In a blow to one faction of the Westbury Board of Education that has claimed it is the rightful leader of the district, a Nassau judge has issued a restraining order against two former board members, telling them to stop posing as board members.

The restraining order signed by State Supreme Court Justice Randy Sue Marber orders Larry Wornum and Rod Bailey not "take any action" as members of the board, and that any action taken by them after July 6 is null and void.

Wornum and Bailey were defeated at the polls in May, but they'd been meeting with former board president Karin Campbell, who has continued to maintain that she is the board president and has held meetings and issued statements. She also had been joined by board members Rocco Lanzilotta and Stanton Brown.

However, Pless Dickerson, who was named board president at an organizational meeting earlier this month and presided over the board's last meeting, said Thursday that the legal action invalidates Campbell's claim.

With the May election of newcomers Rodney Caines, Leslie Davis and Siela Bynoe, Dickerson now holds a majority on the seven-member board.

"It really established that there is one board," Dickerson said Thursday. "And that board is going to function and move ahead . . . to run the affairs of the district on behalf of the community."

The restraining order was granted Monday. An attorney for Wornum and Bailey appealed it Tuesday, but the appeal was denied.

In June, before the swearing-in of the three newly elected board members, three members, including Dickerson, were ousted from their seats for missing three consecutive meetings without a valid excuse, a move some called political.

Records show that Dickerson, also interim superintendent in Wyandanch, had received a stay from the state education commissioner to keep his seat pending an appeal. But Dickerson said Thursday that the board over which he presides has since rescinded that resolution and he has withdrawn his appeal.

State Education Department officials confirmed receipt of his letter, but declined to comment.

Campbell said Thursday, "This is only a small component of the entire legal battle that we are fighting" and she is calling on the commissioner of the state Education Department to remove Dickerson. "To allow an elected official who is accused of a failure or wrongdoing, the time to assume a majority on a board, so that the same official can vote to cancel the charges against themselves, then drop his own appeal to make all his problems disappear, is a very dangerous slippery slope that we are going down," she said in a statement.

Wornum said he was not surprised by the court's action.

"I expected them to take this action, because it was in their best interest to stop the voice of opposition," he said.

Court papers were filed in Albany earlier this month to restrain Dickerson and any of the newly elected board members from taking any district action. A decision has not yet been made.

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