Lehmann Law Office - $60,000 Defamation Settlement - The Nashua Telegraph
NASHUA – City officials will award former Board of Education member George Farrington $60,000 to settle the lawsuit he filed last year after his reported skirmish at the school district’s central office that involved Superintendent Jahmal Mosley.
“A random lawsuit filed by a former board member, quite frankly is not my focus, as it has no bearing on the achievements, safety and well-being of our families, students and community,” Mosley told The Telegraph when reached for comment late Tuesday.
“My focus since being hired has been on moving the district forward and making sure Nashua students, faculty and community members have predictable, consistent administrators within the buildings and in central office and a leadership team that champions equity, diversity and the social and emotional well being of all of our students and faculty,” Mosley added.
Farrington, meanwhile, last year accused Mosley and the city of defamation and violating his “constitutional right to be on public property,” according to the suit.
Farrington, of 24 Lutheran Drive, filed suit in April, shortly after Mosley reportedly confronted him in a hallway at the Ledge Street office and “demanded” Farrington leave the building, according to police reports at the time.
When Farrington objected, police said, Mosley called police, who, at Mosley’s request, banned Farrington from the building for a year.
In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, Farrington said the city could have settled the suit “mere days after” the incident “for the cost of an apology and the payment of my legal bills, which were less than $2,000.”
But even after his attorney, Richard J. Lehmann, “forwarded a letter to the (Board of Education), the police chief and Nashua city (corporation) counsel,” the city “refused to engage in any meaningful discussions with me or my attorney,” Farrington said.
That, he added, “left me no choice other than to file suit to defend my reputation.”
Farrington said he is “pleased to have resolved my dispute with the city.” He said the $60,000 settlement, which the Board of Aldermen’s finance committee approved at a recent meeting, “reflects the seriousness of the wrong that was done to me and the harm my reputation suffered, based on Dr. Mosley’s false statements.”
Further, Farrington said, Mosley reported him to police “under the false premise that I was creating an ‘unsafe environment’ in the school administrative offices.”
However, when police arrived, members of the office staff “confirmed … I had done nothing wrong.”
Farrington, noting in his statement that the city does not admit to wrongdoing, said he believes “the agreement to pay this amount reflects a recognition of Dr. Mosley’s wrongdoing toward me … .”
Farrington also takes issue in the statement with an email he said Mosley sent to BOE members several days after the encounter.
Mosley, according to Farrington, told board members Farrington “engaged in conduct that caused (Mosley) to fear for his safety, and the safety of his family,” which Farrington called “absolutely untrue and preposterous.”
Lehmann, Farrington’s lawyer, also said he is pleased with the settlement, and praised Farrington for “serving the city of Nashua, its schools and its students for many years.”
Farrington “did not deserve to have his reputation damaged by false allegations,” Lehmann added.