COLUMBUS — Legal wrangling continues in the federal civil suit suspended Mount Vernon Middle School science teacher John Freshwater filed against the Mount Vernon City Schools Board of Education and others.
The school board, in July, filed a motion with the U.S. District Court to compel Freshwater to provide specific documents and materials related to the case, and also requested sanctions against Freshwater and his attorney Kelly Hamilton for not providing information in a timely manner.
On Aug. 3, Freshwater and Hamilton responded to the court with a memorandum of opposition claiming they had done all they could to meet the discovery deadlines and just didn’t have the time necessary to compile all the data.
The school board filed a reply with the court on Aug. 17, stating “Mr. Hamilton could have easily notified the court or opposing counsel of his time issues before it got to this point. He did not. Therefore defendants’ motion to compel should be granted and plaintiffs’ request for an extension of time should be denied.”
The reply alleges the brief in opposition “demonstrates their [Freshwater’s] counsel’s unwillingness to follow discovery rules” and, listing examples, adds that the discovery responses received were “non-responsive at worst and inadequate at best.”
It also asserts Freshwater does not dispute his responses were inadequate or evasive and does not dispute the assertion his responses were inadequate: “Plaintiffs chose not to dispute the Defendants’ assertions because they cannot do so in good faith.” According to the document, Hamilton is the cause for the delays and inadequate responses.
Because Hamilton “controlled the disposition of his clients’ discovery responses,” the school board wants the court to order Hamilton to pay the expenses the board incurred as a result of Hamilton’s “contumacious conduct.”