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Kenwood School District to examine whether it has money to pay judgment


KENWOOD, Okla. (AP) -- The Kenwood school board will hold a meeting Wednesday to evaluate whether it has enough federal money to pay off a $210,500 lawsuit judgment for a former superintendent.

Meanwhile, the board waits for an opinion from the attorney general's office on whether it can even use the Impact Aid to Indian Children money to pay off the debt. That opinion will go before the attorney general's counsel for review on Wednesday, officials said.

If the district can't use the money, the solution would likely be the quintupling of property taxes for about 130 Kenwood residents -- which some said would cause them to leave the area.

The tax levy is to go before the Delaware County Excise Board on Friday.

Former superintendent Garland Lane successfully sued the school district for his 1994 firing, which he attributed to former board members who had lost confidence in him.

Insurance paid $120,000 of the $321,500 judgment, but $210,500 plus 10 percent interest remains outstanding.

Mark Rains, attorney for the former school board, said officials from the National Union Insurance Co., said the district's $1 million insurance policy at the time of the firing didn't cover lost wages. He said the district was lucky to get $120,000 from the insurance company.

Current Kenwood Superintendent Kenneth Limore, who took over in 1998, said the district was forced to add the settlement to its 2001 budget because Lane won his appeal on May 24 in the 10th U.S.

Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

Kenwood School averages between 125 to 130 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The town is located about 12 miles west of Jay.

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