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LOMBARD v. BOARD OF EDUC. OF NEW YORK

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


March 3, 1992

JOHN LOMBARD, Plaintiff, against THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: ARTHUR D. SPATT

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

 SPATT, District Judge.

 This is a lawsuit by a licensed teacher based on the alleged deprivation of a property right without Due Process of law within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. The property right at issue is the right of a licensed teacher to a meaningful opportunity to seek employment in the New York City Public School System. This action is one brought directly under the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and not under a Section 1983 theory.

 Before getting into the facts of this particular lawsuit, the Court will review the extensive prior litigation underlying this plaintiff's continuous attempts to obtain employment as a teacher in the school system administered by the defendant Board of Education of the City of New York (the "Board").

 BACKGROUND

 As background only, this Court adopts portions of the factual statements set forth in the opinion of Judge Edward R. Korman dated October 29, 1986 rendered in regard to the Board's motion for summary judgment, and in the opinion of the Second Circuit in Lombard v. Board of Education of the City of New York, 502 F.2d 631 (2d Cir. 1974).

 On September 1, 1966, the plaintiff was assigned as a teacher at P.S. 151 in the New York City public school system and commenced a three year probationary period.

 Although the plaintiff initially received a satisfactory rating during the probationary period, the principal of P.S. 151 eventually gave the plaintiff an "unsatisfactory" rating and submitted a report to the Board recommending discontinuance of his probationary appointment. The report further recommended that the plaintiff be directed to submit to a medical examination to determine his fitness to teach. In May and June 1969, the plaintiff was examined by Board physicians, was found medically unfit for teaching duties and was placed on an involuntary medical leave of absence until January 31, 1970. After additional medical examinations, the leave of absence was extended to June 30, 1970.

 On April 20, 1970, a hearing was held before a Committee of the Superintendent of Schools concerning the plaintiff's probationary status. At this hearing, the plaintiff was permitted to present evidence but he could not cross-examine the reports of the principal and the physicians. The Committee recommended that the plaintiff's probationary appointment be discontinued, based, essentially on his "illogical and disoriented conversation." On June 11, 1970, the Local School Board adopted the recommendation of the Committee and voted to terminate the plaintiff's probationary appointment. The plaintiff's license was then either revoked or deemed revoked. On May 26, 1971, the plaintiff's file number was placed in a circular distributed to superintendents and principals indicating that he could not be employed in any public school because of the discontinuance of his probationary appointment.

  PRIOR LITIGATION

 In the state court, the plaintiff brought two Article 78 proceedings in which he challenged both the forced leave of absence and the determination to discontinue his probationary appointment. Both of these proceedings were dismissed. The second Article 78 proceeding seeking to review the termination of his probationary appointment was affirmed by the Appellate Division and leave to appeal was denied by the New York Court of Appeals.

 In the Federal Court, in 1972 the plaintiff commenced a Section 1983 action alleging civil rights violations, challenging both the termination of his employment as a probationary teacher and his disqualification from teaching with a substitute license and seeking reinstatement of his license, back pay and damages. This action was dismissed by Judge Travia, without opinion, on the ground that the complaint failed to state a cause of action.

 On appeal, the Second Circuit reversed in an opinion by Judge Gurfein, finding that although "Lombard did not have tenure and, therefore, presumptively had no property right either as a probationary or substitute teacher . . . he was deprived [by the recommendation of the Committee without his being given the right to confront witnesses] of his reputation as a person who was presumably free from mental disorder" ( Lombard v. Board of Education, 502 F.2d 631, 637 [2d Cir. 1974], cert. denied 420 U.S. 976, 43 L. Ed. 2d 656, 95 S. Ct. 1400 [1975]). The Court held that as a result of the charge of mental illness leveled against him, without the right to confront witnesses, the plaintiff "may claim a deprivation of liberty under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

