LEWISTON – Three lawsuits filed by former Lewiston-Porter Central School Board of Education member Edward M. Lilly have been dismissed in recent weeks by federal judges in Buffalo, although a judge left an opening for one of the cases to be continued if Lilly and his attorney correct some errors.
Lilly is appealing the other two rulings to the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City.
In one case, Lilly sued the school district and his former Board of Education colleagues, asserting that his civil rights were violated by their 2007 effort to kick him off the board for official misconduct.
In another case, Lilly sued the Town of Lewiston and town Police Officer Lauren Campbell for allegedly filing a false incident report in 2009, when he was named as a suspect in a police report regarding the delivery of a giveaway newspaper called The Vanguard to a resident who didn’t want it in her mailbox.
The third case saw Lilly sue Campbell’s husband, State Trooper Ben Campbell, over alleged harassment in 2008 and 2009, in the wake of a November 2007 incident in which Campbell gave Lilly’s mother-in-law three traffic tickets. The State Police also were named in the suit.
Lilly and fellow trustee Scott A. Stepien were kicked off the Lew-Port board by their colleagues June 30, 2007, after years of acrimony. The stated reason was that they had failed to sign up for a state-mandated financial training course. However, then-Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills reinstated them in March 2008, noting that the deadline to sign up for the course hadn’t expired when the two trustees were ousted.
Lilly and Stepien filed similar lawsuits against the district. Stepien’s case was dismissed by Judge Richard J. Arcara in 2010, and in June 2011 the 2nd Circuit upheld that decision.
Judge William M. Skretny made some use of the 2nd Circuit’s Stepien decision in throwing out Lilly’s case. But the main reason for the summary judgment ruling against Lilly was that he could produce no evidence that then-School Board President David Schaubert somehow interfered with Lilly’s efforts to register for the financial training course.
That was the only issue left in the suit against the district after Skretny threw out the rest of the case in December 2011.
In the Lauren Campbell case, Lilly claimed that he was falsely accused of littering in 2009 because the woman who objected to what she called “fake newspapers” never identified him as the delivery man. However, the suit wasn’t filed until January of this year, and Arcara cited a three-year statute of limitations as a reason for dismissing the case.
In the Ben Campbell case, filed in 2011, some of the claims by Lilly and his mother-in-law, Joanne Smith, also fell victim to the statue of limitations. However, Arcara said Lilly might have a chance to replead some of his claims against Ben Campbell if he and attorney Richard H. Wyssling use a different section of federal law as the basis for their complaint.
Wyssling did not return calls seeking comment last week.