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Lawyer claims FOI does not apply to Mosby’s evidence

Board of Education member Shirley Mosby (left) listens to the Freedom of Information hearing officer Thursday in Hartford while Norwalk Republican Town Committee Chairman Peter Torrano watches. (NoN photo/Nancy Guenther Chapman)
Board of Education member Shirley Mosby (left) listens to the Freedom of Information hearing officer Thursday in Hartford while Norwalk Republican Town Committee Chairman Peter Torrano watches. (NoN photo/Nancy Guenther Chapman)

 

HARTFORD, Conn. – A taxpayer-funded lawyer representing Board of Education member Shirley Mosby (D-At Large) claimed Thursday that she does not have to provide evidence to parties who have requested it through a Freedom of Information request because the evidence was not collected in her official capacity as a Board member.

“The fact that Miss Mosby is a Board of Education member does not mean that all of her doings are subject to a Freedom of Information request. It only means those doings that are part of her official business are subject to a Freedom of Information request,” Alexa Lindauer of Beck and Eldergill said to the Freedom of Information Commission in Hartford at a hearing stemming from Mosby’s allegation one year ago that she was subject to discrimination and disparate treatment from other Board members.

(Video of the hearing at the end of story)

Mosby, Lindauer, BoE Communications Director Brenda Wilcox Williams, two lawyers representing the BoE, Republican Town Committee Chairman Peter Torrano and NancyOnNorwalk all made the trip to participate in the FOIC hearing.

Lindauer produced BoE bylaws as an exhibit for the defense and said that Mosby’s complaint with the NAACP was made as a private citizen, not as a Board member. Therefore, the evidence was private, Lindauer said.

A source later disputed Mosby’s claim that she was acting as a private citizen, providing information to show that the Board paid $1,125 for her lawyer.

Mosby in June asked the Board to pay for her lawyer as complaints had been filed against her in her capacity as a Board member, according to emails provided to NancyOnNorwalk. That request was granted after some debate.

“I’m wondering how she can claim she did not level charges or accusations as a board member, then tells the BoE they have to supply her with a taxpayer-funded attorney because she is on the board. Sounds pretty contradictory to me,” Torrano said in a late-night email.

The drama dates back more than a year. On July 1, 2014, NAACP member Brenda Penn-Williams addressed the BoE, challenging Chairman Mike Lyons to respond to a letter she had been sent the previous week. Mosby had alleged that she was the victim of “disparate treatment,” Penn-Williams said.

“She alleges that the African-American and Hispanic female board members are subject to continual intimidation, harassment, disrespect, exclusion, discrimination, lack of transparency and not being informed, and subject to disparate treatment,” Penn-Williams said to the board, reading a letter she said had been sent to Lyons.

Penn-Williams was then chairman of the NAACP Legal Redress Committee.

In March, it emerged that Mosby had been telling people that she had collected evidence to support her claim. Torrano, NancyOnNorwalk, and Parent Teacher Organization Council President Michael Byrne sent Mosby Freedom of Information requests asking for copies or access to the evidence, which was said to include BoE emails. Mosby responded to Torrano and Byrne but ignored NoN, although the Freedom of Information Act mandates that a public agency must respond within four days. In her two responses she did not provide the requested information.

The three parties filed complaints in April. The Commission notified Torrano and NancyOnNorwalk this month that their complaints had been combined.

The PTOC complaint will be heard in October, according to Byrne. Harmon said Thursday that she needed to keep the hearing to an hour and a half, and did not feel there would be time to consolidate all three complaints.

One of the first orders of business at the hearing was the dismissal of the two lawyers from the firm Shipman and Goodwin, representing the Board of Education.

“I have no idea why the Board is here because we have no complaint against the Board,” Torrano said to FOIC Hearing Officer Valicia Harmon.

NancyOnNorwalk did not object to allowing the two lawyers to leave. They did leave the hearing room for a while but then returned to listen to the rest of the hearing.

Torrano explained to Harmon the basis of his complaint, calling Mosby’s NAACP complaint “essentially” an accusation of racism. The evidence would allow the Republican Town Committee to resolve any possible problem, he said.

