Pereira Threatens to Sue Bridgeport While Baraka Threatens to Sue Me

The chairwoman of the Bridgeport Board of Education does not want you to know that former Bridgeport Board of Education member and former Working Families Party boss Maria Pereira is threatening to sue the City of Bridgeport.

Baraka went so far as to threaten me with a lawsuit if I reported on another threat of legal action — I have chosen to defy her attempt at intimidation because I feel it is my responsibility as a member of the community to do so.

It is also my right, under the U.S. Constitution, and I intend to exercise that right. And so, once more unto the breach…

As readers of this blog may already be aware, the Bridgeport Board of Education voted to “explore” legal action against the city if a Minimum Budget Requirement was not met in a manner the board approved.

One of biggest points of contention is that several in-kind services have been included in the Minimum Budget Requirement.

The board’s Finance Committee isn’t happy with these additions because it lowers the city’s monetary commitment, and they claim it could have a negative effect on future budgets.

Despite this, the board’s Finance Committee reluctantly voted to recommend the approval of in-kind services as part of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 budgets. Had they not, the district could lose $1.2 million in state grant funding, funding that is reliant on the board and city coming to an agreement by the end of this legislative session (May 7th 2014).

The board weren’t the only ones upset: after the meeting, Pereira walked up to Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz and Chairwoman Sauda Baraka and angrily informed them that if the full board approves these budgets, she would seek legal action against the city.

Title or no title, it’s clear Pereira still thinks she calls the shots.

Following this revelation, Baraka, who had seen me filming her speaking to Rabinowitz, informed me that she would seek legal counsel if I reported on the events after the meeting.

For the record, Baraka, a public official, was trying to prevent me from reporting on a conversation in a public place after a public meeting she knew I was recording.



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