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PAC Attack: Pattis Files Lawsuit To Overturn School Board Vote

March 5th, 2015 · 21 Comments · Education, News and Events

Seeking to reverse a school board decision ousting elected leaders of the Bridgeport Parent District Advisory Council, attorney Norm Pattis has filed a federal lawsuit against the Board of Education urging injunctive relief and punitive damages under the First Amendment against acting school chief Fran Rabinowitz.

Claiming school board malice against the district PAC, Pattis is asking the court to reverse a decision that dumped PAC leadership involving a bylaw forbidding parent leadership from affiliation with other education advocacy organizations.

Among the 12 PAC members impacted include President Tammy Boyle and former school board member Maria Pereira.

Pattis argues Rabinowitz’s “individual acts were intentional, and were inspired by malice, to wit: an actual desire to retaliate against members of the DPAC Executive Board on account of their speech.”

Pattis is no stranger to school board battles. He filed the lawsuit against the Board of Education following its July 2011 decision to throw in the towel in support of state control of schools that was overturned by the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Calling controlling members of the school board the “Satan six,” Pereira states:

“This coup is so similar to the illegal takeover of the BBOE in July 2011, it is almost frightening. The similarities are quite striking.

A Special Meeting notice issued on a late Friday afternoon before the 4th of July, or in this case, before a Special Election. No public comment was allowed at either meeting. This time a special meeting was held at 5:00 PM when most parents are at work, leaving work or getting dinner ready for their children and families. The meeting was held the night before a Special Election that impacted 75% of Bridgeport residents. Most of our active and involved parents and community members were heavily involved in a variety of campaigns the night this meeting was scheduled and the polls opened the very next day at 6:00 AM.

Pereira adds, “We will not be silenced by the “Satan Six,” Mayor Finch or Fran Rabinowitz.”

PAC Lawsuit Final Draft & Filing.

Linda Conner Lambeck of the CT Post weighs in here.

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21 Comments so far ↓

  • Maria Pereira

    Several of the ousted DPAC Executive Board members attended the meeting held at the Bridgeport Public Schools Parent Center this evening. Albert Benejan, a BPS parent that has volunteered over 16,000 hours in our public schools was greeted by a security guard and told “Lisa Pavlich said you and your group are not allowed in the building.” He became upset and called Tammy and I and we were already on our way over. By the time we arrived, the decision was reversed. When we entered the room, Albert was sitting right next to Fran.

    I sat in a place so I could easily video record Fran while she discussed this coup. As she spoke, she did everything in her power not to specifically address the coup that took place on February 23. As parents were asking questions and trying to express they didn’t really understand she stated “I would prefer not to get into this discussion tonight, we can discuss it down the road.” Tammy was sitting with two parents who had no idea what happened.

    The only speakers on the agenda for the evening were Fran Rabinowitz, Lisa Pavlich and Delores Mason. Not a single parent led a discussion or presentation. It is apparent the “parent organization” is no longer led by parents, but is now lead by the administration. Fran repeatedly told parents any questions or agenda items they were interested in discussing were to be sent to “Lisa and Delores.”

    As we exited and we were speaking in the lobby, I asked Albert what Fran said to him when he sat down right next to her. He said “nothing.” Fran did not so much as say hello.

  • Maria Pereira

    On February 23 2015, the BBOE included in their motion no office space was to be allocated to the DPAC at the Parent Center. Tammy and I brought a couple of empty boxes to pack up her personal belongings. We exited the community room and headed down the hall to find Tammy’s office space completely cleaned out.

    Lisa Pavlich approached me and said “I don’t really think you should be here.” I explained that Tammy wanted to pack up her personal belongings. I asked her who cleaned out the office and she responded “I don’t know.” I told her “you are the head of the Parent Center and you do not know who cleaned out the office.” She said “I don’t know.” I specifically asked her “did you pack up the office?” She said “you are going to have to ask Fran.”

    Tammy Boyle personally paid for 6-7 binders that she has filed every DPAC document in since 2007 and it appears they have seized her personal property.

    I guess it will be Norm to the rescue.

  • Jmar2230

    Maria Periera, you’re full of it! The parents of Bridgeport are standing to defend ourselves and our rights! We will NO longer allow you to be the HITLER of Bridgeport! Your lawsuit has no bearing and you will see that! Your LIES are a joke, the way you play a victim is a joke, the way you pretend you care about parents, children and the financial hardship the district is facing is a Joke!! Especially when YOU insist on costing the district money in litigation costs. Do you intend on suing every Superintendent? First Paul Vallas, he gets the blame for wasting district money and now Fran. I don’t know what personal, hidden agenda you have but it’s over! You will have to come against me and a mass of parents. STOP making this political, this has NOTHING to do with any politician, this has to do with parent rights, parents being bullied and your corrupt leadership coming to an END! I Know things you have no idea I know, some information that will put you in some deep waters. We have been fighting back in peace and with facts, you don’t want your truth to go public.

    • Maria Pereira

      Jessica Martinez, you should consider posting under your real name, and not hiding behind a handle.

      Your “mass of parents” totals approximately 20-25 parents associated with the organization that recently discharged you, Ex$ell Bridgeport, and charter school parents associated with Families for Ex$ellent Schools. This parent organization and the BBOE do not serve charter school parents, so their opinion really doesn’t matter.

      While you were on your sofa eating Doritos on Tuesday night, both Tammy and I as well as others drove to Hartford in a snowstorm to testify before the Budget & Appropriations Committee on the severe underfunding of the BPS schools and how charter schools siphon millions away from our true public schools.

