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Restraining order request against board denied

Noel Lyn Smith
nsmith@daily-times.com

FARMINGTON – A district court judge has denied an application for a temporary restraining order that attempted to stop today's discharge hearing for Central Consolidated School District Superintendent Don Levinski.

Central Consolidated School District Secretary Christina J. Aspaas, left, and board member Ruthda Thomas prepare for a hearing for Superintendent Don Levinski Thursday in the Central Consolidated School District boardroom in Shiprock.

Levinski filed the application against the CCSD Board of Education on Monday in the 11th Judicial District Court.

It was denied today by Judge Sandra Price. But in her written order, Price granted a hearing for a complaint that Levinski filed on Monday.

Levinski's attorney, Eleanor K. Bratton, said in a telephone interview this evening the complaint seeks to have the board stop the discharge hearing until the district court determines the outcome of two petitions her client filed against board member Ruthda Thomas and board President Randy Manning. She said she did not know the date of the hearing Price set for the complaint Levinski filed earlier this week.

Levinski, who has been on paid administrative leave since last August, filed a complaint against Thomas last month alleging she does not live in the area she represents on the board.

Bratton said the second complaint alleges Manning no longer lives in Kirtland, the area he represents on the board, and that he misused public funding.

News about the judge's decision reached board members while they were continuing Levinski's discharge hearing in executive session in the district's board room in Shiprock.

Attorney Eleanor K. Bratton and embattled Central Consolidated School District Superintendent Don Levinski prepare for Levinski's discharge hearing Thursday in the Central Consolidated School District boardroom in Shiprock.

After the eight-hour, closed-door session, Manning and Thomas, along with Vice President Adam Begaye and Secretary Christina J. Aspaas, voted in favor of continuing the hearing on Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19.

Member Charlie Jones Jr. did not attend today's session.

Andrew Sanchez, the attorney representing the school board but not presenting the case, said in an interview after the hearing that the board heard testimony from one witness, and it is possible the matter could continue into December.

Paralegal Brian Forde, left, and Attorney Sam Adams, the administrative counsel for the Central Consolidated School District board, prepare for a discharge hearing for Superintendent Don Levinski Thursday in the Central Consolidated School District boardroom in Shiprock.

"Obviously, these are important witnesses, and it takes time," Sanchez said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.