Hearing again postponed for 'leftist lie' principal
A public hearing for Northeastern Principal Scott D'Orazio — who is facing dismissal for a controversial post about the Black Lives Matter movement — was again postponed.
On Monday night, district officials released a statement that said the livestreamed hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday had been postponed. But the statement offered little explanation for the delay.
"The hearing has been postponed until further notice. The livestream link for the rescheduled hearing will be made available at that time," according to the statement.
Superintendent Stacey Sidle had recommended D'Orazio's firing after he reposted a video on Facebook that called the Black Lives Matter movement a "leftist lie." D'Orazio's post was shared on a Twitter account on June 4, amid nationwide protests over the May 25 death of George Floyd under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer.
Repeated efforts to get in touch with the district's solicitor seeking the reasons for the postponement were unsuccessful. But George Margetas, one of two attorneys for D'Orazio, confirmed the case was still moving forward.
"All parties involved have agreed to continue this out to a later date," he said, when reached Monday.
D'Orazio's attorneys have argued that his post was protected speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
It's the second time an expected date for the hearing was delayed. A hearing was first planned for July but was pushed back to September because of scheduling issues, including navigating COVID-19 restrictions and the reopening of schools.
The hearing would determine D'Orazio's employment status with a board vote, district solicitor William J. Zee said back in June.
D'Orazio had requested that the hearing be public so he would also have the opportunity to speak on the issue, as he has been prohibited from doing so by the district thus far.
"Mr. D'Orazio still is looking forward to saying his side of the story and clearing the air as to the misconception of what was posted on his Facebook page," Margetas said.