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Saturday, October 25, 2014
Court denies Genti’s petition against Malverne board
By Emily Webb
Herald File Photo
If granted by the court, Genti's petition would have set aside the board’s decision and restored all of her duties on the board.

The New York State Supreme Court has denied a petition filed against the Malverne school district by Gina Genti — a Malverne mother who served as a Board of Education trustee for four years, until she chose not to run for re-election last May — asking the court to review actions taken against her by the board after an investigation of her conduct.

The court reviewed submissions from both Genti and fellow trustees and determined that the board’s curtailment of her participation in board activities was not arbitrary, capricious or irrational.

“The district and Board of Education are pleased with the court’s decision and throughout the process were confident that the judicial system would rule in our favor,” Board President Marguerite O’Connor said in a statement. “It is unfortunate and unnecessary that this matter escalated to this level, but now that it is resolved we can move forward with a continued focus on curriculum and instruction.”

Genti, 48, asked the Supreme Court to review the board’s investigation — which was initiated last November by its attorney, Ingerman Smith, at the behest of the board — along with what she claimed was a “violation of her administrative rights by fellow members.”

Genti told the Herald last June that she was first shunned by fellow trustees, and then investigated by Smith because she asked too many probing questions of the board, which sharply reduced her involvement in board activities.

Starting in 2010, Genti said, she questioned the appointment of another trustee’s daughter to the board by Superintendent Dr. James Hunderfund, a proposed extension of the superintendent’s salary to the allowable $225,000 limit and the tax cap levy in the district’s budget. She was accused of harassing other board members, and Smith’s investigation confirmed that charge.

Genti also said that school district staff members made several complaints about her conduct, accusing her of discrimination, harassment and “creating an environment of fear and anxiety.”

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