Hempstead superintendent dispute goes to court

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HEMPSTEAD -

Hempstead's embattled superintendent of schools and the board that suspended him stood before a federal judge Tuesday.

Shimon Waronker is seeking an injunction against the board and immediate reinstatement to his post. As News 12 previously reported, the board placed him on paid administrative leave after he went to authorities about alleged financial improprieties within the district.

In court, Waronker's attorney argued that the leave violated the terms of his contract with the school district that says he can't be suspended, disciplined or terminated without just cause. District lawyers countered that as long as the superintendent is being paid his salary and has his benefits, the court can't force his reinstatement.

A number of concerned parents attended the hearing. They say they're concerned the dispute will halt Waronker's attempts to revitalize the ailing school district.

"I feel very comfortable with him, because as soon as I met him, I got an appointment, and I get support and extra help for my child," says Xiomara Mejia, a district parent.

The next court date is next Tuesday.

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