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Palmerton principal dismissal hearings discussed

Published December 05. 2018 12:25PM

Attorneys have discussed streamlining the dismissal hearing involving suspended high school Principal Paula Husar.

The Palmerton area school board voted Tuesday night to keep the same legal firm, which has been representing it, Sweet, Stevens, Katz and Williams.

The agreement calls for a $160 per hour lawyer fee, $125 per hour legal assistant fee and $195 per hour fee for nonroutine matters.

The firm handles the district’s day-to-day solicitor duties and has therefore represented it in an ongoing hearing involving Husar.

In response to a question from director Kathy Fallow on Tuesday night, lawyer Shawn Lochinger said the firm had been paid almost $25,000 through late October for work on the hearings. Hearings have continued in the case.

The next hearing is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m.

“If we continue with the three-hour sessions, I would say there would be at least five to six more sessions,” Lochinger said Tuesday night. “That’s just a guess, however.”

Lochinger said attorneys on both sides have been in discussions to try to “squeeze more hearings in or maybe lengthen the time of the sessions.

“We have talked about trying to find a different time to do the hearings so we can go longer,” he said. “Even after the witnesses are done testifying, it could be several months until everything officially closes.”

Husar turned in her keys at the request of administration and was walked out of the building by district administrators on Sept. 7, 2017.

Superintendent Scot Engler testified at a recent hearing that Husar should be dismissed for more than 20 charges.

Among those charges are that she “mishandled the response to sexual misconduct by an athletic coach, failed to issue a student parking directive in a timely manner, logged a student discipline matter after the student graduated, made continued unannounced appearances in a teacher’s classroom without explanation and failed to properly investigate a bullying incident that led to a human relations lawsuit filed by a parent.”

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