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DiMiceli: Ask Why West Hempstead BOE Won't Release Legal Opinion

West Hempstead BOE Trustee Cynthia DiMiceli responds to allegations that she violated board ethics by mailing letters regarding the school budget.

Dear West Hempstead Residents,

In response to about my alleged ethical violation of my obligations as a board member, I have requested the opinion of our school board attorney to be released. 

Those of you that were present at the Board meeting on June 19 heard that the attorney stated that he had rendered a written opinion to the Board of Education on May 31 in regards to the matter of: Code of Ethics and Responsibilities for School Board Members. I asked the Board to waive the client/attorney privilege with regards to this matter at the Board meeting on June 26.  

The Board voted by 5-2 to NOT release this memo. If my critics feel that they are right, they should ask the Board of Education why aren’t they releasing the legal opinion of their own attorney? I will leave it up to you to assume the response. 

Sincerely, 

Cynthia Di Miceli

Just Saying July 03, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Ms. Fennes: Read the First Amendment. As an American first and foremost, DiMiceli is guaranteed the right to speak freely and to electioneer about yet another budget hike for an academically mediocre school district. Then again, with test scores as lousy as they are in West Hempstead, I'm not surprised you've never heard of free speech. Why not tell the truth: You and your cronies fear DiMiceli's voice is gathering steam and is moving towards wiping out the dead wood union lap dogs of the board of ed. Why ot admit you fear she and hundreds of fed-up taxpayers she represents will come out in droves when the union pushes for a new contract next year devoid of accomplishments, the cause of further cuts to actual educational program, all so the entrenched powers-that-be can line their pockets "for the good of the kids." Guess what? Your too late, and your fear is justified. The wrath of over-taxed citizens who can barely put away enough into their own 401(k)'s while the union soaks up the lion's share of $55 million in tax dollars is over-flowing. The 2009 push-back was just the start. And your Soviet-style efforts to muzzle opposition so you can protect you tax-funded perks has just run head long into Mr. Madison's cherished gift to democracy. DiMiceli's courageous speech is the best and most powerful antidote against corrupt ignorance like yours.
Jim Miskiewicz July 03, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Ms. Finnes: I'm not an outsider. I'm a WH resident and taxpayer, who's seen his school tax bill go up 100% in 10 years, while academics continue to decline and more of our tax dollars go to fund unsustainable pension and health plans un-supported by a union power who thinks its citizenship responsibilities end at with their union card. Never met the woman, but in my book, DiMiceli is a hero to be applauded for taking on this entrenched, yet dying system called Long Island Union-Dominated School Districts. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for trying to stifle debate and dissent in the name of what you misperceive to be the good of our children. Happy Fourth. May the next one bring liberty from small-minded tyrants, who think it's "ethical" to shut people up in the name of "the children" when all you're really doing is protecting the interests of a corrupt and entrenched few who are bankrupting our community and doing a lousy job of educating our children.
Jim Miskiewicz July 03, 2012 at 02:15 AM
I agree. The school district claims is can't release the memo that supported DiMiceli's actions because of some mumbo-jumbo about attorney-client privilege. Wouldn't ,in this case, DiMiceli be the client who sought the board attorney's advice? And if she's said she no longer wants the memo to remain secret, well as the client, she, not the attorney controls the privilege and the excuse for keeping the memo secret just flew out the window. For you lawyers keeping score at the WH School District, that's called a "waiver." C'mon, quit the nonsense that'd get you laughed out of court: Publish the memo and let DiMiceli, the Hero of West Hempstead, defend herself.
Jim Miskiewicz July 03, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Ms DeVita, you make a good point. Unfortunately, the group who want to silence DiMiceli, Rudy Schindler and a few as-yet silent but non-aligned board members before next years teacher union contract talks could care less about us tax payers having to fork over more money to defend against un-necessary litigation. I mean, they don't even have the self-awareness to recognize that the same First Amendment that protects union associations also protects individuals like Ms. DiMiceli, so why would they care if you or I had to spend money funding a lawsuit THAT's AGAINST OUR OWN INTEREST. Only one way to deal with tyrants like these, stand up to them in places like this site, at board meetings, at the polls, and demand transparency and above all, change.
Cliff Floyd October 01, 2012 at 11:47 PM
I agree with you Mrs. Fennes. As for Jim Meskeiwiks, at least have the decency to spell her last name right. You may disagree with her points but the fact of the matter is that she is knowingly hurting our youth, and needs to be removed from her position.

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