Riverview doesn't accept Bednarsh deal

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Riverview doesn't accept Bednarsh deal

By KATE CERVE kcerve@beaufortgazette.com 843-706-8177
Published Monday, September 6, 2010   |  431 Words  |  news

An offer by the first director of Riverview Charter School to resolve a dispute over her abrupt firing with a $242,000 payment was not accepted, according to court filings.
Eleanore Bednarsh made the offer to end her pending lawsuit against the school June 18.
Riverview didn't accept the offer within the allotted 20 days, so it expired, according to court documents.
Bednarsh's lawyers filed papers in March to preserve and gather evidence that could be used in a civil lawsuit.
Defendants include the charter school, the Beaufort County School District and the Beaufort County Board of Education, in addition to several Riverview board members and district employees.
Bednarsh was hired to lead Riverview in April 2009 but was fired the following December, after Riverview officials said she didn't meet performance goals. She did not receive severance pay.
The school district was not involved in Bednarsh's hiring or termination, according to a statement it issued Friday.
"The district and several district officials have been sued about a matter that does not directly involve the district, and we have responded appropriately," the statement said. "We regret that taxpayer funds must be spent for this purpose, but we have no alternative but to defend the district."
Court filings also show a request by Bednarsh's attorneys to amend their original filing because they say defendants failed to follow the S.C. Freedom of Information Act. Bednarsh's lawyers requested public records through the act in March but claim that responses to their requests were inadequate.
Bednarsh's lawyers, J. Olin McDougall and A. Parker Barnes, declined comment and did not specify how the Freedom of Information Act might have been violated or what information they sought.
Riverview officials also declined comment, but the school district's statement said it has not violated the act.
The district responded to requests April 19, giving Bednarsh's attorneys about 600 pages of documents at no cost, according to the statement. The district was never notified of concerns about its response, the statement said.
In her original filing, Bednarsh's lawyers asked for access to e-mails, voice mails, notes and other records related to Bednarsh and her employment. They are requesting access to electronic storage devices, including personal computers and cell phones owned by the defendants.
Both Riverview and the school district separately asked the court to dismiss Bednarsh's suit. They say in court documents that her lawyers can begin gathering evidence through other means. Riverview's response also says Bednarsh's request is too broad and some of the information requested is protected by privacy laws.