The complaint had brought embarrassment to the city, with a City Hall rally that called Norwalk “Ferguson in Connecticut,” he said. He said a manila envelope had been produced at that rally that was said to contain evidence.

Mosby, in the course of testifying, acknowledged that she had collected evidence to support her complaint. She said that includes documents from BoE executive sessions. The complaint was filed on behalf of herself and BoE members Migdalia Rivas and Rosa Murray, she said. The evidence from Murray and Rivas predates her time on the Board, Mosby said.

Lindauer questioned Mosby, drawing answers that said the Board did not fund her complaint to the NAACP, that the Board was not involved, that no one on the Board asked her to file the complaint.

“Did you ever ask that the complaint made with the NAACP be brought to the attention of the Board of Education?” Lindauer asked.

“No,” Mosby said.

“Was the complaint brought to the attention of the Board of Education?” Lindauer asked.

“A representative of the NAACP attended a Board meeting and made a request for a meeting to discuss the complaint. But the chair of the Board refused to meet,” Mosby said.

Harmon asked for that segment to be repeated. Lindauer continued.

“Did you ask that representative to attend that Board meeting?” Lindauer asked.

Mosby paused.

“Uh, no. Uh,” Mosby said.

“They just showed up,” Lindauer said.

“They showed up because the complaint was filed with the NAACP and that’s their – ” Mosby said.

“And they showed up at a public meeting,” Lindauer said.

“Right, they showed up,” Mosby said.

“‘Let’s talk about this in some forum,’” Lindauer said.

“The complaint was filed with the NAACP. The person came out, representing the NAACP at the meeting as part of their responsibility,” Mosby said.

On July 1, 2014, NAACP members arrived en masse, most wearing NAACP T-shirts. Mosby arrived at the same time. She did not appear surprised when Penn-Williams spoke at the lectern, confronting the Board with the allegation of disparate treatment.

NAACP President Darnell Crosland said at the time that evening’s monthly NAACP meeting had been cut short so members could attend the BoE meeting.

Mosby, on Thursday, said her evidence included newspaper articles and documents related to a superintendent search.

Rivas and Murray claimed after the appointment of Manny Rivera as superintendent in 2013 that they had been excluded from some emails.

Harmon questioned Mosby about her evidence.

“I think it’s pretty convincing testimony that some of these records that these are things she did outside of her public office,” Harmon said. “Other records are public documents that the witness testified are exempt from public… what you can do is you can move to have me look at them in camera. I just want to put that out there, the ones that are exempt I would be able to look at because they are exempt.”

Torrano cross-examined Mosby. She said her complaint was “based on discrimination, not racist behavior.”

“The claim was a private complaint to two other Board members stating the treatment was of a discriminatory nature. We never said anything about racism or racists,” Mosby said.

Later, under questioning from Harmon, Mosby referred to comments made by former Republican BoE member Jack Chiaramonte. Chiaramonte raised a furor in minority and Democratic circles when he called Mosby “The girl who cried black” and later resigned from the board under fire in connection with racially charged social media posts.

“I said, ‘People look into it, there’s proof, that’s going to show,’ because there’s an indicator right there of discriminatory treatment that women of color are subjected to,” Mosby said.

“I have a notebook that consists of documents that I put together in my own free time,” Mosby said to Harmon. “Not as a Board member but as an individual person and not submitted to any government agency at all. … It includes some emails and those are emails that we talked about that are part of the executive session.”

Torrano expressed skepticism.

“I can only take the testimony from the witness,” Harmon said. “I can ask her to provide me with the records that she claims are exempt. Would you like me to look at the public records that she claims to be exempt?”

“I would love you to do that,” Torrano said.

“How do I know that you’re getting all the records?” Torrano asked.

“I am trusting counsel and Miss Mosby to – I mean, I’m ordering them to give me the records that they claim are exempt public records,” Harmon said.

“I don’t have the same faith,” Torrano said.

“Unless and until I have a reason not to believe witnesses who are testifying under oath I am going to believe them. I have counsel who is going to put the index together for me. So I have no reason to disbelieve anybody here,” Harmon said.