 On remand, Judge (now Chief Judge) Platt dismissed the action after trial in Lombard v. Board of Education, 440 F. Supp. 577 (E.D.N.Y. 1977). Subsequent to the Second Circuit decision in Lombard, the Supreme Court made it clear that to constitute a deprivation of liberty interest, the stigmatizing information must be both false and made public. (See Codd v. Velger, 429 U.S. 624 , 51 L. Ed. 2d 92, 97 S. Ct. 882 [1977]; Bishop v. Wood, 426 U.S. 341, 48 L. Ed. 2d 684, 96 S. Ct. 2074 [1976]; Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 47 L. Ed. 2d 405, 96 S. Ct. 1155 [1976]; Gentile v. Wallen, 562 F.2d 193 [2d Cir. 1977]). Judge Platt concluded that such evidence was lacking and dismissed the plaintiff's deprivation of liberty claim. With regard to the plaintiff's property interest claims, Judge Platt held that the plaintiff's claim for reinstatement was moot because the Board had in fact recognized the plaintiff's license as valid and reinstated by reason of a decision of the Commissioner of Education in Matter of Baronat, 11 Ed. Dept. Rep. 150 (1972). From April 26, 1973 and thereafter, the Board considered the plaintiff's license to be in full force and effect. Accordingly, Judge Platt concluded that it was unnecessary for him to reach the issue of whether the prior revocation of the license deprived Lombard of a property interest.

 THIS LAWSUIT

 The plaintiff alleges in this action that although his license was not formally revoked and has, in any event, been reinstated since April 26, 1973, his license has been "constructively revoked" because the defendant Board has prevented him from obtaining employment anywhere in the New York City public school system (Complaint PP47, 58). Specifically, the plaintiff asserts that the defendant Board has, without a hearing, denied him "the right to work under his license and has denied him the benefits of such license" (Complaint P48), that "the Board of Education and/or its administration refused to grant [him] a teaching assignment" (Complaint P56), that "plaintiff responded to an advertizement [sic] and on December 16, 1981, plaintiff was accepted in a program for training for 'Special Education' classes" (Complaint P31), that on December 18, 1981, without cause, plaintiff was told that he would not be permitted to remain in the program and he was told to leave" (Complaint P32), that the Board refused to refer him to community school boards for consideration for employment (Complaint PP26-44), and that he was unable to obtain employment by approaching the Central Board or the local school districts directly, except sporadically as a substitute teacher.

 The plaintiff further alleges that in District 25 and District 17 he was refused work as a regular teacher (Complaint PP36, 41), was only permitted to work on a per diem basis, and was told at a recruiting conference that "you do not belong here" (Complaint P51).

 In sum, the thrust of the plaintiff's complaint is that even though he has a valid teacher's license, it has been "constructively revoked" by reason of the Board's actions in preventing him from working as a teacher in any of the local school boards. In the complaint, the plaintiff alleged that these acts deprived him of his rights to property and liberty without due process of law and of his right to equal protection of the law, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

 JUDGE KORMAN'S DECISION OF 10/29/86

 As to the plaintiff's due process "property rights" claim, Judge Korman held that a license "confers no more than a mere expectancy of employment, and does not confer any claim to a specific position or, for that matter, to any further employment" ( Matter of Lowenstein, 9 Ed. Dept. Rep. 207, 209 [1970]). Further, as a licensed but untenured teacher "plaintiff has no constitutionally protected property interest in employment as a teacher, and his allegations concerning the Board's refusal, either directly or indirectly, to afford him employment fall far short of stating a cause of action for deprivation of property without due process of law" (see Ricca v. Board of Education, 47 N.Y.2d 385, 393, 418 N.Y.S.2d 345, 391 N.E.2d 1322 [1979]; Gordon v. Anker, 444 F. Supp. 49, 51-53 [S.D.N.Y. 1973]; Matter of Mancini, 14 Ed. Dept. Rep. 420, 421-422 ([1975]).

 Plaintiff's second theory with regard to his claim to a property interest was based on an alleged entitlement to a meaningful opportunity to apply for a teaching position. It is this opportunity which the plaintiff contends is a property right warranting due process protection. He claims he has been deprived of this right as a result of the conduct of the defendant Board in directing the community school districts not to hire him.

