Judge denies Mattituck’s new trial request in Claudio case

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07/24/2013 3:40 PM |
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Former Mattituck teacher Anthony Claudio leaving court during the trial last fall.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Former Mattituck teacher Anthony Claudio leaving court during the trial last fall.

A federal judge on Wednesday denied the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District’s post-trial motion to overturn the jury’s verdict in the Anthony Claudio civil discrimination case and order a new trial request. 

The school district’s attorney, Jeltje DeJong of Smithtown, had submitted a motion to overturn the jury’s Oct. 22 verdict based on her belief that Mr. Claudio’s attorney made numerous accusations without providing proof that the district committed fraud in denying him tenure. Ms. DeJong also asked for a new trial if the court failed to overturn the verdict.

Attorney Frank Blangiardo of Cutchogue, who represents Mr. Claudio, made a post-trial motion to have the district reinstate his client or pay him front pay — what he might have earned in the time since his dismissal — and lost benefits. The motion also sought attorneys’ fees.

U. S. District Court Judge Joseph Bianco stated in his ruling issued at 1 p.m. Wednesday that he needs more information before making a decision on the reinstatement request. The judge is expected to have a conference call with both attorney’s Tuesday.

Mr. Claudio, who was 47 at the time of his termination, was awarded $70,000 in back pay after an eight-member jury found the school district had discriminated against him based on his age when it denied him tenure in 2009. The jury did not find Mr. Claudio was discriminated against based on his gender.

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