NASHUA -- A private mediator will be used in an effort to resolve a civil lawsuit brought forward by a former school board member against Superintendent Jahmal Mosley.
It has been eight months since George Farrington, former president of the Board of Education, filed a lawsuit against the city, Mosley and officer Jaime Abrams of the Nashua Police Department after Mosley had a no-trespass order issued that prevented Farrington from entering the school administrative offices on Ledge Street for one year.
Although a court hearing was set to take place last month, it has been postponed since mediation is set to begin next week.
“After ongoing discussions concerning a path towards resolution, the parties have agreed to mediate the claims with a private mediator,” according to court records.
Attorney Richard Lehmann, legal counsel for Farrington, said this week the mediation was not mandated by the court but was agreed to by both sides.
“These things take time. My client has had his reputation attacked in a very public way and we are looking forward to having it resolved,” said Lehmann.
The lawsuit was initiated after a March 29, 2018, incident at the school district’s central office at 141 Ledge St. On that day, Mosley contacted police, stating that Farrington was at his office and “being disorderly,” according to a police report filed by Abrams.
Farrington was at the office to pick up requested documents, at which time he received permission from a receptionist to visit a friend in the back office who was retiring.
“George began to walk back to the office when he was stopped by Dr. Mosley. George stated Dr. Mosley became very upset and demanded he leave,” says the report, adding Farrington insisted that it was a public building and refused to leave.
Four police officers responded to the incident. Mosley told police that when Farrington left the lobby area and entered the superintendent’s suite, it was “creating an unsafe working environment for the employees within the building.”
Three months after Mosley had the no-trespass order issued against Farrington, Farrington sued Mosley for $1.5 million for alleged civil rights violations.
Farrington’s lawsuit maintains that Mosley’s actions amounted to retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights and abuse of process while denying him due process. The lawsuit names the city, Mosley and Abrams as defendants.
The city’s attorney has filed a motion to dismiss the case on behalf of the police officer only; a hearing on that motion was scheduled for last week but was continued.
“The parties believe postponing the hearing will be in the best interest of the parties, as well as conserving judicial resources,” say court records. “The parties will notify the court of the outcome of the mediation and whether the hearing will need to be held thereafter.”