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July 11, 2014

73 signers’ bid to topple Kroh at M-W flops

MIDDLEBURG — A Snyder County judge has dismissed a petition to remove Nancy Kroh as a Midd-West school board director because complainants failed to show she refused or neglected to perform mandated duties under the school code.

Wednesday’s decision by President Judge Michael Hudock was his second within a month rejecting bids to oust Midd-West directors.

Hudock on June 18 threw out separate petitions to remove elected Midd-West school board members Victor Abate and Ronald Wilson. Hudock issued two separate orders dismissing the petitions filed by Mount Pleasant Mills resident Jenn Arbogast and endorsed by about 300 residents to remove Abate, the board president, and Wilson, a director, for neglect of duty.

Hudock tossed the petitions after sustaining Abate and Wilson’s preliminary objections to the claims based on Arbogast’s failure to verify by oath or affirmation at least three of the taxpayers who signed the petition.

Kroh, whose term expires in November 2015, was fighting a petition filed by Middleburg resident Kenneth Keister and endorsed by 72 other district residents who sought her removal on the grounds she committed six violations, including withholding financial information from the board and misleading directors into supporting an expensive building project.

In court Wednesday, Kroh formally objected to claims that she was neglectful in her duty as a former school board president and current director.

“I know that as president, I did the job to the best of my ability,” she said Thursday night.

In his official court order, Hudock wrote, “Petitioners shall have 45 days from today (July 9) to file a second amended petition for removal that would include more specific information concerning Ms. Kroh’s refusal or neglect to perform mandated duties under the school code.”

Said Kroh: “As of now, I feel vindicated, I feel a great relief. I’m thankful that it’s over. I’m exonerated, with the caveat that the petitioners have 45 days to re-file, but they must have proof of criminal action or failure to perform required duties. It cannot be about the fact that they don’t like me. I guess it is a victory. At least, people tell me it is.”

Kroh was represented in court by Mark Clouser, of the Marshall Dennehy law firm, Camp Hill.

Clouser, contacted late Thursday afternoon, said that his firm did not want him to comment on the decision.

 

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