A potential showdown between the Hempstead Board of Education and embattled superintendent Shimon Waronker was averted Friday, at least temporarily.
U.S. Magistrate Steven Locke at the federal court in Central Islip granted the request of Waronker, moving a hearing on his legal case against the board from Monday to April 30, according to a federal court document.
The board earlier this week had passed a resolution ordering Waronker to attend a hearing Monday to discuss a notice of claim filed with the district, adding that his absence from the meeting would be deemed “gross insubordination.”
Waronker’s attorney, Frederick Brewington of Huntington wrote to the court Thursday, contending district officials had no right ordering his client to be there at a particular time and noting that he had suggested a number of dates to district officials and had not heard back.
Waronker, who has become a flashpoint for the divided board, was placed on paid administrative leave in January. In addition to a federal lawsuit challenging the move, in January he notified the district that he also plans a state court action seekings damages including “breach of contract, retaliation, mental/emotional injuries, mental pain and suffering.”
After the April 30 hearing, district officials can decide how they wish to proceed, for example choosing whether to settle or move forward with litigation, Jonathan Scher, an attorney for the district told Newsday.