Torrano questioned Mosby further, getting her to reveal that Penn-Williams is a “very close friend.”

Harmon questioned the line of questioning.

“Miss Mosby is tip-toeing around the tulips here,” Torrano said. “There are people who have been speaking on her behalf, while she stands there. There are people who are representing her. She has orchestrated a lot of this in our estimation, and by using other people to use her words to claim her evidence –“

“I don’t think she is doing that, though,” Harmon said, going on to remind Torrano that Mosby said she had not provided evidence to the NAACP.

Mosby is currently listed on the NAACP website as a member of the organization’s Executive Committee.

NancyOnNorwalk argued that Mosby is a volunteer, an elected official whose time is not paid for. There is no such thing as “free time” as “time” is not kept, NoN said.

Lindauer indicated that she thought that a specious argument. Harmon sustained that objection and others.

Neither NancyOnNorwalk nor Torrano had legal representation.

Mosby agreed to provide her evidence to Harmon for review by Sept. 3. Harmon said she would examine them to determine which records might be exempt from FOI. This is a reference to the documents from executive sessions.

Mosby never addressed the idea that she had not responded to the NoN FOI request. She said she had seen the email requesting the evidence.

Harmon said NoN and Torrano could file briefs summarizing their stands, between Sept. 3 and Sept. 17.

Executive session documents are regarded as confidential. Mosby and other Board members have taken an oath to respect the secrecy of executive sessions.

According to a lawyer who declined to be identified:

“Generally, confidentiality obligations like that do not hold in administrative or judicial proceedings (and therefore releasing documents as part of such a hearing would not constitute a breach).  The only times that such proceedings do not override confidentiality obligations is where a ‘privilege’ is involved (e.g., attorney/client, doctor/patient).  So the oath would not be violated by releasing such records in such a proceeding.”

In a June 22 letter to Lyons, Mosby said she had been informed by the state that she deserved indemnification from the Board because complaints had been filed against her as a sitting board member.

Mosby (BOE) FOI Complaints request for attorney

Lyons replied in a June 23 email:

“There is no question that you are entitled to indemnification here (as I was with the NAACP complaint that you filed).  However, I need to understand your reason for claiming a conflict of interest.  When you say ‘current inside legal counsels,’ do you mean the Corporation Counsel’s office?  We have already referred this matter to Atty. Mooney, our outside counsel, to handle, rather than Corporation Counsel.  Do you have any objection to having Mooney represent you?  It will obviously cost the Board more scarce resources if we have to retain a separate outside counsel for you, and I’d prefer to save those funds if we can use Atty. Mooney. Let me know.”

Mosby replied:

“There is a conflict of interest since the FOI involves the complaint with the NAACP that was made against you, as the board chair, as well as other board members. I do object to Attorney Mooney handling this since he works closely with the board and with you as chair.

“Since I would potentially be sharing privileged and confidential information with that person, I prefer to have a neutral third party attorney who is not familiar with the board or individuals who were involved, who can be neutral and objective.

“I would like to thank you for your offer of Tom Mooney; but I prefer to seek outside counsel of my choice to handle this. Please confirm that the Board will allow me to select my own attorney and I will take steps to retain an attorney.”

Lyons replied the next day:

“I checked with Tom Mooney and he feels your position is reasonable under the circumstances, and that in this scenario you can proceed with retaining your own attorney at Board expense. …

“Tom noted that the Board is only obligated to pay ‘reasonable’ attorneys fees under the indemnification statute; the provision is not unlimited (since public funds are being expended), so please note to your counsel that he/she should exercise reasonable efforts to keep such fees within normal parameters, or NPS will be entitled to dispute them (something we’d both obviously like to avoid).”

A subsequent email identified the cost as $1,125.

Comments

30 responses to “Lawyer claims FOI does not apply to Mosby’s evidence”

  1. Truth to Power

    Penn-Williams and NAACP should not have jumped the gun, wearing t-shirts and cutting a meeting short to attend that BOE meeting. How is this Ms. Mosby’s fault? How come Penn-Williams wasn’t questioned?

