HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by Hempstead’s ousted superintendent of schools who claimed he was being punished for trying to report corruption in the district.
U.S. District Court Judge Denis Hurley dismissed the lawsuit by Dr. Shimon Waronker filed in federal court in Central Islip last year.
Waronker, who was recruited to reform the long-failing school district, was dismissed about a year ago amid allegations of misconduct and “bid-rigging” behind the hiring of his firm.
The former superintendent alleged he was being punished for reporting to law enforcement his suspicions about corruption in the district.
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In his submitted court documents, Waronker also pointed to deplorable facilities, illegal hiring practices, patronage and nepotism. He cited 129 people who are not active employees being on the payroll and said only 25 percent of seniors are on a path to graduate. More than a third of the senior class dropped out while the district continued to bill the state, according to the documents.
School board trustees said the ouster had nothing to do with retaliation, but was based on what they called Waronker’s unethical conduct.
In Hurley’s 18-page decision, the judge wrote that Waronker’s First Amendment rights had not been violated and, as he was suspended with pay, his contract was not breached.