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Hudson discrimination suit still alive

Dec 13, 2011 12:06 am
Lynn Sloneker at Unmuffled reports how the Audra Jornov-penned story in the Register-Star posted Monday evening falsely reports that a Hudson principal's racial discrimination complaint against the Hudson City School District and its Board of Education was "unfounded" according to the New York State Division of Human Rights. "In fact, the Division of Human Rights rendered no such opinion, and the process of adjudicating the complaint has barely begun -- the district has yet to file a formal answer to Spicer's allegations, according to statements made by HCSD Superintendent John F. Howe, Monday," Sloneker reports. The report that Jurnov says comes from the Division of Human Rights is actually from Delmar attorney Ira Lobel. "Lobel was contracted November 14, upon the recommendation of the district's labor attorney, Stuart S. Waxman, of Donoghue, Thomas, Auslander & Drohan of Hopewell Junction," Sloneker writes. "He was brought in to sort through the ongoing dispute between district administrators that led to allegations of racial discrimination, and the filing of a formal complaint with the Division of Human Rights.... At the [school] board meeting Monday [Dec. 12], Howe acknowledged the report was completed. He said Lobel's findings would be 'incorporated into the board's formal response [to Spicer's complaint]....' and subsequently filed with the Division. The district has until Friday to file that response, Howe said," Sloneker writes. So, the district is clearly still preparing a response to the lawsuit. In the Register-Star, Spicer is quoted saying: “With the exception of the pay issue and the district’s response to my receiving offensive e-mails, the report did not deny that any of the acts of discrimination happened. Mr. Lobel, the writer of the report just found the acts more of a result of 'sloppy administration,' than racially motivated discrimination,” Spicer wrote in an e-mail with Jornov, reported in the original story, which WGXC reported first without Sloneker's corrections. Read the the Register-Star story here and Unmuffled's correction here.

UPDATE: At 11:42 a.m. Tuesday the Register-Star retracted the story:
"EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated that New York State Division of Human Rights declared Steven Spicer's complaint of racial discrimination unfounded. This is incorrect. It was the Hudson City School District's internal investigation that was completed. The results of that investigation were that Spicer's complaints were unfounded. The state's investigation is still ongoing. We apologize for the error."

The newspaper has kept the original, incorrect story online for Google searches to find.