  2. John Hamlin

    So her defense of the FOI request is that she was acting as a private citizen and this had nothing to do with the Board or her role as a Board member. Yet she has secured legal counsel paid for by the BOE and the taxpayers based on the fact that her complaints and activities and the information she gathered (including documents related to executive sessions of the Board) are related to her activities as a BOE member. She really can’t have it both ways. If she prevails in her argument that she doesn’t have to turn over the documents and they should not be produced to the public because she was not acting in a public capacity, then the BOE should be certain to refuse to pay for her legal representation. If the BOE pays for her legal representation, then other BOE members should be sure to submit invoices for legal fees related to their private activities — their divorces, their real estate closings, and political campaigns, because according to Ms. Mosby those legal fees should be paid as well.

    At the end of the day, if she has evidence of discrimination, why doesn’t she just produce it so that the issue can be dealt with — or say she doesn’t have any.

  3. Syd Morgan

    More than a year ago these allegations were made. Over a year later and after a FOIA request no evidence has been produced. Shirley Mosby has no evidence to produce. She didn’t need any, her claims did the damage it was intended to do. She is not trustworthy and needs to resign.

  4. Sono

    The Mosby’s only care about 1 thing: The Mosby’s. They could care less about this city, the taxpayers, and the children. Hopefully justice prevails.

  5. Marie Avila

    She makes unfounded accusations and the taxpayers have to pick up the tab for a lawyer for her?

  6. Oldtimer

    Unfounded accusations ? If she has not released her evidence, how does anybody decide the complaint is unfounded ? I would not be surprised if the treatment she complains about is typical politics-as-usual treatment the minority Democrats get from the majority Republicans who know the minority votes won’t count as long as the Republicans vote as a block on every issue.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Oldtimer

      The BoE is made up of 6 Democrats and 3 Republicans. Four of the Democrats are racial/ethnic minorities. Three are involved in the complaint to the NAACP. Two were on the BoE when some of the alleged transgressions occurred. Three of the members of that board — the one that was in place during the superintendent search that resulted in the hiring of Manny Rivera — are no longer there, two having been voted off the board (both Republicans), one, another Republican, resigned.

      The complaints remain unfounded not because they have been judged without merit, but because there has been no evidence brought forward to support the claims. When one accuses someone of something, it is incumbent upon the accuser to prove the accusations. If they do not, the accusations remain unfounded.

  7. Mitch Adis

    As the saying goes “The nut don’t fall to far from the tree”. No different than her dear ol’ Dad.

  8. James Kahmann

    No way that CT Taxpayers should not have to pay for this person’s legal bills if her claim
    of discrimination is made as a private citizen and not as a BOE board member
    There’s an inconsistency here that makes no sense.

    I thought her beef was against the board. This makes it look like her complaint is against the world in general…which in fact is most likely closer to the truth. So. She should pay her own legal fees! Then go complain to the universe — not the board.

  9. Mike Lyons

    Oldtimer, there are only 3 Republicans on the Board (vs. 6 Democrats). How can that “Republican block” stop the “minority” votes (who outnumber the Republicans 4-3)? On the other hand, a bipartisan Board majority HAS voted to support superintendents’ reform efforts over the obstructionism of Ms. Mosby et al. How does that constitute evidence supporting a complaint of “discrimination”? Or is “discrimination” now defined as “disagreeing with Shirley Mosby”?

  10. Syd Morgan

    For over a year, Ms. Mosby has accused other board members of discrimination without producing ANY evidence. She doesn’t appear to want to prove those claims to anyone despite efforts on many others…Board members, mayor, reporters, politicians, everyday citizens to look at the evidence and fix something if it needs fixing. Her behavior is harassing to other members of the Board. And, her behavior falls under the category of defamation of character. However, Mike Lyons won’t sue Mosby because he is too busy keeping the bi-partisan majority doing good things for the district despite all the Mosby family distractions, insults, and unsubstantiated accusations.

