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 http://blog.ctnews.com/education/ and here http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Closer-to-answers-for-school-system-4668738.php.
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: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Moales-church-owes-8-million-in-moolah-4669045.php
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.”