Judge: Mattituck Schools needs to reinstate Claudio

08/02/2013 3:55 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.

Four years after he last taught in the district, Anthony Claudio is getting his job back with the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District. 

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Mr. Claudio is to be reinstated into an appropriate position within the district. The ruling comes 10 months after a jury found the school district discriminated against the former special education teacher due to his age when it denied him tenure in 2009.

“The judge reinstated Anthony Claudio,” said his attorney, Frank Blangiardo of Cutchogue. “He’s back on the clock.”

News of his reinstatement was satisfying to the friends and family who stood by Mr. Claudio’s side during the lengthy court battle.

“The jury ruled and now the judge has ruled that Tony fought for what was right and he won,” said Barbara Smith, Mr. Claudio’s sister-in-law who testified on his behalf and is a teacher in the district. “I’m looking forward to working with him again.”

Superintendent James McKenna said Friday that “the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District will have no comment on this case until we have received a written judgment from the court.”

The eight-member jury had awarded the 50-year-old Mr. Claudio $70,000 in back pay at the conclusion of his trial before Judge Joseph Bianco in the Eastern District Court of New York last October.

Mr. Claudio alleged in his complaint, which was filed soon after he was terminated, that he was fired from a special education department where 28 of 30 employees were female and most were younger than 30.

Just last month, Judge Bianco denied the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District’s post-trial motion to overturn the jury’s verdict in the Claudio civil discrimination case and order a new trial request.

gparpan@timesreview.com

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