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    Tuesday, August 21, 2018-11:35:24P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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US court inclined to dismiss lawsuit of ex-PSS chief

THE federal court is inclined to dismiss the lawsuit filed by former Education Commissioner Cynthia Deleon Guerrero against the Board of Education because it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona, at the hearing on Thursday, stated that she would place the motion to dismiss under advisement.

At the hearing, Deleon Guerrero appeared with her attorney Brien Sers Nicholas while Special Assistant Attorney General Tiberius Mocanu represented BOE and the Public School System.

Cyndi Lorenza Ilisari Deleon Guerrero

According to the minutes of the court proceedings, after reviewing the written arguments, Judge Manglona said she was inclined to grant BOE’s motion to dismiss pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(B)(6): “Failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

Sers Nicholas argued against the  motion to dismiss while Mocanu argued for it.

Mocanu reiterated that BOE had the right to terminate Deleon Guerrero’s employment without cause and that her allegation failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted.

 He said  Deleon Guerrero failed to allege that the Board’s “secret cause” for terminating her employment was motivated by the plaintiff’s membership in a protected class. She therefore fails to claim a violation of the Equal Protection Clause, Mocanu said.

 “Failure to state a reason for the termination of an at-will employee is not illegal as a matter of law, as long as the reason is discriminatory,” Mocanu said.

The former education commissioner, he added,  also failed to alleged that she was defamed. And had she been defamed, she also failed to allege that the defamation “impaired a tangible property interest,” Mocanu said.

In addition, her complaint failed to allege that the defamation caused her a disability or stigma in the community, he said.

Mocanu said the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear this cause of action as the lawsuit has not alleged that the plaintiff complied with the Government Liability Act.

Deleon Guerrero has not provided the attorney general notice of this claim and 90 days in which to evaluate an appropriate disposition, Mocanu said.

As for the allegation of breach of contract, Mucano said the “plaintiff fails to allege with specificity any particular contractual provision which the BOE members breached.”

Mocanu maintained that the BOE members did not breach the contract.

Deleon Guerrero’s lawsuit was originally filed in Superior Court on Jan. 18, 2018 and named BOE Chairwoman Mary Lou Ada, and members Janice A. Tenorio, Herman T. Guerrero, Florine M. Hofschneider, and Herman M. Atalig as defendants.

Deleon Guerrero sued the BOE members in their official capacities alleging wrongful termination, breach of contract, and violation of constitutional rights.