 Judge Korman noted that the impetus for then Commissioner of Education Nyquist's decision in Baronat was the enactment, in 1969, of New York Education Law Article 52-A, which "decentralized" the single New York City School District into thirty-one separate "community school districts." The power to appoint and dismiss elementary school teachers was taken from the Central Board and vested in the local community school districts. As stated by Commissioner Nyquist in Baronat, this statute has had a significant effect on the value and utilization of a New York City teacher's license, as follows:

 "Prior to the enactment of the decentralization statute and the creation of 31 community school districts as semi-autonomous units of the New York City school system, employment and licensure in that system were, for all practical purposes synonymous. Termination of employment left the existence of such a license a hollow form, without any legal substance. Since the enactment of Education Law Article 52-A, however, where a teacher is dismissed from employment by one of these 31 community districts, he may be re-employed by any of the other 30 such districts, provided he holds a license. The license, therefore, is now a valuable property right and is entitled, as such, to the protection set forth in the decision in Hecht v. Monaghan [307 N.Y. 461, 121 N.E.2d 421 (1954)] and its progeny." (11 Ed. Dept. Rep. at 153).

 Based on the changes caused by the statute, on Baronat and other authorities, Judge Korman determined that the plaintiff's complaint stated a cause of action for deprivation of property within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, with regard to affording him a meaningful opportunity to seek a teacher's position in the New York City Public School System:

 "Baronat thus recognized the teaching license as conferring something more than a 'unilateral expectation,' Roth, supra, 408 U.S. at 577 -- it recognized a 'legitimate claim of entitlement' with regard to the opportunity to seek employment in all thirty-one community school districts in the New York City school system. Id. Like the right to operate a vehicle pursuant to a driver's license recognized in Bell v. Burson, supra, 402 U.S. 535, this 'claim of entitlement' could not be withdrawn without due process.

 Because property rights are defined with reference to state law for the purpose of determining whether a deprivation of such property must be accompanied by due process, Roth, supra, 408 U.S. at 577; Goetz v. Windsor Central School District, 698 F.2d 606, 608 (2d Cir. 1983), and because New York recognizes a teaching license as conferring a 'valuable property right' to seek employment which may not be withdrawn without due process, plaintiff states a cause of action for deprivation of property within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff's complaint can be construed to allege that, notwithstanding Education Law § 2590(e), vesting in the community school districts the exclusive power to hire elementary school teachers, the Board has exercised a de facto power over the districts in order to prevent his employment and that of other teachers who, like plaintiff, failed to complete their probationary appointments. If true, this would constitute a cancellation of plaintiff's teaching license without the requisite due process hearing.

 This is not intended to suggest that defendant would be precluded from establishing a policy with respect to categories of teachers for which it is authorized to do the hiring (e.g., high school and Special Education teachers) to hire only teachers who successfully completed their probationary appointments. The Board could rationally decide that such a policy served its needs, and nothing in the Constitution would prevent it from doing so. Each community school district could likewise adopt such a policy with respect to elementary school teachers like Mr. Lombard. What is significant here is the Board's alleged exercise of a de facto power over the community school districts contrary to state law in order to prevent plaintiff's employment. The effect of this action is to diminish the property rights in the license recognized by New York law, i.e., the opportunity to seek employment in all thirty-one districts" (emphasis supplied).

 As to the plaintiff's claim of a deprivation of his "liberty interest," Judge Korman held that the plaintiff failed to show that the alleged "stigma of fault" imposed on him was either false or stigmatizing or that it was made public, and this claim was dismissed. Also, as to the plaintiff's equal protection claim, Judge Korman held that the Board "could rationally draw a distinction between those teachers who have successfully completed their probationary appointments, and who thus have necessarily been adjudged satisfactory by their supervisors, and those who have not, even though there might be capable teachers in the latter category." Accordingly, the plaintiff's equal protection claim was also dismissed.

 Thus the only issue left for adjudication before this Court is the plaintiff's claim that his property interest in his teacher's license was diminished without due process of law, by the actions of the employees of the defendant Board in depriving him of a meaningful opportunity to seek a teaching position in the New York City Public School System.

