The city’s school district spent $45,500 fighting a contract dispute lawsuit after failing to pay a vendor for special education services.
School officials could have settled the lawsuit last year, when the vendor, Kid Clan Services, offered to settle the case for $600,000. However, the district bungled the offer and did not settle the case.
Between the vendor’s and the district’s offers, the school system has been racking up legal fees. Half of the $45,500 was racked up after the vendor offered (Jul. 16, 2018) to settle the case, according to invoices released in response to a records request.
“Why didn’t we settle there? I have many questions on it,” said school board member Emanuel Capers. “It sounds like it was a waste.”
The school district’s spokesman, Paul Brubaker, did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
“At one time, we were going to do a settlement, but one side pulled out,” said school board vice president Nakima Redmon.
The settlement offer was pulled by the vendor late last year after the district took too long to settle, according to court records.
The lawsuit stemmed from the district’s failure to pay Kid Clan Services of Clifton for services rendered. The firm was contracted to provide speech, occupational, physical, and behavioral therapies to special education students at 54 schools for the 2016-17 school year.
785 students relied on services provided by the company, according to court documents. Hundreds of students were left without state mandated services after the district’s ill-conceived move to halt payments to Kid Clan Services.
The provider made repeated attempts for payments. After notifying the district, it was forced to stop providing services on Feb. 7, 2017.
School officials claimed the vendor was inflating its bills. The company has argued in court filings the district made extraordinary demands that expanded scope of services.
Kid Clan Services claims the district owes it $738,149.
The case is scheduled for trial next week.