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Should Susquehanna SD solicitor be taking sides? - abc27 WHTM

Should Susquehanna SD solicitor be taking sides?

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Susquehanna Township's school board solicitor is firing back after an altercation at the district administration building Friday afternoon.

Solicitor Paul Blunt and board president Michael Ferguson held a press conference Saturday, speaking to the pending litigation against the district by two fellow board members, Jesse Rawls Sr. and Mark Sussman.

The lawsuit, which attorney Bret Keisling plans to file after Tuesday's school board election, claims Superintendent Dr. Susan Kegerise's contract limits their first amendment right to free speech.

"The school board members have been intimidated to not talking to the people who elected them," Keisling said. "It's un-American. It's wrong and it needs to stop."

Blunt calls the proposed lawsuit against the district a waste of time.

"I don't know what they expect to accomplish other than running up legal fees," he said. "We are going to exploit the opportunity to reveal through concrete evidence the type of behaviors these two board members have been engaging in for the better part of two years."

Blunt, who represents the district as a whole, told abc27 his involvement representing only six members of a nine-member board will not create a conflict of interest.

"We have to represent the district, which basically they are suing the district so we are on the other side of the two board members," Blunt said.

Keisling disagreed, saying Blunt should step aside.

"He represents the entire board, and that includes all of the board members -- even the ones he does not agree with. There are ways he can address the litigations that any lawyer who litigates knows that you can meet with small groups of people," Keisling said. "That's not what he did Friday. He's made it clear that he is not fulfilling his duties to the entire school board."

Parents gathered outside Saturday's press conference, several divided over the same issues.

"I think the lawsuit is ludicrous and I support the administration and the other board members and I don't want to see Mr. Rawls re-elected," Laura Daniels said.

Resident Peter Speaks said he hopes Tuesday's election brings change.

"Our goal is to have responsible, engaging and transparent leadership and that means if changing the leadership than absolutely, we want to see more leadership that is accountable to this community," he said.

Six candidates are currently vying for four open spots on the school board.

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