 THE TURPIN AND STATUTE OF LIMITATION PROBLEMS

 The defendant Board raises two serious legal issues which require resolution before reviewing the evidence adduced at the trial. First, the Board contends that the plaintiff may not bring an action directly against a municipality under the Fourteenth Amendment, because the plaintiff has the right to proceed under Section 1983. (See Turpin v. Mailet, 591 F.2d 426 [2d Cir. 1979] cert. denied sub. nom Turpin v. West Haven, 449 U.S. 1016, 66 L. Ed. 2d 475, 101 S. Ct. 577 [1980]). Second, the Board contends that the applicable statute of limitations governing an action directly under the constitution is three years.

 Prior to the seminal decision in Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 56 L. Ed. 2d 611, 98 S. Ct. 2018 (1978) when there was no other remedy against a municipality, under certain circumstances an action based on a direct constitutional Fourteenth Amendment violation was permitted. A direct action for damages for violation of a constitutional right was first allowed in Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics; 403 U.S. 388, 91 S. Ct. 1999, 29 L. Ed. 2d 619 (1971). However, such a direct action under the Constitution can be maintained only where no other "equally effective or adequate" remedy exists. ( Carlson v. Green, 446 U.S. 14, 18-19, 100 S. Ct. 1468, 1471, 64 L. Ed. 2d 15 [1980]; Gleason v. McBride, 715 F. Supp. 59, 62 [S.D.N.Y. 1988]).

 In Monell, the Supreme Court decided that under certain circumstances, a municipality could be liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for a violation of constitutional rights. In Turpin v. Mailet, supra, the Second Circuit held that since a municipality could be subject to Section 1983 liability, a direct action under the Fourteenth Amendment was no longer available:

 "The Monell decision does not call into question Turpin's central thesis that federal courts have the power - and the obligation - under the general federal question jurisdiction to create remedies to redress constitutional grievances. See 579 F.2d at 157-60. An important element in our decision to imply a damages remedy against municipalities under the 14th Amendment, however, was that Congress had not supplied a vehicle by which the right in question could be vindicated. Id. at 157.

 Monell held that § 1983 suits may be brought against municipalities under conditions essentially coextensive with those we imposed on the private right of action in Turpin. We therefore conclude that - under the very rationale of our prior opinion - there is no place for a cause of action against a municipality directly under the 14th Amendment, because the plaintiff may proceed against the City of West Haven under § 1983. (591 F.2d at p.427).

 Since, under Monell, a municipality could be liable in a Section 1983 case only by showing a custom or policy, claimants have sought to avoid this limitation by asserting Bivens -type claims directly under the Fourteenth Amendment. In Jett v. Dallas Independent School District, 491 U.S. 701, 109 S. Ct. 2702, 2722, 105 L. Ed. 2d 598 (1989), the Supreme Court rejected the availability of a respondeat superior responsibility of a municipality under a Bivens -type action brought directly under the Fourteenth Amendment, as follows:

 "Since our decision in Monell, the courts of Appeals have unanimously rejected the - contention, analogous to petitioner's argument here, that the doctrine of respondeat superior is available against a municipal entity under a Bivens -type action implied directly from the Fourteenth Amendment. See, e.g., Tarpley v. Greene, 221 App. D.C. 227, 237, n.25, 684 F.2d. 1, 11, n.25 (1982) (Edwards, J.) ('Because Congress has elected not to impose respondeat superior liability under § 1983, appellant invites this court to expand the remedial options under Bivens. . . We can find no good logic nor sound legal basis for this view; we therefore decline the invitation'); accord Owen v. Independence, 589 F.2d 335, 337 (CA8 1978); Thomas v. Shipka, 818 F.2d 496 (CA6 1987); Ellis v. Blum, 643 F.2d 68, 85 (CA2 1981); Cale v. Covington, 586 F.2d 311, 317 (CA4 1978); Molina v. Richardson, 578 F.2d 846 (CA9), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 1048, 99 S. Ct. 724, 58 L. Ed. 2d 707 (1978). Given our repeated recognition that the Fourteenth Amendment was intended in large part to embody and expand the projections of the 1866 Act as against state actors, we believe that the logic of these decisions applies with equal force to petitioner's invitation to this Court to create a damages remedy broader than § 1983 from the declaration of rights now found in § 1981. We hold that the express 'action at law' provided by § 1983 for the 'deprivation of any rights privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws,' provides the exclusive federal damages remedy for the violation of the rights guaranteed by § 1981 when the claim is pressed against a state actor. Thus to prevail on his claim for damages against the school district, petitioner must show that the violation of his 'right to make contracts' protected by § 1981 was caused by a custom or policy within the meaning of Monell and subsequent cases" (109 S. Ct. at p. 2722) (emphasis supplied).