  11. Mike Lyons

    It is concerning that the Board agreed to pay for Ms. Mosby’s attorney based on her representation to us that the FOI complaint related to actions she had taken “as a Board of Education member”. But then at the hearing, her primary defense was that this whole thing is entirely private and DOESN’T involve her role as a Board member. These positions directly contradict each other. I have provided a copy of Ms. Mosby’s letter claiming that this related to her role as a Board member to NON if they’d like to post it.

    1. Thank you, Mike. The letter has been inserted into the story now.

  12. Syd Morgan

    Mr. Chiaramonte, as he stated in his letters to the editor of the Hour, resigned so that the Board could focus on the work that needs to be done. We know Mr. Chiaramonte is not one to back down to anyone, especially Ms. Mosby. However, he felt all this racial distraction had no purpose on the BOE and might inhibit a quality superintendent from coming forward if it persisted. He acted unselfishly and stepped down because it was best for our children. In contrast, Shirley Mosby continues to deliberately create distraction from the important work the Board needs to do. Were she to do the right thing and resign…well, never-mind, I just don’t believe it’s in her character.

  13. Mike Lyons

    Ms. Mosby claims that she has “evidence” that she won’t disclose because it relates to discussions held in Board executive sessions. But she had no such scruples about releasing discussions held in executive session about the superintendent search (see http://m.thehour.com/mobile/article_a870e1ed-5508-57f7-a0b6-38faafd6d497.html). She is very selective about when she follows the rules, and when she doesn’t.

  14. So frustrated with the insanity!

    For someone to make these extremely serious “accusations” and then provide no proof and then have the nerve to demand that us taxpayers pays for this continued insanity is beyond belief! Who lets this happen? Do you live in the same world we do? Who approved paying for this “neutral” attorney that’s attacking our BOE? One last question – is there anyone such as a Mayor that might have a moment between cutting ribbons for new restaurants to open his eyes and stop this? Nah – lets just keep letting this snowball until Norwalk is on the Nightly News and in foreclosure due to court fees. Where do I mail my property taxes again?

  15. MaryAnn

    I wish we could all just get along!

  16. Marie Avila

    TRUE, don’t know for sure that it’s unfounded, but past history would indicate so . . . She could pay her lawyer herself (which she won’t do) and then in the highly unlikely event that she’s vindicated, she could be reimbursed. Whole family just likes to stir up trouble under the guise of being public-spirited.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Marie Avila

      OK, we agree Ms Mosby should have to present evidence to back up her charge, which you believe to be scurrilous. Now, we’d like to invite you to present your evidence — explained in full — that Nancy’s “bias is showing” on the news story allowing the mayor to respond to charges made by his opponent for mayor. From where I sit, allowing someone to respond to charges made against them is not bias. It is journalism.

  17. Wineshine

    So after viewing the entire video of this proceeding, a couple of questions:

    First, without a time log, or any other time recording device, how can any determination of what “personal time” is as distinguished from time as a member of the BOE? Are we to trust that she somehow punches an invisible mental time clock?

    And secondly, how can it be possible that she can claim discriminatory acts against her as a BOE member, and yet make those claims as a private citizen?

  18. Ray J

    The saying “can’t tell the players without a scorecard” comes to mind…. please do tell 🙂

  19. Ray J

    sorry, thought i was in the mayor vs. straniti thread… oops

  20. Lifelong Teacher

    Pete Torrano’s expression is priceless. It captures my feelings on this whole subject. The fact that we taxpayers, once again, are being forced to pay for Mosby nonsense – this time in both ends – is sickening. Especially in light of her defense.

  21. Ray J

    Excuse me if it has been said before but she makes accusations then uses every type of obstruction to keep from revealing it?

    Shameful.

  22. Hobbes the Calvinist

    Goofus accuses people of racism.
    Gallant treats everyone with respect.

    Goofus hides “evidence”.
    Gallant shares everything.

    Goofus isn’t subject to FOIA.
    Gallant needs to get over it.

    1. Mark Chapman

      Hobbes:

      Is Hobbes a FOI hearing officer?

      Goofus and her Goofus lawyer say the rules to not apply.
      Gallant says the rules apply to everyone.

