East Ramapo School Board Hires New Attorney

At a meeting on Tuesday night the East Ramapo School Board voted to hire new legal representation, meaning their law firm for the past six years, Minerva and D’Agostino, will no longer hold the position. Members of the board voted 6-0 with two abstentions and one absentee, to hire Harris Beach a New York City based attorney. Many residents are considering this move as a step in the right direction for the district. Two years ago the board promised parents that they would part ways with Minerva and D’Agostino when an attorney with the firm verbally assaulted an East Ramapo mother after a board meeting and was caught on video doing so. The district has been spending about $1,000 a day for the firm’s services, double what the previous lawyers were earning before the Long Island was hired in 2009. Board President Yehuda Weissmandl stated that Harris Beach represents more than 130 districts in New York and East Ramapo is pleased with their experience with state education officials. Albert D’Agostino responded to the new hiring by stating that his firm chose to stop representing the district when board members compromised with Senator David Carlucci on his proposed bill that would have allowed a state monitor to report the board’s actions to the State Comptroller’s office and Education Department. According to D’Agostino, at the same time the firm had been working to fight the original bill that would have allowed the monitor to use veto power, and the school board did not inform him of the attempt to compromise.

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