Witnesses called by NY State lawyer include school’s principal

Springs District Harassment Hearing Pause

The first stage of the hearing regarding New York State’s charges against the Springs School administration, alleging that reports of sexual harassment in the workplace were ignored, was completed last week.

Diane Mehrhoff, who first brought the charges this past spring, testified, as did several witnesses called by Michael Adeyemi, the lawyer representing the New York State Division of Human Rights Office of Sexual Harassment. Among those called by Adeyemi to testify before Administrative Law Judge Robert Vespoli was the school’s principal, Eric Casale.

Springs School District Superintendent Debra Winter, whom Mehrhoff says ignored her repeated complaints about misogynistic language used by a supervisor, Michael Henery, who was hired by Winter and the school board in July 2017, was in attendance for both days of testimony. She was seated by the district’s lawyers from the firm Sokoloff Stern. Adam Kleinberg, the lead attorney for the school, now has until January 15 to study up for the district’s rebuttal case, which is also expected to take about two days.