      As we believe Hobbes is, himself, an attorney, let’s ask this: If someone accuses a client of something — oh, let’s say kicking cats — would you not demand proof or insist they issue a public retraction and apology?

  23. Steve Colarossi

    Being offended and frustrated and embarrassed by an elected official’s less-than-stellar conduct doesn’t mean that the offended, frustrated and embarrassed people have a right to sue.
    And just because you believe an elected official is lying, doesn’t automatically give you the right to compel them under FOIA to offer proof for their accusations.

    As the casual reader might not know, I am occasionally on the business-end of the effluent one BoE member tries to flush into the blogosphere. Under the theory that’s advanced against Ms. Mosby, I should be able to file FOIA requests to demand proof as to why he apparently doesn’t like me. But, if I did that, and anyone cared (which I admit would be a stretch), would anyone think it was a proper use of FOIA? Hopefully not.

    FOIA isn’t a cudgel designed to beat the truth out of public officials. It’s a tool intended to make sure that the public has access to meetings and to the information officials have when they make decisions.

    If we don’t believe the accusations that have been made we can do what many of us have done (myself included) and defend the accused.

    If we don’t like how an elected official acts, we have an easy remedy- don’t re-elect them. But wasting city and state taxpayer money pursuing documents that might not exist, that were never used in any BoE deliberations, and that were never provided to BoE members to influence a decision is not an appropriate use of resources and is not an intended application of FOIA.

  24. Joanna Cooper

    The title of this article is, “Lawyer Claims FOI Doesn’t Apply to Mosby’s Evidence”. That’s the opinion of Alexa Lindauer, Ms. Mosby’s lawyer and that is what one would expect her lawyer to say. The person who’s opinion matters is FOIC Hearing Officer, Valicia Harmon not Mosby’s lawyer. It looked like Ms. Mosby had very good council (paid for by tax payers) and with her council appeared far more prepared than Mr. Torrano or Nancy from NoN who did not have attorneys and were obviously not as familiar with the law. Watching the tape it seemed Ms. Mosby had a definite advantage being represented by council. But remember the law is open to interpretation and is not always cut and dry. It’s in flux and is challenged with every new case to which it is applied and considers prior decisions affecting case law. A lawyers job is to frame the case according to law for their clients advantage.

    The argument was made to have the hearing officer (an attorney herself) review four considerations outlined in prior case law she noted.
    1. The law considers wether Ms. Mosby preformed a governmental function? The NAACP complaint was not a governmental function of BoE business …but it sure did question the government of the BoE.
    2. That Ms. Mosby was not compensated for her complaint …but she was compensated with an attorney tax payers paid for.
    3. Consider the extent of government involvement or regulation and here the BoE was not involved in making complaint as a governing body rather Ms. Mosby made the complaint as individual outside of the BoE. Technically Mosby had her NAACP friends make it for her although she said she did not ask them to do that. ….but they just showed up according to her. She throws it out there via her friends but takes no responsibility.
    4. Whether Ms. Mosby was acting as public agency when making the complaint and she was not as making this complaint falls outside the duties of BoE members. Mosby’s complaint wasn’t formally an act of BoE business but it was very public and wasn’t just about her but two other BoE members: Ms. Rivas and Ms. Murray accusing the chairman. ….but Mosby made it all about BoE business and it wasn’t completely an individual complaint it involved other members.

    Mosby’s attorney further argued that that Ms. Mosby’s documents would be “exempt” because they are from BoE executive sessions which are confidential. Ms. Mosby shared these confidential BoE documents with her NAACP friends breaking that confidentiality although she never gave them documents to keep. Isn’t this a violation of the BoE By-laws or policies? We will see if it violates the FOI laws.

    Mosby’s attorney did her homework however, I see some definite flaws in her arguments given Mosby’s actions. The biggest is Ms. Mosby asked for council representation using her position as a BoE member to obtain council paid for by public monies. See her request letter. I get the feeling this hearing officer is not a fool. When the hearing officer asks Mosby’s attorney for clarification she asks the critical question at hand: Are you arguing public records are not public even though she is using them to do things in private? Mr. Hamilton said it well in his comment “she really can’t have it both ways.” My guess is the hearing officer’s decision will acknowledge this is the case.

