Court Filing asks for "MOTION FOR SANCTIONS, REFERRAL TO THE PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND REFERRAL TO THE ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE"

 

Ardmore, Lower Township, PA —  A case first filed against the Lower Merion School District in 2016 has been on a slow, arduous pace with roadblocks being thrown up by both the parties.  In Wolk's lawsuit, not only do the plaintiffs seek damages in excess of $55 million, but they also wanted an appointment of a trustee to undertake the responsibilities of the school district's board members.

The taxpayers are curiously observing the case that has already been to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court once on procedural reasons.  Both sides have received significant setbacks in the Class Action Lawsuit while residents of Lower Merion and Narberth wonder if they will get a massive refund.

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"As the Auditor General's Report shows, the District and its attorneys have outright lied to the PDE (Pennsylvania Department of Education), to the Auditor General, to the public, to the Court below, to this Court and to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court," Wolk's May 30 filing states. The filing asks for sanctions of the defense counsel and goes on to compare the Lower Merion School district to a corrupt Organization.

""As set forth more fully in Appellees' Memorandum of Law, the Lower Merion School District has conducted itself as a corrupt organization and has committed various offenses that are defined as "racketeering activities," and this Court should sanction their conduct here," states Wolk's filing   

 Arthur Alan Wolk, Esq. is not only the lead attorney for the plaintiff's case, but he is also the original plaintiff who lives in Gladwyne. Wolk initially cried foul when the Lower Merion School District raised its taxes more than 2.4%, and he filed suit in 2016 insisting they falsified finances to raise taxes without voter approval.

Between 2015-2017, Lower Merion raised its taxes more than 2.4%. The state law, which is known as “Act 1,” states school districts are not allowed to raise taxes by more than 2.4% without special permissions. They can only receive this approval from voters or through a special state waiver.

To receive the state waiver, the school district must prove that they are in dire need of the extra financial support from taxpayers. Wolk argues that the Lower Merion School District had distorted its financial statements in order to obtain the state waiver.

The suit alleges that the school district regularly predicts deficit spending and yet at the end of each fiscal year, the school district ends up with a surplus.

 

In April 2019, the School District asked the Court to dismiss an injunction levied against them or remove Judge Joseph A. Smyth, who ordered  that the "Lower Merion School District is hereby enjoined from enforcing or collecting a tax increase for the fiscal year 2016-17 of over 2.4% more than was in effect for the prior fiscal year."

In February 2016, Wolk and other residents of Lower Merion filed a class action lawsuit against the Lower Merion School District which contained grievances about "proliferate spending and tax increases."

Procedural portions of the case have already been to The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court where the District won a right to appeal a ruling that went against them.

Lower Merion is known to be one of Pennsylvania’s wealthiest regions. The taxpayers are now curiously observing the unraveling of the lawsuit wondering if they will get a massive refund.

TAPinto is reviewing the recent filing and more information will be provided.  This is an ongoing story.

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