Quinn Law Firm drops PENNCREST School District

By Brennen McWright, editor in chief

PENNCREST School Board and George Joseph, PENNCREST’s ex-solicitor and an attorney at Quinn Law Firm, have parted ways after a disagreement on the legality of the recently passed revisions to Policy 109.2. Joseph sent his letter of resignation to PENNCREST School Board President Luigi DeFrancesco on Jan. 20.

“An attorney and solicitor for a school district has an obligation to represent the interests of the District zealously within the bounds of the law,” Joseph said in his letter. “Recent actions by the Board have highlighted a fundamental disagreement by a majority of the Board with the legal analysis and opinions of our office and, in our analysis, significantly compromised our ability to provide legal ongoing services to the District and the existing School Board.”

Joseph cited the Board’s ignoring his legal advice as a primary factor for his resignation.

“Most notably, I recently rendered a legal opinion highlighting a number of concerns regarding proposed changes to Policies 109.2 and 123,” Joseph said. “The Board chose not to take my advice. Given my legal opinion, I am constrained to conclude that this firm would not be in a position to zealously represent the District’s position in any anticipated litigation.”

Joseph also noted that this was not the only time that the Board had chosen to disregard his advice.

“There have been several such instances,” Joseph said. “That is, of course, the Board’s choice. As I said to you previously, I render legal advice, but the Board is not obligated to take it.”

Joseph noted that he understands that disagreements with his opinion are a part of the job. However, he draws the line at insults towards his legal judgment.

“When I was informed that*, at the Jan. 9, 2023 public work session, one Board member referred to my legal opinion on the policies as ‘a joke… not even legal’ and another said that the opinion was ‘worthless,’ that was unconscionable to me,” Joseph wrote. “While Board members may disagree with my opinions, I cannot ignore a statement impugning my reputation as a member of the legal community in a public forum, especially where there is no practical opportunity for me or my partner to respond.”

Joseph’s resignation has left the School Board with no solicitor. Board member David Valesky, who chairs the policy committee and made some of the comments to which Joseph objected, shared his thoughts about what type of representation the district should seek moving forward.

“Personally, I’d like to find a local solicitor that upholds the Constitution and values our nation were founded on,” Valesky said. “It’s very important that the Board and solicitor can work together.”

Both DeFrancesco and Superintendent Tim Glasspool said that the district will begin searching for a new solicitor in the near future.

“I was disappointed that Mr. George decided to resign,” DeFrancesco said. “A solicitor is a necessary asset.”

Joseph has declined to comment on his resignation as of press time.

*Fellow Quinn Law Firm attorney Art Martinucci served as a substitute at the Jan. 9 meeting and Jan. 12 meetings.

3 thoughts on “Quinn Law Firm drops PENNCREST School District

  1. How unfortunate that was once a school district that was marveled as one of the best, is now the laughing stock of our area.


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