    Mosby must submit her confidential BoE executive session documents she claims are “exempt” for the hearing officer to consider “in camera” (out of public). This decision is a good thing because she is being forced to submit them for consideration. As to wether or not we get to see them and if justice will be served are key questions to be answered.

    I think the only thing this hearing officer can decide is wether or not to make those confidential documents public which she claims are “exempt” and wether or not Ms. Mosby should pay a fine for non compliance of an FOI request. If this is the case will it serve as justice? The hearing officer has jurisdiction over wether or not if Mosby is found to be out of compliance I do not think she has jurisdiction to decide if Mosby will be removed from the BoE or wether she will have to pay back attorney fees to the BoE or if what she receives “in camera” constitutes “proof”. Deciding the validity of her “proof” isn’t something the hearing officer will decide. She only gets to decide wether or not the FOI request and denial of documentation not yet produced was a violation and she decides wether or not to make those documents public.

    No matter the outcome it is my believe that justice will not be served for our students, the accused or the citizens of Norwalk whom her claims have embarrassed by hurting our school systems reputation and ultimately our community welfare and property values. The fact that this has gone this far and is costing tax payers money robbed from students is an absolute injustice. That damage and more has been done. Some say Mosby’s case is shameful I think the problem is Ms. Mosby has no shame. This should have been settled long ago. My thought is that this was a very calculate political power play planned with her NAACP friends under the guidance of Attorney Crossland. Sadly, as an adult who was elected to serve our children the only child getting served here is Ms. Mosby.

    As for the mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People…Has the NAACP’s involvement “advanced colored people” (more specifically our African American students) by lodging this claim for Mosby? I don’t think it did anything to help those students it only served Mosby, Rivas and Murray —to what end? In the end it may have backfired doing much damage to their own cause. Stayed tuned as the drama at our student’s expense isn’t over. Maybe there is something really compelling Ms. Mosby has been holding for over a year. I doubt it. Only time will tell.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Joanna Cooper

      I don’t quite understand why the Republican Party did not provide Mr. Torrano with legal representation in some form — even a written argument, given the number of civically engage attornies of the party rolls and the number of them who have publicly found Ms. Mosby’s claims to be false and have called on her to resign. We CAN tell you that, given the lack of community financial support for NoN, it is impossible for us to hire a lawyer. This case would seem to be a no-brainer: The documents are BoE emails and materials from executive sessions, shared with her friends (ethics violation?; Ms Mosby demanded the BoE pay for her attorney, which makes this a BoE-related case; then she claims it is all being done as a private citizen “not on BoE time”? And really, “not compensated for her complaint”? She is a volunteer. She is not compensated for anything, but is costing the city thousands of dollars by making claims, refusing to back them up, and insisting the body she is accusing pay for her representation even though it’s a private matter.

      No, the hearing officer can’t make her resign or pay back the money. Perhaps the BoE could file suit if the “private matter” argument is cited as a reason for letting her off. Maybe the distribution of confidential material — and the violation of confidence that was perpetrated when she revealed executive session discussions on The Hour blog, could be grounds for an ethics complaint. At the very least, the city’s voters should remember all of this in 2017 when the at-large candidates are up for re-election. One can only hope the subversion of democracy perpetrated in District A won;t scare off the serious and qualified candidates.

  25. Joanna Cooper

    @Mark Chapman
    I wish Torrano had hired an attorney. I’m wondering why the district can’t hire an attorney for the PTOC complaint coming up. They represent students. Students rights in all of this should be considered above all others…ideally. Even though Mosby’s claims are not about them. Since the money for Mosby’s attorney is essentially being taken out of student funds why can’t the district give money for an attorney to the PTO council? Who is protecting students in all of this? It has now clearly effected them by taking money from funds that should go to students and were likely never imagined to be used for this nonsense.
    Yes, I hope voters remember this classic Mobsy type mess they are infamous for. Enough already!

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