Complaint filed by former Superintendent Don Levinski alleged Manning lived outside his elected district and misused public funds

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FARMINGTON — A lawsuit filed by former Central Consolidated School District Superintendent Don Levinski against CCSD Board of Education President Randy Manning has been dismissed by a district judge.

Judge Daylene Marsh approved an order of dismissal with prejudice on Monday, according to court records.

Levinski alleged in the complaint that Manning was living outside his district and had misspent public funds.

Manning said in a telephone interview that it was about time the lawsuit was dismissed.

Eleanor K. Bratton, Levinski's attorney, filed the unopposed motion to dismiss on Friday, according to court records.

The motion was filed as part of the settlement process following the approval of a $110,000 buyout of Levinski's contract, Bratton said. The CCSD board voted unanimously to approve the buyout during a special meeting Friday in Shiprock.

Levinksi was on paid administrative leave during an Aug. 18, 2015, meeting, and board members then appointed Colleen Bowman as interim superintendent. She was selected as the district's superintendent during the Friday meeting.

Bratton said since Manning is not running for his school board seat during the Feb. 7 election, the issues raised in the case were moot.

The complaint filed on Nov. 8 alleged that Manning was living outside District 1, the district he represents, in a home in Farmington since April. It also alleged he had "misused public funds to engage in private, prurient activities" by visiting the Viewpoint, an adult entertainment business in Albuquerque, after attending a school board conference in June.

In Manning's motion to dismiss filed on Nov. 9 by his attorney Andrew Sanchez, Manning stated that Levinski was seeking to prevent the CCSD board members from conducting the discharge hearing.

Manning's motion also claimed the allegation by Levinski that Manning had visited The Viewpoint was an attempt by Levinski to force him out of office.

The lawsuit was one of three filed in district court by Levinski that have been dismissed, including a lawsuit against board member Ruthda Thomas and the board itself.

Levinski alleged that Thomas also did not live in her district in a complaint filed on Oct. 13. That case was dismissed on Nov. 23.

In a case filed on Nov. 7, Levinski sought a restraining order against the CCSD board that was dismissed on Dec. 13, according to court records.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

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