Ed Day’s Letter to Commissioner King Regarding the Continued Retention of Problem Law Firm

The below letter was sent last week from County Executive-Elect Legislator Ed Day to New York State Education Commissioner King and copied to East Ramapo School Board President Yehuda Weissmandl.

Dear Commissioner King,

As a representative of many East Ramapo School District families at the County level of government , and the incoming County Executive of Rockland County, I am writing you regarding a number of much publicized incidents involving the counsel retained by the East Ramapo School District, Minerva & D’Agostino, P.C., 107 South Central Avenue, Valley Stream, NY, and the utter failure of the current school board to address these matters.

Briefly, on March 5, 2013, the principal in the firm, Albert D’Agostino, was witnessed abusing his position as he stood over an honor student and cursed at him. On July 2nd, 2013 a contracted Minerva & D’Agostino attorney, Mr. Chris Kirby, repeatedly engaged in a disgusting tirade during a regular Board of Education meeting and in the presence of the entire school board. His actions included belittling a woman who was actually being complimentary to school staff and also engaging in what I view as religious bias by using the Lord Jesus Christ’s name in vain. His later actions in the parking lot, where video indicated he laid in wait for citizens attending the meeting to leave, included engaging in physically threatening and unbelievably crude behavior that included cursing a woman, using a words belittling her weight, appearance, and even describing female genitalia. In short, he was totally out of control.

Subsequently, and after much public pressure, the East Ramapo School Board president Mr. Yehuda Weissmandl announced on July 8 that the district would “transition to other legal representation”. Six months later this firm is still in place no disciplinary action has been taken by the school district in either case. Given that the original “transition” from an existing law firm to Minerva & D’Agostino took all of one school board meeting, I find it insulting to our community that six months later, tax dollars are still being paid to this law firm.

There is no place in this community for actions such as the ones described and well documented, and the failure of the East Ramapo School Board to follow up on it’s assurances to the community are wholly unacceptable. I urge you to take whatever steps you deem appropriate to ensure that the law firm of Minerva & D’Agostino is, in fact, discharged from their duties forthwith.

I thank you in advance for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Edwin J. Day
Rockland County Executive-Elect
Rockland County Legislator, District 5