STOW — Mediation between the Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools and a former school treasurer was unsuccessful and the case will now head back to court.
A mediation conference was conducted Tuesday, Sept. 10, between the school district and Catherine Bulgrin, who worked for the school district for five years between 2011 and 2015. In her court filing, Bulgrin contends she has not received payment for accrued vacation and sick leave as agreed to in a November 2015 settlement. The payment includes $25,748.40 in accrued vacation and $12,874.20 in accrued sick benefits.
Bulgrin is asking for the $38,622.60 plus prejudgement interest from March 2018, post-judgement interest, declaratory relief and/or judgement, reasonable attorney fees and cost, as well as any other relief the court may award.
In a filing submitted June 14, the district contended that "Bulgrin is not entitled to any relief under the terms of the settlement."
Thomas A. Marino, with Amer Cunningham Co. in Akron, and one of the legal representatives for Bulgrin, declined to discuss the case, saying that "it is our policy with pending litigation that we do not comment."
Kelly Toppin, school board president, stated in a release Wednesday that "the parties met and attempted in good faith to resolve the legal dispute."
"No resolution was reached," Toppin said. "The case will proceed on a schedule as directed by the court. Because this is an ongoing legal action, the district cannot provide further comment."
There is a pretrial scheduled for Dec. 19 at 10 a.m., and a trial date scheduled for Jan. 13 at 8:30 a.m., before Judge Susan Baker Ross in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. The case was initially assigned to Judge Jill Flagg Lanzinger but was transferred to Ross in May.
Deadlines set in Stoicoiu case
Several deadlines were set in a civil case involving the school district and another former treasurer.
A pretrial has been set for June 16, 2020, and a jury trial date is scheduled for July 13, before Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands.
Kristy Stoicoiu, who lives in Kent, initially filed seven claims against the Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education. This past July, one charge — a claim of wrongful termination — was dismissed but the other six, including breach of contract, will go forward. The judge also ruled against the school board in its claim that it was owed sanctions due to Stocoiu filing a claim for wrongful termination.
In February, the school board voted to not renew Stoicoiu’s contract with them; the contract expired July 31. After her contract was not renewed, Stoicoiu filed her complaint against the Stow-Munroe Falls school board alleging wrongful termination, breach of contract, violation of the Ohio’s Whistleblower Statute and a retaliation violation of public policy, as well as violation of Ohio’s Sunshine Law.
Stoicoiu currently works for the Cuyahoga Falls City School District as its school treasurer, a position she assumed in August.
In a response to Stoicoiu’s complaint, the district stated, "Stoicoiu knew or should have known about the alleged ‘financial irregularities and improper spending’ in the 2017-18 school year, but failed to report anything to the Board until the 2018-19 school year."
Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @AprilKHelms_RPC