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Lanigan Rejects FCPS' Settlement Offer for Defending Himself Against False Accusation

South Lakes teacher now suing board for full coverage of more than $100K in legal fees.

It has been an excruciating year and half for 

Lanigan was acquitted in 2010 of molesting a sixth-grade student at Centreville's Centre Ridge Elementary School after it later was found out the girl fabricated the story. He has tried for more than a year to have his legal fees of more than $100,000 reimbursed. The Fairfax County School Board declined, offering only $60,000 with the condition that Lanigan not sue any school officials.

Lanigan rejected the partial offer and filed suit on Friday asking that the school board pay the entire $107,838, with no strings attached, writes Tom Jackman in The Washington Post's State of NoVa blog.

The school board reimbursed Lanigan for the salary he lost while he was suspended after his January 2010 arrest. He was reassigned to South Lakes at the start of the 2010-11 school year.

Lanigan told The Post earlier this year that his arrest, incarceration, removal from Centre Ridge and trial imposed needless suffering based on an incomplete investigation of the girls’ allegations. He has not filed any legal action based on that aspect of the case.

Lanigan coaches boys soccer at Herndon High School and was The Post's 2011 Coach of the Year.

David Segal August 31, 2011 at 10:29 AM
I completely support Mr. Lanigan in his quest to have his legal fees reimbursed. With an non public employer, he could have easily sued for damages as well. These types of unfounded allegations by students tend to severely damage the reputation of public employees and leave them stigmatized for their entire careers. Mr. Lanigan deserves better from FCPS.
Martin Lulofs August 31, 2011 at 10:59 AM
Why in the word the school board refused to reimburse Mr. Lanigan is beyond me. I hope he actually sues for more than he is owed for all the pain and suffering the board has caused. Hey, how come he hasn't sued the girls parents as well? I hope her family's name gets around the school and community and all the pain they have caused Mr. Lanigan's family.
Mary Jo Klinefelter August 31, 2011 at 02:00 PM
The conduct of the FCPS School Board has been shameful from the beginning. The very least they can do is reimburse Mr. Lanigan his legal fees.
Franco L August 31, 2011 at 02:10 PM
FCPS needs to make amends for its mistake if it has any sense of justice whatsoever. If it does not, FCPS should be completely abolished and replaced with private entities which are held accountable by means of the pocketbook.
Matt Genkinger August 31, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Mr. Lanigan is a stand-up individual. I am happy to hear that he intends to seek no more than what his legal expenses. No doubt he suffered more than some monetary loss, but excessive compensation due to fatigue, exhuastion, etc is frivilous in my mind.

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