Tuesday, October 23, 2012
PERRYDALE -- The Perrydale School District has yet to receive official notice of being named in a civil lawsuit alleging it neglected to report or investigate an incident of alleged sex abuse that may have occurred in 2008-09.
Perrydale was named in the suit that was filed in Wasco County on Sept. 28. It alleges Angela Lindell, a volunteer girls basketball coach in 2008-09, was accused at the time of an inappropriate relationship with a male student and the district did not investigate or report Lindell's actions.
The complaint further alleges that the failure to report Lindell to state authorities gave her the opportunity to later work in the Dufur School District, where similar incidents occurred.
A small group of parents attended Perrydale's School Board meeting Thursday, but only one person inquired about the lawsuit, asking whether the school was being investigated regarding mandatory reporting requirements.
Board Chairman John Cruickshank Jr. said the board would not be able to answer the question.
"We have not received anything on the lawsuit," he said. "We haven't seen anything on it. We don't know anything until there's something actually presented."
Jens Jensen, the Special Districts Association of Oregon property casualty manager, said via email Monday the plaintiff has 60 days from the date the suit was filed to serve the defendants. He said there isn't much the district can do until that happens. An investigation will be conducted if the district is served, Jensen said. The SDAO is Perrydale's claims administrator.
In April, Lindell pleaded guilty in Wasco County Circuit Court to sexual harassment charges and one count of contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor for having sex with three boys attending Dufur High School. She was sentenced to five years of probation and is required to register as a sex offender.
The suit is seeking $3.6 million in noneconomic damages -- $1.8 million each from Perrydale and Dufur school districts -- and $200,000 in economic damages. Dufur is accused of not performing a thorough background check on Lindell before allowing her to coach.
In other business, the board:
* Voted to stay within the Willamette Education Service District. Superintendent Robin Stoutt said, given the district's limited resources, it wouldn't be able to contract for the same services it receives through WESD for the same cost.