Court Refuses To Hear Appeal From Elizabeth School Official

ELIZABETH – Seven years of legal battles finally came to an end this month when the state Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a decision ordering outgoing Superintendent Pablo Munoz and former school board preident Rafael Fajardo to pay approximately $63,000 in legal bills for a defamation suit they had filed, according to an report.

The two men filed a suit against unidentified defendants in 2006 using school board funds, alleging that they had been defamed by an anonymous mailing purportedly written by Munoz to Fajardo that was sent out to voters during a city council election campaign. Lower court rulings held that the two men were responsible for the legal fees for the suit and found no evidence that it was ever properly authorized by the school board.

According to the report, Fajardo and Munoz must repay the money to a Superior Court trust fund, though the school district could regain the money if it showed that the funds would be used for educational purposes.

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