 Relating the above principles of law to this case, the Court concludes that 1) the plaintiff's complaint is drawn as a direct cause of action under the Fourteenth Amendment, 2) the Monell standard of proof of a Board custom or policy is required in this direct action, and 3) where there is a Section 1983 action available, a direct action such as this is obviated.

 In this case the pro se plaintiff has attempted to prove the diminishing of the property rights in his teacher's license without due process of law. The thrust of his case is that, in accordance with Judge Korman's opinion, the defendant Board has deprived him of his right to a meaningful opportunity to obtain employment at the thirty-two community school districts by reason of the acts of the Board's employees. In this regard, the elements of the plaintiff's direct Fourteenth Amendment cause of action are identical with the elements of a Section 1983 action based on the same alleged constitutional violation. First, the plaintiff must allege that the Board deprived him of a constitutional right, and second, he must allege that the Board deprived him of that right under color of state law. (See Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640, 64 L. Ed. 2d 572, 100 S. Ct. 1920 [1980]; Accord, West v. Atkins, 487 U.S.42, 108 S. Ct. 2250, 2255, 101 L. Ed. 2d 40 [1988]; Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 140, 61 L. Ed. 2d 433, 99 S. Ct. 2689 (1979); Flagg Bros. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 155, 56 L. Ed. 2d 185, 98 S. Ct. 1729 [1978]; Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 150, 26 L. Ed. 2d 142, 90 S. Ct. 1598 [1970]). (See Section 1983 Litigation, Second Ed. Schwartz and Kirkin, 1991).

 Since the two causes of action are virtually identical, it would be most unfair to this pro se plaintiff and entirely unnecessary, to dismiss his direct constitutional action without leave to replead the exact same constitutional violation in the guise of a Section 1983 action. The Court notes that another paragraph in the complaint stating that, "in addition to the direct Fourteenth Amendment cause, the plaintiff alleges a Section 1983 cause of action," would have been sufficient.

 However, even without the Section 1983 verbiage, the defendant Board is and has been fully aware that the plaintiff should have proceeded, technically, by way of a Section 1983 action. In its "trial memorandum of law" filed on September 9, 1991, the Assistant Corporation Counsel inserted a quote from Pauk v. Board of Trustees of City University of New York, 654 F.2d 856, 865 (2d Cir. 1981) that "there is no place for a cause of action against a municipality directly under the Fourteenth Amendment because the plaintiff may proceed . . under Section 1983" (Defendant's trial memo at p. 3). In fact, the defendant's trial memorandum repeatedly set forth the argument that the proper action to be brought was under Section 1983.

 In addition, the defendant Board will not be prejudiced in any manner if the Court deems the complaint to allege a cause of action under Section 1983, rather than a direct action under the Fourteenth Amendment. As stated above, the elements are identical; no further discovery is required; and the defendant Board had notice of the technical propriety of the Section 1983 rather than the direct action. Permitting an amendment of the complaint followed by a second trial would countenance a repetitious, wasteful and needless exercise.

 Accordingly, sua sponte, the Court deems the complaint conformed to the proof and amended so as to include a Section 1983 cause of action based on the same due process property violation as is set forth in the complaint.

