October 24, 2021

D-R School District Files Counterclaims Against Rehoboth 

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Attorneys for the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District have filed seven counterclaims against the Town of Rehoboth in response to a lawsuit filed last month in the Superior Court of Massachusetts. The seven count civil lawsuit named the School District, the School Committee, and other “potentially responsible persons and entities” which were not named.

In Tuesday’s court filing, attorneys for the School District stated Rehoboth “knowingly, maliciously, and falsely alleged” that the district is in default of the TD Equipment Finance, Inc. May 2016 contract, Rehoboth has tortiously interfered with the August 2017 contract between the District and Bank of America, and as a result of “Rehoboth’s intentional, malicious interference with the District’s contract, the District has suffered harm.”

The filing also noted: “The foregoing conduct of the town of Rehoboth constitutes malicious prosecution, which resulted in the District and School Committee suffering “serious and substantial injury and loss, including loss of reputation, indignity, inconvenience and expenditure of time in defending litigation, attorney’s fees, and costs incurred in defending the action, and deliberately undermining confidence of a public system. The allegations made by Rehoboth against the District and/or School Committee are deliberately misconstrued, missing material facts, false, and have caused no actual injury to Rehoboth.”

In addition, the attorneys requested a declaratory judgment stating the court has “no authority or jurisdiction to de-regionalize the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District.”

“I believe the counterclaims speak for themselves and I wholeheartedly agree with them, Dighton-Rehoboth School Superintendent Anthony Azar said via email Wednesday. “It’s unfortunate that the Town of Rehoboth has taken this path again which will cost the school district (taxpayers) and the municipality (taxpayers) thousands of dollars to litigate.”

The Reporter reached out to attorney Eric Brainsky, who is representing the Town of Rehoboth. “Knowing the case and having seen the district’s records I cannot fathom that any counterclaim alleged will be meritorious,” Brainsky said. “We will vigorously defend any claims pursued." 

The lawsuit alleges the Regional School District and School Committee violated the terms of its regional agreement with the Town by undertaking and funding two capital projects costing $15 million which occurred without the approval of Town Meeting. Those funds were used for the purchase and installation of solar arrays and heating and air conditioning in and on the grounds of various schools operated by the district. In addition, the lawsuit alleged the District committed fraud and breached its' fiduciary obligations owed to the citizens and taxpayers of Rehoboth.

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