As Bridgeport leaders spin out of control…

At last night’s emergency meeting of the Bridgeport Board of Education, Board Chairman Kenneth Moales, Jr. successfully derailed any discussion about why the taxpayers of the City of Bridgeport Taxpayers are paying for the lawyers to defend Paul Vallas in the lawsuit that has determined that he does not have the credentials to serve as Bridgeport’s superintendent of schools.

To date, Bridgeport officials have refused to reveal how much taxpayer money has been spent to defend Vallas.  Since the City of Bridgeport is not a party to the case and Vallas is the one who failed to follow the law, it may not even be legal for the City to pay Vallas’ legal expenses.

But despite that, the City of Bridgeport has spent tens of thousands of dollars in state and local taxpayer funds and has recently hired an expensive Hartford-based law firm to augment the work of the city attorneys.

According to the Connecticut Post, a special emergency meeting to “discuss legal costs involved with keeping Paul Vallas as superintendent of schools and whether the board should start the groundwork for selecting its next superintendent of schools” was scheduled to be held last night.

However, the Board of Education members loyal to Mayor Bill Finch, Paul Vallas and Governor Malloy spent the time trying to argue that the meeting was illegal and that no action should be taken.  Board of Education Chairman Kenneth Moales Jr. eventually adjourned the meeting thereby preventing any discussion about beginning a search for a new superintendent or why the taxpayers are being paying for a private legal matter.

Meanwhile, the editorial writers at the Connecticut Post added their voice these issues writing;

“This is the second time in recent memory the state Supreme Court will be asked to take on a question involving the Bridgeport school system. Following the 2011 state takeover of the local school board, the Supreme Court ruled the move invalid because the local board had not taken all the necessary steps required by law before seeking state action.

That ruling was a sharp rebuke to education reformers, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Mayor Bill Finch, and it sent the message that the details matter. The laws had not been followed, so the takeover could not stand, despite the impassioned pleas that it was all being done for the sake of children in a disadvantaged city.

The parallels to the current question are striking. In this case, reformers are again pleading their case based on the needs of the school system, which no one denies. But a Superior Court judge ruled that Vallas had not satisfied the requirements of a law that would have allowed for his certification as a superintendent in Connecticut. The impassioned pleas did not matter, nor, given the setting, should they have.

Resolution, though, could come sooner than expected. In addition to ruling that Vallas was not qualified for his office, Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis further ordered that he not stay in the job while the ruling was under appeal. That decision itself is being appealed, which is why Vallas is still going to work every day.

The Supreme Court will decide on that question first, so the issue of his qualifications could become moot. If Vallas is not allowed to stay in office while the case is being decided, his lawyer previously indicated that Vallas would start looking for work elsewhere.

Given that possibility, it is vital that the local school board be prepared to start the work of finding a new superintendent.”

You can read more about the story here and here

Meanwhile, Wait, What? readers know that Kenneth Moales’ church-owned financial empire is collapsing.  The CT Post finally wrote about the story yesterday.  Their article on Moales can be found here:

Facing a lawsuit that seeks to foreclose on all the property owned by Moales’ church, including his private residence and its contents, as well as the space for the two publicly-funded day care centers owned by his mother and sister, because of his failure to pay back $8.2 million Moales responded, “My dad left me a millionaire, I’m fine, we’re fine, we don’t have any financial problems…We are having a banking issue.”

  • buygoldandprosper

    The good reverend is very much like Dan Malloy…always blaming someone else for his “issues”.

    “He said Foundation has not honored their agreement and is using “predatory” lending practices”

    Perhaps Bridgeport can pay HIS legal bills as well?!! Why not? One low-life, arrogant dead-beat is just like another and deserves the best legal representation that public money can buy. Justice in Bridgeport should be absolutely color blind. Vall-ass or Reverend Moo-lah. Same-same.

  • Castles Burning

    Once a millionaire, always a millionaire . . .

    more magical thinking by those “running” this debacle of social injustice, while decrying that it is all about “the kids” whose lives will be forever ruined without Vallas leading the charge. FTI (for their information?), they are students (not kids). Please begin to call them by their rightful names and maybe that will remind you of what you are supposed to be doing: educating (not testing and terrorizing and tearing down a system that worked much better than the one Vallas claims to be introducing).

    The entire Vallas team needs to exit ASAP and let the schools return to making decisions that are best for themselves while having enough paper and other necessary supplies.

    • brutus2011

      I agree. Devolution to true local control is in order.

      Maybe not perfect but at least the charlatans will have to profit elsewhere.

      I would also really like to see a lot more parents get involved with the schools in a constructive and positive way..

  • Apartheid First

    The whole thing is a farce. Looking back at posted minutes from the April 15 2013 CT State Board of Education minutes, I found this:
    The SBE passes a motion “to approve” the Ed. Leadership *Program* submitted by Vallas (the 2-page description is not attached–I’d love to see it!). This motion comes 10 days after the State Marshall messed up in serving Stefan Pryor the warrants from the original lawsuit of C. Lopez et al. v. Vallas et al… Did this lawsuit spur the SBE into action in reviewing the Leadership program? And Vallas into writing his first paper, handed in April 10–5 days after the lawsuit was filed!
    Anyway, here’s the motion, from page 10 of the “approved” minutes of the 4/15/13 meeting (found archived on the CT SBE website):

    B. Approval of School Leadership Program – University of Connecticut Neag School of Education

    Mr. Jaskiewicz moved, Mrs. Keavney-Maruca seconded that the State Board of Education, pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of Section 10-157 of the Connecticut General Statutes, approves the school leadership program offered by the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education, as described in Attachment A, to satisfy the statutory requirement for completion of a probationary period by an acting superintendent, and directs the Commissioner to take the necessary action.

  • Apartheid First

    Here’s a great explanation of what the court case actually entailed, by one of the plaintiffs:

  • Sad In Bridgeport

    I have a question. Considering how many little private schools he owns, including Love Christian, how come his kids don’t go to any of them? Why Fairfield Country Day School, the most expensive one in the state? Are his schools not good enough for his own children?