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State Agency Tosses Rabinowitz’s Human Rights Complaint Against Pereira

May 31st, 2017 · 19 Comments · Education, News and Events

Fran Rabinowitz

Fran Rabinowitz’s complaint tossed.

Asserting the complaint lacked “any factual basis” the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has dismissed allegations by former school chief Fran Rabinowitz that Board of Education member Maria Pereira “threatened me regarding loss of job, harassed me continuously by sending threatening emails, phone calls, derogatory statements made in public regarding my race and abilities.” Charles Krich, principal attorney for the human rights agency, wrote the decision declaring the complaint faulty on a number of fronts.

Pereira, in 2015, during her campaign for the State House.

[caption id="attachment_94556" align="aligncenter" width="440"]Pereira hq Pereira, in 2015, during her campaign for the State House.


Pereira is fending off complaints that she asserts were orchestrated by Rabinowitz loyalists. The former school chief announced her resignation last Oct. 5 declaring Pereira “created anarchy in the name of democracy.” Rabinowitz, who is white, charged age and racial discrimination against Pereira who is also white. A similar complaint against Pereira filed by Francine Carbone, principal of High Horizon Magnet School, was also dismissed.

Rabinowitz filed her complaint on September 15. It was stamped as received by the state agency September 21, but Pereira was not notified of the complaint until two months later. All of this action took place around the time of a boycott of regular meetings called by then-Board of Education Chair Dennis Bradley who tried to force Pereira’s resignation. In return Pereira called for Bradley’s resignation for boycotting meetings.

In her complaint Rabinowitz, 67, alleges she was harassed by Pereira starting November 2015.

Excerpt from Krich decision:

This leaves the complaint itself to consider. The Complainant charges the Respondent, a member of the Bridgeport Bd. of Education, with “continuous harassment and threats.” These include threatening the Complainant’s employment and sending emails, making phone calls and publically (sic) making derogatory statements “regarding my race and abilities.” Various emails are attached to the complaint to illustrate her charges.

The complaint contains no allegation that the Respondent is the Complainant’s employer. (Were the Respondent the Complainant’s employer, a claim of harassment based on race would state a claim.) The complaint lacks allegations or even any indication that the Bridgeport Bd. of Education as a whole has taken an adverse action or even plans to do so against the Complainant. That the Respondent does not speak for the Board seems evident.

What this means is that the only avenues for the complaint to state a claim would be based on retaliation or aiding and abetting. What sinks the complaint is the lack of information suggesting either activity occurred. The Complainant seems to intend a retaliation claim, but what is lacking is any factual basis for the conclusion. Taking one example, we learn from an email of 2/2/16 that the Respondent accused the Complainant of “absolute insubordination” and threatened to have the Board issue a “formal letter of reprimand,” but the complaint is silent as to whether such a letter was issued. Even if it had, letters of reprimand often are not sufficient to be an adverse employment action, and the complaint never indicates whether the retaliation was on account of opposing a discriminatory practice or for protected activity such as filing a complaint (the Complainant’s other complaints all post-date this incident). In short, the complaint fails to state a cause of action.


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19 Comments so far ↓

    • Lisa Parziale

      This is what fake complaints get you!

      • John Marshall Lee

        I disdain “fake” anything, better the “real thing” I suspect if you have a choice.

        But, Lisa, suppose you offer the “real stuff” regularly and dependably, and those who should answer or make a defensive response, ignore the real thing as if it were “fake”? What say you then? What has raising a list of “real” complaints gotten taxpayers in Bridgeport? Being ignored by a wounded man who asked for a “second chance” to perhaps redeem himself? And instead the Mayor has gone blind to mismanagement and waste in the City, aspiring higher office as if he has a solution to anything? Had he such a solution during the past months of sitting in the #1 chair, he might have created a base from which to launch himself. Instead he continues a disgrace that will not clear his family name or whatever makes him get out of bed each day. Will any number of photo opportunities as Mayor the seconde time around, blot out his days in court, his days in prison, his nights without family, his return without remorse that has separated him from brother and sister law graduates admitted to the bar. How will those who bought his “second chance” plea two years ago, view him when he next presents himself to ballot box decisions? Time will tell.

        • Lisa Parziale

          JML you’re comments are correct and real. I was being facetious, I had hoped that was evident. However, the complaints driven by the former Superintendent, et al, were not accurate and, in my opinion, were never meant to hold up.

  • Maria Pereira

    These complaints were orchestrated by Fran Rabinowitz right after the “boycott”

    I had placed the following item on the September 12th Regular Agenda, Discussion & Possible Action Regarding Disciplinary Action for Insubordination by Interim-Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz. This is what sparked the boycott.

    Rabinowitz contacted Attorney Mooney from Shipman & Goodwin who came-up with the idea of a boycott so that the agenda item would NEVER be discussed. Dennis Bradley & Joe Larcheveque were 100% in on it and agreed to the plan.

    I did not know until recently that Principal Francine Carbone is former BOE Chair Jim Carbone’s daughter-in-law. Jim Carbone was Chair and on the board with former superintendent Connelly for years. He also was Chair when Fran Rabinowitz worked in the district as a principal and administrator in City Hall. Remember, Rabinowitz & Connelly are cousins.

    This offers a possible explanation into why Fran Rabinowitz made Francine Carbone the principal at High Horizons over more qualified candidates. She had only been an assistant principal with zero principal experience, yet she was made principal of the second best performing magnet school in Bridgeport. Hmmm…

    A dedicated, intelligent and articulate former High Horizons parent shared with me that “Francine Carbone is a complete idiot”.

    I am waiting for the results of the first complaint filed by Rabinowitz disciples Lisa Pavlik-Kuhn & Delores Mason. They filed it against the BBOE, however the complaint was about myself, PTSO President Albert Benejan & former BBOE candidate Karen Jackson.

    My guess is they were thrown out because they were completely idiotic.

    Unfortunately, these complaints created legal fees that will not be used to help a single child.

  • Local Eyes

    Nobody is a complete idiot. Even your worst enemy has some value. Beware of unnamed sources, no matter how dedicated, intelligent or articulate they’re advertised.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    For some reason they are showing the B.O.E meetings over and over again on public access.The thing is,no matter when I pass the channel,Ms Pereira is yelling and arguing with someone.It’s hard to even listen to,the shrieking and anger,it’s crazy..

  • Local Eyes

    In a moment of vanity, I’m nominating myself as the best blogger in OIB’s history. Only 1 can be best. I was among the first here; knew nobody and quickly scaled to the point of notoriety. I even developed my own feature on some one else’s blog: RUMOR MILL.
    My posts are frequently remarkable which means they’re worthy of a remark. My feedback confirms this.
    I encourage others to nominate their own choices and hope they won’t be as thunderstruck as I have been here.

  • Frank Gyure

    Since we are talking about schools, I asked myself a question; ARE THERE ANY ADULTS IN BRIDGEPORT?

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