TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The other side of a civil lawsuit is responding to claims made at last night's Vigo County School Board Meeting.
On Monday, we told you the school board voted to move forward in a civil lawsuit.
The lawsuit is for recouping money lost in a kickback scheme.
Attorneys for the defendants told us they were confused about the filing.
One of the reasons being why did the board wait to authorize a lawsuit when it was already filed?
We reached out to the school corporation's legal counsel for their response to questions surrounding the lawsuit.
The school corporation is suing Frank Shahadey, Franklin Fennell, and Michael Pick and his business M&P Properties.
The lawsuit is in response to the thousands of dollars lost in a kickback scheme, that allegedly involved the defendants.
On Tuesday, we heard back from the school board's attorney, Jonathan Mayes.
He told us in an email "School boards are not required to approve lawsuits before they are filed."
He went on to say "legal authorization after the fact is permissible."
Mayes also said the school corporation is unaware of any restitution from Frank Shahadey.
In the statement below, Mayes commented on Paula Shahadey's role in the scheme along with whether Michael Pick is a hero, as his attorney claimed on Monday night.
FULL STATEMENT BELOW
On behalf of the Board of School trustees, please see the statements below:
· In response to Mr. Shahadey’s attorney’s statement that Mr. Shahadey has made restitution payments, the School Corporation responds as follows:
The School Corporation is unaware of any restitution payment made by Mr. Shahadey.
· In response to Mrs. Shahadey’s attorney saying there is no evidence that Mrs. Shahadey is involved, the School Corporation responds as follows:
The federal prosecutor at a November 9, 2016 hearing before a federal judge said, “And as we have already discussed, Shahadey’s wife, whom you [the federal judge] know from reading the complaint affidavit, is, at best, another suspect in this case based on her statements in that recorded call with Individual A that she wanted to spend more, that she wanted more kickbacks that they were spending at the moment on vacation.” The federal prosecutor continued, “So again, I reference Mr. Shahadey’s wife, and in that recorded conversation you saw they were spending their ill-gotten gains in Florida.” (See highlighted text on page 13-14 of the attached Frank Shahadey Transcript.)
· In response to Ms. Pence’s suggestion that her client, Mr. Pick, is a “hero,” the School Corporation states as follows:
Heroes are the school teachers who work hard to educate Vigo County children. Heroes are the men and women in law enforcement who tirelessly pursue bad people involved in criminal schemes—like Mr. Pick, Mr. Fennell, and Mr. Shahadey. Mr. Pick is no hero.
· In response to questions raised regarding approval of the lawsuit, the School Corporation responds as follows:
Counsel for the Shahadeys and Mr. Pick try to distract from the true issue – that their clients’ criminal scheme took money intended for the education of Vigo County children. School boards are not required to approve lawsuits before they are filed. Legal authorization after the fact is permissible. As one of many examples, school boards regularly approve employees’ leave after the fact.