A letter raises questions about if district lawyers and board president Harry Grossman shared details of the settlement offer with the board’s two black members – Ashley Leveille and Charles-Pierre
“Black members of the East Ramapo school board were effectively shut out of settlement talks that could have headed off a month-long trial over a voting rights challenge by the NAACP and saved the cash-strapped district millions of dollars in legal fees, the New York Civil Liberties Union says.
NYCLU attorney Perry Grossman, in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel, says the district turned down a settlement that would have waived the fees incurred by lawyers representing the NAACP during the two and a half years leading up to the trial.
The offer was rejected despite Seibel’s eleventh-hour attempt to get both sides to come to an agreement by inviting all the board’s members to a settlement conference on Feb. 10, the day the trial started in White Plains federal court. [Read more…]