60 Residents to File Lawsuits Against Ripley School District

May 27, 2013 Updated May 27, 2013 at 1:45 PM EDT

By Mitch Simon

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60 Residents to File Lawsuits Against Ripley School District

May 27, 2013 Updated May 27, 2013 at 1:45 PM EDT

RIPLEY, N.Y. (WKBW) - Approximately 60 people residing in the Ripley School District have hired attorneys to bring a series of lawsuits against members of the Ripley Board of Education.

According to a correspondence letter from the Hogan Willig law firm, residents are attempting to acheive the following:

-Removal of Bob Bentley, Ted Rickenbrode, Fred Krause, and Nancy Rowe from the Ripley Board of Education.

-Render null and void a vote that would dissolve the high school and require students to transfer to Chautauqua Lake High School.

-File a suit in Federal Court against Bob Bentley and members of the Ripley School district for election law violations, campaigning on issues in violation of election law, fraud, and deprivation of civil rights by preventing eligible voters from voting against a referendum and allowing ineligible voters to vote for a referendum.

"We are also asking the New York State Comptroller to audit the Ripley School District, which appears to have been engaging in an illegal and unethical course of fiscal conduct for several years," said Hogan Willig attorney Steven Cohen. "We have evidence of self-dealing, nepotism, and misappropriation of fund which we are turning over to the Comptroller. There has been a pattern and practice of vindictiveness on the part of the School Board President that will be investigated by the authorities."

"For the moment, the investigation is civil, but the evidence we have reviewed so far suggests the possibility of criminal indictments in the future."

Lawsuits are expected to be filed this week.