Hearing set in Zherka suit vs. Manhattan ADA

U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel has set a hearing date of Nov. 20 in newspaper publisher/strip club owner Sam Zherka’s lawsuit against a Manhattan assistant district attorney named Matthew Bogdanos on motions to dismiss the lawsuit. Zherka claims that Bogdanos launched a criminal probe of the owner of the Westchester Guardian at the behest of Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore because of unflattering pieces about DiFiore and her husband Dennis Glazer that were published in the paper. Bogadanos denies the claim as have DiFiore and her husband.

Bogdanos claims in court papers filed in federal court in White Plains that he has never met DiFiore or Glazer. But Dhyalma Vazquez, secretary of Westchester’s Independence Party, said in a sworn affidavit that she met Bogdanos at DiFiore’s house during a campaign event during her first campaign for district attorney in 2005. DiFiore, Glazer, and Bogdanos have all submitted sworn affidavits saying that’s a lie.

What’s not a lie is that there was a criminal probe by the Manhattan district attorney’s office in 2006 connected to Zherka. Bogdanos has submitted court papers regarding wiretaps approved by a state court for three numbers connected to Zherka, his business, and a business associate named Genaro Morales in the spring of 2006.

No criminal charges have ever filed against Zherka, who lives in Katonah, in connection with that probe.

Judge says “Olvídalo!” to school lawsuit

Brace yourself for this one:

A state judge has rendered a decision in a lawsuit filed by the father of a New Rochelle High School student over a confrontation his daughter had with her Spanish teacher in October 2005.

According to court papers, the teacher approached the girl during class and told her she had to leave because she flunked Spanish 2. The teacher told her this in front of other students and ordered her to turn in her textbook and go to the counselor’s office. The girl argued that she passed the earlier class, and the teacher said that was a lie.

The girl’s father, an attorney, sued for emotional distress, and here’s what he wrote:

“It is clear that the conduct of the teacher … was so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community, certainly in a student/teacher relationship.”

Telling a kid to leave the classroom now qualifies as outrageous, extreme and atrocious? Really?

The school district fired back, saying the girl was never teased about the incident, never sought counseling or treatment and — this is my favorite — stayed with the teacher and passed the Spanish 3 class.

The father continued:

“The actions here were between an adult who was in a position of power, authority and influence over this child. Her words must be seen as more than just insults. This occurred at the hands of a teacher in what was to be a safe and nurturing school classroom to a young 14 year old girl in front of her friends during class for no rational reason whatsoever.”

O.K. So maybe the teacher should have told her to leave before class began, or waited until after everyone left. But does this rise to the level of a civil suit?

State Supreme Court Justice Francis Nicolai had the answer: No. While the remarks may have been inappropriate, he said, they were not “utterly intolerable in a civilized community” and he dismissed the complaint last week.

Olvídalo, for you non-Spanish speakers, is the equivalent of fuggedaboudit. I’m sure the student in question already knows this. She passed Spanish 4, according to the court papers.