      I was not a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed against Paul Vallas and voted against spending $1 of taxpayer funds to pay for his defense. You should speak with your idols Kenneth Moales Jr., Hernan Illingworth and Dr. Kelleher who all voted to spend $50,000 to defend Paul Vallas although he was being sued in a personal capacity and the BBOE was not a named defendant.

      This decision has everything to do with politics and elected leaders, and an appointed superintendent cutting a deal with Mayor Finch, Dave Hennessey, Kenneth Moales, Hernan Illingworth, Andre Baker, etc. that she would play nice with them and in turn she would receive a 15-month extension on her contract earning $190,000 annually while drawing 100% of her pension. Quid pro quo.

      You wouldn’t know “facts” if you tripped over them. You have represented and are aligned with charlatans.

      You go “public” with whatever “information” you have, but make sure it is 100% accurate. As you are well aware, I am litigious and have absolutely no problem holding those accountable for spreading lies.

      • Jmar2230

        Lies again! Oh and by the way I am not hiding behind my other alias everyone knows me as jmar! It’s my email address and I have used it for years! I am Jessica Martinez, no need to hide from anyone!

        I don’t sit on the couch eating Doritos, I actually have a husband and children whom I take care of and have a relationship with, also my family comes first, I am the caregiver assisting my mom with my dad who has been battling ALS Lou Gehrig’s disease but you wouldn’t understand a love and sacrifice for your family. Also, I was scheduled to be on the bus with FES to go to Hartford and speak requesting more money for Bridgeport schools but as you see I am a very busy woman who not only gives of myself to my family but to my City!

        • Maria Pereira

          Jessica, I am not sure if you are aware how a blog works, however your “email address” is not published to the readers of a blog.

          Your “other alias,” how many do you have?

          Well of course you were “scheduled to be on the bus with FE$.” A pro-charter school organization funded by millionaires, billionaires and Wall Street executives, just like your former employer Ex$ell Bridgeport.

          I am sorry to hear about the illness your mother has been diagnosed with, however you really are crossing the line when you state “you wouldn’t understand a love and sacrifice for your family.” You have no idea what I have or haven’t done for my family. Let’s leave our families out of our debate and discourse.

        • Maria Pereira

          There goes your claim I am posting lies again. Jessica, identify the specific “lies” I am posting. Anyone can call someone a liar, but it takes an intelligent, articulate and educated individual to identify the specific lies and post specific information supporting your claim. I will wait for you to post the specific “lies” you have repeatedly referenced here today.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    jmar, do you have information that shows corruption? How do you fight a war with one hand behind your back? That’s what you are trying to do.

  • Maria Pereira

    Jessica, instead of identifying our lawsuit and/or my comments as “LIES,” please identify the specific “LIES” you are referring to. I mean specifics, Jessica, not generalities. And while you’re doing it, remember to keep flashing that lovely smile of yours.

    • Jmar2230

      Thank you Maria, it’s more beautiful than lovely but a compliment from you is hard to come by so I appreciate it! First off you LIE and twist the facts on everything that comes out of your mouth and/or on paper. No worries, they will be exposed … wait and see!

  • Jmar2230

    No worries, Andrew Fardy, the parents of Bridgeport got this! We will show you how the war will be fought and won!

  • Maria Pereira

    Jessica, is this the “specific” answer that supports your claim I tell and post “LIES?” Is this the best a former compensated parent organizer for Ex$ell Bridgeport can muster? If it is, I have absolutely nothing to worry about.

  • Maria Pereira

    Ron, although many readers of OIB would not know this was Jessica Martinez, I know exactly who I am exchanging posts with.

    I am more than willing to take Ms. Martinez back to school, although I have no plans to help her develop her writing and grammar skills. Unfortunately, she will have to seek private tutoring or enroll in the Adult Education program for assistance in developing those specific skills.

  • Phil Blagys

    I believe it should be “Satanic Six” since the term Satan used in this context seems to be adjectival unless, of course, the intended meaning is “Six Satans” in which each person exhibits his or her own unique form of Satan. Either way, the name calling is good–very constructive in moving the dialogue forward.

    • Pete Spain

      Phil,
      I agree and I would hope Salman Rushdie would, too.

      And shouldn’t we consider marking the children of the parents who make up the alleged group with giant scarlet “S”s (forked, please) so long as the kids attend our public schools? Little red horns might be a nice touch, too. After all, alienating those we disagree with on policy matters is priority number 666, I think.

    • Godiva2011

      Well stated, Mr. Blagys.

  • Maria Pereira

    Phil Blagys, Norm Pattis referred to the BBOE members who voted for this coup as the “Satan Six” four or five times in the original drafts. I had to apply repeated pressure to get him to delete the references. Personally, I thought the description was pretty much on the mark.

    I don’t believe I have ever seen you attend a BBOE meeting, therefore you really don’t have first-hand knowledge of what the “Satan Six” have been doing at the meetings, however those of us who attend BBOE meetings on a very regular basis do have first-hand knowledge.

    I also don’t recall your ever posting about the “name calling” sitting BBOE member Kenneth Moales has repeatedly utilized during BBOE meetings. This includes calling fellow board members liars, clowns, Tonto, baby, etc.

  • Phil Blagys

    I didn’t give credit to anyone for using this term, I was just trying to clarify its meaning. Since it’s apparently the Satan Six, I think we are talking about six different manifestations of Satan. So now at least we all know what we are up against.

  • Godiva2011

    If it is a fact Atty. Pattis referred to those members as the Satan Six, that is extremely unprofessional on his part. For the record, the proper adjective would be “satanic” not Satan. Grammar aside–it’s just not acceptable on a brief in any form.

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