Remaining portion of Conway family lawsuit is dropped
MANCHESTER — The Conway family has dropped the remaining portion of a lawsuit it filed last year against Manchester schools and school officials over supposed bullying and retaliation directed against their two daughters.
The Conway decision ends claims against the sole remaining defendant, former Board of School Committee member Joe Briggs, according to Briggs’ lawyer, Joe Kelly Levasseur.
“There’s nothing there; there never was anything there,” said Briggs, who resigned his seat late last year and moved to Georgia.
A telephone message and e-mail left with John P. Sherman, the Portsmouth lawyer representing Michael and Constantina Conway, was not returned Monday.
Last year, a Hillsborough County Superior Court judge had thrown out most of the Conway suit. The couple had claimed that their daughters, star track athletes at Central High School, were subject to bullying and retaliation after the parents complained about girls’ track coach Kelly Fox.
The judge allowed the suit to proceed against Briggs, whom the Conways claim defamed them during a school board meeting.
“My understanding is they just didn’t want to go forward,” Levasseur said on Monday. The Manchester lawyer, who is also an at-large alderman, had called for a hearing under a state law that allows for an elected official to collect legal fees if a judge determines a claim against an official lacks merit.
The hearing had been scheduled for later this month.
The Manchester school district has agreed to pay Briggs’ legal bills. Levasseur said he will bill the district $13,500, but accept $12,000 if the bill is paid in 10 days.
Briggs said he did suffer some costs. The case weighed on him mentally and emotionally. And he disclosed the suit when he applied for a mortgage, which meant a higher interest rate.
Briggs said he requested his company to transfer him to Georgia so his children could get a better education.
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