As a growing number of administrators have been fired, suspended, demoted or involuntarily moved in the Jordan-Elbridge School District, some are stepping up and taking the Board of Education to court. The latest case in this saga was heard by a judge Wednesday. Our Katie Gibas was in court and has the latest.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- It's more like a court room drama made for TV. As a suspended principal dukes it out with the Board of Education, eventually landing them in court. Jordan-Elbridge High School Principal David Zehner is suing the board for nominating the interim superintendent without public input, which he says is a violation of open meeting laws.
"Announcing that Miss Gorton was interim superintendent. And she continued to act as such. So we don't think there's any dispute that's what is stated here is accurate and is the real facts," said Steve Ciotoli, Zehner's attorney.
When the board did not respond to his concern, Zehner filed suit. He has since been suspended with pay.
"I felt that I had to do because of what's happened to Bill Hamilton and Anthony Scro and Janice Schue and other people that they basically bullied them and tried to push them out because they weren't happy with what they were doing," said David Zehner, Jordan-Elbridge suspended principal.
Both sides presented their cases before Judge Greenwood Wednesday. But he did not make a decision because the district's attorney said he did not receive the affidavit and was unable to respond to claims without speaking with his clients.
"Clearly a mistake was made. We've acknowledged that quite readily. The information, sort of the PR got out ahead of the legal proceedings. That sometimes happens. That's going to be corrected. It's going to be fully addressed," said Frank Miller, the district's attorney.
Zehner countered, "They've had four meetings which they could have rectified that. They could have sent out the same press release saying sorry, we made a mistake."
Judge Greenwood has already ruled against the board once, saying they had to release the superintendent's severance agreement. He will make his second decision on Friday.
The next Board of Education meeting will be October 6 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.