Nonprofit loses first round in records battle with Pennsylvania School Board Association

By Karen Kidd | Aug 6, 2018

PHILADELPHIA —  A federal judge denied a Bucks County man's request for documents in his counter-suit against the Pennsylvania School Board Association (PSBA). 

The July 17 ruling by Judge Jan Ely DuBois of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is just another salvo in the legal battle between the PSBA and Pennsylvanians for Union Reform, a nonprofit run by Simon Campbell.

PSBA filed a defamation suit against Campbell last year in Cumberland County Court alleging Campbell and his organization abused Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know law. PSBA called Campell's repeated requests for documents a "relentless campaign of harassment, repeated defamations,  tortious interference and abuse."

Afterward, Campbell, a former school board member for Pennsbury, filed a lawsuit of his own in federal court. 


Pennsylvania School Board Association President Michael Faccinetto  

Judge DuBois' decision concerns Campbell's request for any materials used by PSBA's president in preperation for deposition. DeBois ruled the documents fall under those privileged and only available to the defendant and defendant's attorneys.

Campbell claimed the PSBA president, Michael Faccinetto, had improperly used the documents during deposition. 

"Plaintiffs argue primarily that the [21] documents they request must be produced because Faccinetto reviewed them to 'get the timeline straight' and substantial portions of the deposition expressly addressed the timeline of events," DeBois wrote. "The court rejects plaintiffs' argument because they have failed to show that Faccinetto used the documents 'for the purpose of testifying' on that issue."

In June, DuBois denied a defense motion to dismiss Campbell's counter-suit.

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