NORWALK, Conn. – A complaint of discrimination against the Norwalk Board of Education is not over, even if the board has filed comprehensive reasons as to why it should be dismissed.
John Mosby said Tuesday that his complaints to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had been filed in error through no fault of his own. He has filed a new complaint, he said, one that does not include the erroneous reference to him being an employee.
Mosby said two weeks ago that he was alleging an illegal discriminatory practice. Mosby alleged that the board is not responding to his comments because he is black and specifically mentioned the March 18 and April 8 board meetings.
“Of all his complaints to date, this is the strangest, because he’s seeking relief under employment discrimination statutes for something that has nothing to do with employment (his false claim that we never answer his questions when he talks at board meetings but do so for white speakers),” BoE Chairman Mike Lyons said in an email. “Even if his claims were true (which they aren’t), since they don’t involve employment matters, neither the CHRO or EEOC have any jurisdiction to hear them, so I assume they’ll be dismissed. But it will take up Corporation Counsel and staff time and once again waste taxpayer resources fighting frivolous complaints of his.”
Mosby said Tuesday that someone with the Human Rights Commission Bridgeport office had typed the complaint for him. “The man told me, said Mr. Mosby… He said, ‘I made an error, I apologize to you.’ He said ‘you have the board to call me, I made an error, you didn’t make the error.’”
Mosby said Norwalk Superintendent Manny Rivera had called him Tuesday morning and said the board was not going to hear his complaint.
Deputy Corporation Counsel Jeffry Spahr on June 19 filed responses to Mosby’s complaint.
“It is admitted that the Complainant attended a board meeting on March 18, 2014 and addressed the Board of Ed,” the response states. “During the course of his rant the Complainant made several comments – some of which were disturbing, offensive and racially charged. Further, it is denied that the Board has never addressed the matters raised by the Complainant. It is admitted that the Board may not have always responded to the complaints raised by the Complainant after each and every time he delivered the same accusations. However, given the repetition with which the Complainant continuously pounds the same drum, this is to be expected.”
Mosby’s address and the address of City Hall were wrong in the complaint, Spahr wrote. “The Respondents deny the Complainant’s self-appellation of referring to himself as a ‘Community Activist,’” the response states.
Spahr cites a Jan. 7 BoE meeting in which Rivera presented a lengthy report on Briggs High School after being asked by to respond to one of Mosby’s “diatribes.”
“It should be noted that, to the amazement of many, during this deliver the Complainant actually walked out of the meeting room, thus missing a large portion of Dr. Rivera’s response to questions made by the Complainant.”
Norwalk has incurred 10’s of thousands of dollars in legal fees responding to Mosby’s frivolous complaints, Spahr wrote.
Spahr filed a motion to dismiss based on the fact that Mosby is not a Norwalk Public Schools employee.
Mosby made more allegations of racial discrimination at Tuesday’s meeting.
“They always get the corporation (counsel) to go after minority blacks, and I seen it. But when the other people file a complaint, the board use their lawyer. That is discrimination,” Mosby said.
Board member Migdalia Rivas expressed concern that Mosby’s complaint would not be discussed.
“The board did not want to hear a complaint of a citizen,” Rivas said. “I have no knowledge of that and I am part of the board. I would not refuse to hear a complaint from any citizen in Norwalk.”
Board member Shirley Mosby, Mosby’s daughter, said the board should come up with a system to respond to comments made by citizens who take the time to come to meetings and speak to the board.
“I do get feedback that people come, they talk about issues but they don’t get any type of courtesy,” she said. “Whether or not we can give them what they are asking for it’s just that acknowledging that ‘yes we heard you’ or ‘we are going to look into it’ or ‘we are going to get back to you.’ I am just saying people in general.”