Administrators sue Easton school board for alleged retaliation

By Dan Harkins | Jun 24, 2015

PHILADELPHIA - Four current and former administrators of a school district are suing the school board after alleged retaliation resulting from their reporting of a top official's alleged misconduct.

John Castrovinci, Susan M. McGinley, James L. Pokrivsak Jr. and Dawn Reagle filed a complaint May 28 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the Easton Area School District; Frank Pintabone, president of the board; and board members Robert Fehnel, Kerri Leonard-Ellison, Janet Matthews and William Rider.

The plaintiffs, current and former administrators for the Easton Area School District, reported to police in January 2013 what turned out to be official criminal misconduct on the part of the district's director of technology, Thomas Drago, the suit says.

Specifically, over two years, Drago had "unlawfully and repeatedly accessed the plaintiffs' work computers -- and those of other school administrators -- more than 1,000 times, all without the administrators' knowledge or consent," the lawsuit states.

Though a resulting police investigation resulted in charges that Drago violated the state's Wiretap Act, the school board allegedly "undertook a sustained campaign of workplace retaliation against them -- retaliation that included a demotion and substantial cut in pay (for plaintiff McGinley); frozen salaries and diminishment of their duties and responsibilities (for plaintiffs Castrovinci, McGinley and Pokrivsak); threats and marginalization from their colleagues (all plaintiffs); attacks on their character and reputation (all plaintiffs); and a constructing discharge due to intolerable working conditions (for plaintiff Reagle)," the lawsuit states.

The plaintiffs seek back pay, plus pre-judgment interest; reinstatement to the extent feasible; front pay when reinstatement is not possible; compensatory damages; punitive damages; attorneys' fees; and court costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Harold I. Goodman and Daniel Bencivenga of Raynes McCarty in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number 5:15-cv-02980-JFL.

More News

The Record Network