Actions sought against Niles board president
WARREN — The plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against Niles City Schools have asked the court to order a psychological evaluation and issue an emergency protection order against school board president Susan Giannetti Longacre, according to a motion filed in the suit.
Christopher Chieffo, 45, was terminated Jan. 18 by the Board of Education after being accused of using sick time while he was coaching boys golf for Howland Local Schools during an October tournament. He and his wife Abbey, still a teacher in the district, filed suit Feb. 5 against the district, Board of Education and others seeking $4 million in damages.
The motion, which reiterates accusations that Longacre sent vulgar text messages to the Chieffos on their wedding night, now accuses Longacre of hugging Christopher Chieffo’s son and asking him questions about his father’s court-ordered custody agreement made during a divorce from a previous marriage, the motion states.
The hug and questioning occured while Christopher Chieffo’s son was in the school cafetria having lunch and sitting with two friends, the motion states.
“The plaintiffs view Longacre’s behavior as utterly bizarre, troubling, and disconcerting,” the motion states. “Plaintiff Christopher Chieffo cannot fathom a reasonable nor rational explanation for Longacre to think that hugging his child is acceptable nor authorized.”
Longacre declined to comment on the motion filed in the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas. She said she has not received it.
The Chieffos are represented by attorney Kelly Newbrough, a former Niles McKinley High School math teacher who was suspended for 10 days in 2010 after being accused of threatening a student, which he claims was a false accusation. Newbrough, who previously worked with the Chieffos as a teacher, said he resigned from the district on his own accord in order to pursue a law degree.
The motion asks that the psychological evaluation be paid for by Niles City Schools.