Archive - Mar 28, 2011

The Cost of a Quality Education

This morning, I received an email which included a copy of a letter saying:

Dear Attorney Chinni:

Despite repeated requests, the Middletown Board of Education, Woodrow Wilson Middle School, and now their counsel, which is your office, has refused to provide Monique McClain’s Homework Packet.

Therefore, my office has instructed a State Marshal to go to the Board of Education this Tuesday, March 29, 2011, to pick up Monique McClain’s Homework Packet.

While it is disappointing to see that things have progressed this far, the use of State Marshall’s to enforce a child’s right to a good education is not surprising. What surprised me was the attorney that was being addressed.

Attorney Christine Chinni represented the Lewis Mill High School in Burlington, CT in the famous Doninger V. Schwartz & Niehoff lawsuit. It is a lawsuit that continues to wind its way through the courts nearly four years since I started covering it.

Early on, people wondered why the school board insisted in continuing to pay high lawyer fees to Chinni instead finding a reasonable settlement and a better way of meeting the educational needs of their students. In her handling of that case, she was admonished by the FOIC

Commission Chairman Andrew O'Keefe, a highly-regarded Hartford lawyer, admonished attorney Christine Chinni Wednesday for her clumsy tap dance last year to sidetrack production of write-in ballots in a stolen election at Lewis Mills High School in Burlington.

The article, FOI To Chinni: Don't Pull That Maneuver Again goes on to say:

Meanwhile, Chinni attempted to delay production of the uncensored billing records for her firm by another week. After discussion with the commission, she agreed to mail them by Monday, June 16, 2008. Those records are public documents and available for inspection by anyone. They should have been produced on Aug. 1, 2007.

Perhaps the Doninger case may be coming to a close and Chinni is searching for a new Board of Education sponsored cash cow to milk. The Middletown Board of Education might want to take a close look at how well Chinni represented Lewis Mill High School, and the total costs and determine if they want to go down a similar path of spending money on legal bills instead of on providing a safe quality education to the children of Middletown.

Note: The opinions expressed above are my personal opinions.