 The defendant Board's second legal argument with regard to the statute of limitations has merit. Following a long line of cases, the Second circuit, in Chin v. Bowen, 833 F.2d 21 (2d Cir. 1987), determined that whether the plaintiff proceeds by a Bivens direct action under the Constitution or a Section 1983 action, a single statute of limitations of three years, pursuant to New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 214(5), is the applicable statute of limitations:

 "Both Bivens and section 1983 actions are designed to provide redress for constitutional violations. Though the two actions are not precisely parallel, there is a 'general trend in the appellate courts to incorporate § 1983 law into Bivens suits.' Ellis v. Blum, 643 F.2d 68, 84 (2d Cir.1981). . . . Accordingly, the Okure court's finding that section 1983 claims are most analogous to state claims covered by section 214(5) is strong authority for the application of that section to Bivens claims as well.

 . . . .

 We found that the three-year limitations period provided by section 214(5) is long enough to 'effectuate the policies embedded in section 1983,' and therefore does not discriminate against claims brought under section 1983. Id. at 48. Because the policies underlying Bivens actions are essentially the same as those underlying section 1983 actions, and the two actions share the same 'practicalities of litigation,' Burnett v. Grattan, 468 U.S. 42, 50, 104 S. Ct. 2924, 2930, 82 L. Ed. 2d 36 (1984), the application of section 214(5) to Bivens actions would not discriminate against the federal claims raised in such actions."

 Accordingly, only those acts which occurred within three years of July 22, 1985, the date of the filing of this complaint, can be considered with regard to the alleged constitutional violations.

 Bearing the above principles in mind, the Court will now review the testimony and exhibits introduced at the trial.

 THE TRIAL

 This opinion and order includes the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a) (see also Colonial Exchange Ltd. Partnership v. Continental Casualty, 923 F.2d 257 [2d Cir. 1991]).

 During this discussion, the Court will make findings of fact which will be supplemented by additional findings later in the opinion.

 The Plaintiff's Case

 JOHN LOMBARD, pro se, testified in narrative fashion. He is fifty-three years of age, received a BBA degree from St. John's University and has done graduate work in business, education and psychology. He possesses a New York City teacher's license in common branches, for elementary school from kindergarten through the sixth grade. Lombard also possesses a regular substitute teaching license in Distributive Education. He also is the holder of permanent New York State certification in nursery school, kindergarten through sixth grade in day elementary school, and seventh through ninth grade in Social Studies, commercial subjects, marketing and salesmanship.

 Lombard testified as to his teaching career with the Board, in chronological order, as follows:

 September 1, 1966 -- Assigned as substitute teacher on a long term regular assignment to P.S. 25K.

 October 1, 1966 -- By mutual agreement with the principals of P.S. 25K and P.S. 151Q he was transferred to P.S. 151Q without any break in service.

  1966/1967 School Year -- Rated satisfactory at the end of the school year.

 September 1, 1966 to September 1, 1969 -- This was his three year probationary period.

 September 1967 - June 1968 -- In P.S. 151Q he received a satisfactory rating.

 September 1968 - June 1969 -- In the third year of his probationary period he received an unsatisfactory rating from the same principal.

 March 27, 1969 -- Lombard received a letter from the principal with a statement of charges.

 June 1969 -- Lombard received a notice from Dr. Sidney Liebowitz that he was on forced leave of absence by reason of a mental illness. He was sent to Dr. Morris Eisenberg, a panel psychiatrist, who presented him with a written statement of charges, which he denied.

 September 1969 -- He was permitted to "sit" in school for ten days, with no notification as to his status.

 September 20, 1969 -- Lombard received a letter from District Superintendent Mary Halloran stating that his continued presence in the school would not be tolerated. According to Lombard, the school authorities threatened to use police force to put him out if he resisted.

 Subsequent to September 20, 1969 -- Lombard was found to be mentally unfit to teach in the schools after a panel of doctors examined him. He contends that he was never advised of this determination. In a letter from chancellor Donovan, Lombard was advised that he could not work in any city school and he was placed on a leave of absence.

 1970 -- Lombard was called to the Board and was interviewed for five minutes by Dr. Barbara Wright, a general practitioner. He was also referred to Dr. William Hezlich who did a cursory fifteen minute examination. He was notified that his medical leave was extended to the end of the school year in June 1970.

