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Morris drops CHRO complaint

State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140). (File photo)

NORWALK, Conn. — State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140) has withdrawn his complaints of discrimination against the Norwalk Board of Education, Deputy Corporation Counsel Jeffry Spahr said in an email to BoE members.

“He has the option of filing suit (if he chooses to pursue his claims) within 90 days of the date of release (i.e., by June 28),” BoE Chairman Mike Lyons said.

Morris did not reply to a phone call nor an email.

Morris had claimed, in a complaint to the Commission for Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), that, since 2011, he was denied $79,740 in wages as a human relations officer because of discriminatory practices by Norwalk Public Schools.

Morris filed the complaint on May 23 while amicably negotiating with Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski for a retirement package, saying nothing about the action, Spahr said in his Feb. 2 response to the Commission.

Morris sought during continued negotiations to remain a consultant with NPS, in addition to receiving a pension. He requested that his salary be backdated to be a higher amount, so that his pension would be higher.

The complaint described a “substantial history of racial discrimination.” He followed it with a second complaint, stating that he would have had to release NPS from any legal damages due to discrimination if he accepted the retirement package, again requesting damages.

CHRO issued a release of jurisdiction on March 30. Morris requested the release, Lyons said.

Morris has been talking about running for mayor.

5 comments

Elizabeth April 13, 2017 at 6:11 am

If it’s not outright discrimination, there is certainly favouritism taking place in this district. Particularly since Mr. Adamowski has become superintendent, anyone who rocks the boat, asks questions, or operates outside the normal box has found him/herself in administrative trouble, and later seems to resign to avoid non renewal or termination.

Joanie April 13, 2017 at 8:21 am

Well if operating outside of the “normal box” means not physically showing up at your office and working during the hours people need you to be present then you should resign.

Skyler R April 13, 2017 at 8:33 am

Elizbath … give me a break! Who else are you referring to? There is finally some accoutability at NPS and the inamates are no longer running the asylum. #itsabouttime

M. Jeffry Spahr April 14, 2017 at 10:16 am

Fine Tuning:

Mr. Morris had filed two claims with the CHRO vs. the Board. The first pertained to the disciplinary action that was taken against him. The second pertained to the defunding of his position.
A mediation session was scheduled for and held in December 2016. At this time the Board became aware, for the first time, that the second CHRO complaint had been filed.
A Fact Finding session was scheduled to take place on April 18th. At this time the parties would have been required to have submitted all of their evidence that they felt supported their postion. The Board actively compiled all of its evidence and testimony. The information was to have been turned over before the Fact Finding was to take place.
We suggested that both of the cases be consolidated in order to conserve resources and time.
With the session and information release deadline drawing near, Mr. Morris’ attorney asked the CHRO for a ‘Release of Jurisdiction’. This was granted by the Commission. As a result the Fact Finding was cancelled (as well as the requirement that the evidence be produced).
Technically there was not a ‘withdrawal’ of the claims. It can be thought of as asking for permission to pursue the claim in another forum. The Complainant would have 90 days within which to file a Complaint in the Court if he wishes to pursue his claims. On the other hand, he is not required to pursue the claim and may determine that it would be in his best interest not to do so. It should be kept in mind that if the matter is pursued in Court there would be an obligation to submit to the demand for evidence and questioning of witnesses (including the Complainant/Plaintiff).
I just wanted to clarify the status of the case.

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