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Education

Former Lorain superintendent Jeff Graham drops suit against Parma schools

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Former Lorain Schools Superintendent Jeff Graham withdrew a pending defamation lawsuit against the Parma school district last week, according to Cuyahoga County court documents.

A journal entry dated Feb. 12 said the lawsuit cannot be resubmitted. It also noted that all court costs were being paid by the defendants, the Cuyahoga County district where Graham served as superintendent from 2010 to 2015 before coming to Lorain.

Graham said he had no comment on the outcome of the lawsuit.

Parma school district spokesman Dan Rajkovich said he also would not have any comment.

In the complaint, which initially was filed last May, Graham accused key players in Parma Schools of defamation and intimidation after a May 24, 2016, letter that blamed Graham and former Parma Treasurer Daniel Bowman for financial problems in the district, including a $15 million budget shortfall.

The lawsuit names the Parma school board, Parma Superintendent Carl Hilling, Treasurer David Crowley, communications consultant Ray Sposet, current board President John Tenerowicz and former board members Karen Dendorfer, Kathleen Petro and Lynn Halloran.

According to the May 24 letter, the school board and Hilling sent to parents and community members in the district, Graham and Bowman didn’t accurately portray the district’s finances, including costs for technology upgrades, and didn’t properly plan a STEM program, leaving a “devastating impact.”

When the complaint was filed in May, Graham’s attorney, Subodh Chandra, said the district board members and superintendent made the “defamatory statements knowing that they were false and with reckless disregard for their falsity.”

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @KatieHNix.



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