Gateway School Committee updated on Worthington lawsuit

MIDDLEFIELD – On Wednesday, the Gateway School Committee met in the Middlefield Town Hall, in the second of their “on the road ” meetings in the Gateway member towns.
Old business on the agenda included an update on the lawsuit against Worthington and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
A hearing that was originally scheduled for September 17 on a motion to dismiss has been postponed, according to Russell member Ruth Kennedy, who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit representing herself (pro se) as a member of the community. Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Russell resident Derrick Mason, also pro se, the School Committee, and the Town of Huntington. Two of the main arguments in the lawsuit are Worthington’s breaking the contract of the regional agreement, and the state’s interference in the contract, which is a matter of constitutional law.
Kennedy said a new date of October 15 is being scheduled.
“I know it keeps getting put off. This isn’t unusual with the courts. This will be the first time we’ll actually be meeting the opposing attorneys,” Kennedy said.
Gateway Superintendent Dr. David B. Hopson said that the best result of the hearing would be for the judge to grant the injunction against Worthington’s withdrawal which has been requested by the plaintiffs, and allow the case to go forward. He said the judge could also deny the injunction, and allow the case to proceed. The worst case, Hopson said, would be for the judge to dismiss the case.
“We’re very lucky, we have two extremely competent attorneys,” Kennedy said, referring to James Lampke, who is representing the Town of Huntington, and Russ Dupere, who is representing the School Committee. The plaintiffs are working cooperatively in the lawsuit.
“I’m very confident,” Kennedy said.

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