HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Wednesday marks one year since the struggling Hempstead School District on Long Island ousted its superintendent, an educator brought in as a reformer.
Now, he is blasting the district for wasting precious money paying him and lawyers leading the charge against him.
Dr. Shimon Waronker was dismissed just a few months into his effort to turn around the Hempstead School District. He was kicked out just as he was reporting to law enforcement his suspicions about corruption in the district.
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But one year later he is still being paid and facing district charges of misconduct and bid-rigging, with no hearing even scheduled.
“It has been difficult. It has been a difficult year. I pray a lot, especially for the families and children of Hempstead. I’ve been learning a lot of Torah, which is the bible, and these are all good things. Of course, we intend to win and we intend to be reinstated,” Waronker said.
Waronker, with a doctorate from Harvard, was recruited to reform the long-failing school district. When political tides turned on the school board, he got the boot. His attorney, Fred Brewington, is equally flabbergasted.
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“It is a crime that that dollar amount is being used for the purposes of trying to destroy a man’s reputation who did nothing but came forward and say, ‘I want to help.’ He did not have to come to Hempstead,” Brewington said.
Waronker calculates the district has spent nearly $400,000 in legal fees just on his case alone.
On Wednesday afternoon, CBS2’s Gusoff heard from Jonathan Scher, the lawyer for the school district, who said, “Raising the issue of legal fees is like an arsonist complaining about how much water the fire department needed to use to put out the fire he set.”
“The hypocrisy is astounding,” Scher continued. He added Waronker’s hearing was delayed by a lengthy investigation, and will take place within six months.
The President of the Hempstead School Board, Lamont Johnson, is calling on Waronker’s attorney to release all the charges against him to let the community decide for themselves if the charges against him are fair.