 days and no one came for several days," said Conway. Date for reply was July 17. Papers were served on July 20.
Conway believed that the decision essentially ended the case.
"There is a potential to appeal, but for the most part it is over," he said.
Sobotkin said he believed from the beginning the case had no merit.
"The allegations had no merit in the beginning and now the commissioner clearly agrees," said Sobotkin. "The only people that have been burdened by these findings are the taxpayers and the residents of Kings Park, not the filers of the petition."
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