NIAGARA FALLS – A long-standing lawsuit between the city School District and its former supplier of a computer program for school management and payroll systems has been settled with no money changing hands between the two parties.
The supplier, CrossPointe Schools Online of Orlando, Fla., issued a prepared announcement recently: “The stipulation in U.S. District Court in Buffalo means that the School District withdrew all its allegations about CrossPointe’s software and professional capabilities.”
School Superintendant Cynthia A. Bianco referred questions about the settlement to the district’s attorneys, Angelo Massaro and James C. Roscetti. Both of them confirmed that the case has been dropped, but neither of them gave any details.
Roscetti said withdrawal of the lawsuit “was the most prudent thing to do, both timewise and moneywise.”
CrossPointe said the school district selected its information software system in September 2004.
“Throughout 2005, 2006 and part of 2007, CrossPointe supplied software, instructions, training, modifications and updates,” the company said.
It said Darlene Sprague, the school administrator for information services, told the company in 2007 that it should perform no further work, and the district sued for a refund in December 2007.
“But when new board leadership took office and a new superintendent was selected, the district officially dropped the lawsuit,” according to the CrossPointe statement.
It quoted Sprague as saying in a deposition that CrossPointe chief executive officer Joan Keebler “was always friendly and she wanted her software to be successful.”
Keebler said, “We want to extend our thanks to the new superintendent and School Board members in Niagara Falls for taking a fresh look at this matter. We know the Falls district faced other issues at the time, and we unfortunately got caught up in local politics.” The CEO’s statement did not provide details about the “other issues” nor the “local politics.”
CrossPointe said school districts throughout the nation use its software, “and the payroll systems in small and large districts processed more than $300 billion worth of paychecks since 1979 without a major payroll issue. CrossPointe handles districts from 2,500 students to 200,000 students – 3 million in all –in 13 states. … The software has worked in production perfectly since 1979; in 33 years of business, no other district had ever sued CrossPointe for anything.”
The Niagara Falls School District serves about 7,140 students.
CrossPointe was represented by Michael W. Marcil of the Gunster Law Firm of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Heath J. Szymczak of Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel in Buffalo.