Frederick K. Brewington of the Law Offices of Frederick K. Brewington has announced that the New York State Commissioner of Education has upheld an appeal he filed on behalf of his client, Maribel Touré. The Commissioner’s Office has refused to acknowledge Betty Cross as the winner of the Hempstead School Board Trustee election, which was held on May 20, and ordered the Hempstead School District to hold a special election to fill the elected position.
On May 21, the day after the school board elections, the Hempstead School District quickly called a meeting — without notifying district residents in advance — to inspect the absentee ballots. Twenty-one ballots were counted in favor of Ms. Cross and six were counted in favor of Ms. Touré, and the board announced that Ms. Cross won re-election, beating the challenger, Ms. Touré. On June 12, Ms. Touré filed a petition challenging the results and alleging Election Fraud, Abuse of Absentee Ballots and other improprieties, which impacted the recent School Board Election.
The Commissioner of Education ruled on July 20 that Ms. Cross must step down. The Hempstead School District filed a petition with the Commissioner’s Office, claiming there was no evidence of wrongdoing during the election and that Ms. Cross could keep her seat. On August 28, the Commissioner’s Office upheld Ms. Touré’s appeal and ruled that the school district cannot allow Ms. Cross to be declared the winner. In addition, the district was ordered by the Commissioner of Education to hold a special election for the vacant board seat.
“The Education Commissioner’s decision is a victory for the voters and the children of the Hempstead School District,” Mr. Brewington said. “The Commissioner found it necessary to reject the Respondents’ answer due to serious procedural flaws. Also, this was not a decision which is common for the Commissioner, but was necessary due to the extreme level of abuses proven by the appeal.”