Judge rules against Jordan-Elbridge school board twice in one day

The Jordan-Elbridge school board lost two cases in State Supreme Court Thursday.

In one, Judge Donald Greenwood ruled in favor of Anthony Scro, fired from the position of district treasurer on Sept. 15, 2010, ordering the district to reinstate Scro as treasurer immediately with back pay.

In the other, Greenwood ruled in favor of suspended principal David Zehner and his claim that the board had violated open meetings law. The J-E school board must participate in a training session with the state Committee on Open Government within 90 days and must also reimburse Zehner's legal fees.

Scro said he is looking forward to getting back to work at Jordan-Elbridge and doing what he's been educated to do -- accounting.

"And there's going to be a lot to do because it's been five months since I've been away from it," Scro said.

The school board, represented by attorney Frank Miller, claimed in court to have fired Scro because he failed to sign his oath of office properly. Greenwood ruled that Scro's oath of office was submitted on time, and that the firing of Scro was beyond the power of the board.

"There is no doubt that if the petitioner [Scro] failed to file his oath of office within the requisite thirty days as required by the statute, the appointment would be vitiated and the office would be deemed vacant," Greenwood's ruling reads.

Greenwood ruled that the district's clerk, Jeanette Brock, did not provide notice of Scro's July 1, 2010 appointment until either July 12 or 13 - making Scro's oath of office on Aug. 9 timely.

"In other words," Greenwood ruled, " the thirty days did not begin to run until Brock provided notice."

The ruling prohibits the J-E school board from taking action against Scro without providing him notice of intent to file charges with the commissioner of education.

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