 September 1970 -- Norman Cagen, a Morris High School department head called Lombard in for an interview, told him he was highly recommended by the Board and wanted him to replace a sick teacher. Lombard worked at the high school until February 1971 and received a satisfactory rating. Lombard also received a call from Abraham Gordon of Taft High School who told him that he received high recommendations from the Board, and gave him a teaching job in the business math class. Lombard worked at Taft High School until May 1971. Dr. Gordon "observed" him at Taft High School and praised his work in a lengthy report.

 May 1971 - Lombard had to leave Taft High School because a letter was received from the Board stating that his file number or circular number indicated he could not continue to work at that school. A payroll clerk told Lombard that he was on the "Invalid List" and he could not be paid. The principal wrote him a letter in which she said she was ordered to immediately terminate his employment.

 Thereafter, Lombard managed to get occasional work in Manhattan schools, but he testified he was not being paid.

 March 1973 -- Lombard visited the Board to inquire as to why he was not being paid. He was told that he would be paid but he was not permitted to work in the schools.

 April 1974 -- Not being able to work as a teacher, Lombard obtained a retail liquor license. From April 1974 to July 1981, he operated a retail liquor store and also worked occasionally as a substitute teacher.

 November 15, 1977 -- Lombard's Section 1983 action was dismissed by Judge Platt.

 1971 to 1979 -- Lombard was told that his license was revoked and he was on the "Invalid List," and he could not teach. For example, in a letter dated May 23, 1973 from Gerald I. Brooks, Administrator, he was advised that "you hold no valid license and . . . no compensation can be given for those days you may have worked since it was illegal to do so" (Plf's Exh. 16).

 January 1980 -- For the first time, according to Lombard, he was told by Judge Platt that he had a valid license.

  1981 -- From this time on Lombard was permitted to work as a substitute teacher - on a limited basis. He testified that on December 24, 1987, one Stanley Sebastian, Director of the Central Registry Section, told him he was on the "Invalid List" and, in addition, made a racial slur.

 1987 - 1988 -- Lombard's substitute work dwindled. He received a letter from James T. Stein, Director of the Board Office of Appeals & Reviews, dated November 18, 1988, stating that "three additional complaints have been received from building principals for unsatisfactory service." He was asked to contact the office with three satisfactory references from other schools where he worked (Dft's Exh. G). After the Stein letter, he got no assignments whatsoever, because, although he answered the letter (see Plf's Exh. 15), he apparently did not respond to the "complaints."

 1990 -- After the Central Registry was dissolved, he again started doing substitute work on a limited basis.

 Lombard further testi fied that when he speaks to persons at the local school districts as to regular work, "they" say he had "troubles" and he was not hired for such work.

 On March 8, 1981, Debra Baines of District 25 told him "you don't have a license, it's not showing on my computer." In addition, a payroll secretary at Flushing High School told him that there was something wrong with his license and referred him to the Central Board.

 Testifying on August 27, 1991, Lombard stated that the last day he subbed was on June 14, 1991.

 Concluding his direct testimony, in narrative form, Lombard testified that he was being punished for being a whistle blower and he did not "have an opportunity to work from 1971 to the present time." On cross-examination, Lombard testified he did not recall the days he acted as a substitute teacher. The plaintiff offered a "Report on Teaching Services" dated November 2, 1973 (Plf's Exh. 20), which showed that from February 1971 to May 1971, the plaintiff served as a substitute teacher for 46 days. The defendant Board introduced a compilation of the days Lombard "served as a Per Diem Substitute Teacher in the New York City School System during the period from September 1978 to June 1988" (Dft's Exh. I), as follows: May 1979 to June 1979 6 days Sept. 1979 to June 1980 35 days Sept. 1980 to June 1981 75 days Sept. 1981 to June 1982 157 days Sept. 1982 to June 1983 49 days Sept. 1983 to June 1984 125 days Sept. 1984 to June 1985 134 days Sept. 1985 to June 1986 109 days Sept. 1986 to June 1987 119 days Sept. 1987 to June 1988 147 days Sept. 1988 to June 1989 27 days Sept. 1990 to June 1991 57 days

19920303

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