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SOUTHINGTON Teen files suit against board member

By Peggy Sinkovich

Saturday, January 31, 2004

The suit alleges the board member made 'inappropriate' comments.
SOUTHINGTON -- A Southington High School girl filed a lawsuit alleging that a school board member made harassing comments and gestures of a sexual nature to her and other female students.
Samantha Alden, 15, and her parents, Pam and Joe Alden, of state Route 534, Southington, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
Jerry Kovar, a board member, and the Southington Local School District Board of Education have been named as defendants.
Neither Kovar nor an official with the school board could be reached to comment.
The suit states that in the spring of 2003, Kovar would eat lunch with the students. While with the students, Kovar would make "inappropriate and harassing comments," the suit states.
"Kovar's actions were intentional and/or reckless and were of an extreme and outrageous nature," the suit states.
The suit further notes that the school board failed to prevent Kovar from engaging in his conduct.
The suit has been assigned to Judge Peter Kontos. No hearing date has been scheduled.
Kovar's lawsuit
In October, Kovar filed a lawsuit against striking classified school district employees and supporters of the strikers, accusing them of making comments he contends injured his reputation in the community.
The Aldens were named as defendants in Kovar's suit, said Atty. Phil Vigorito, the Aldens' legal counsel.
The suit names Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local 673 and nine of its members.
The union, which represents school district bus drivers, maintenance workers and secretaries, has been on strike since the first day of classes at the school. They contend the school board imposed a contract and say they want board members to negotiate a contract with them.
Kovar's suit says union members "falsely and maliciously defamed" him by saying he faces criminal charges and by other comments. The suit is still pending in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.