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High Court refuses to hear appeal in Lew-Port case

LEWISTON - The U.S. Supreme Court put an end to litigation over the 2007 ouster of a Lewiston-Porter Board of Education member Monday, refusing for a second time to hear an appeal filed by Edward M. Lilly.

After a long period of hostilities between the board majority and trustees Lilly and Scott A. Stepien, the board voted to remove them in June 2007, ostensibly because they had failed to take a mandatory financial training course. However, the deadline for the course hadn’t passed when the board voted them out. The state education commissioner restored their board membership in March 2008.

Lilly and Stepien filed separate lawsuits contending that the rest of the board had violated their civil rights, but they have lost in all venues. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara ruled against Stepien in 2010, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed that ruling in 2011.

Lilly fought longer. In December 2011, U.S District Judge William M. Skretny dismissed Lilly’s case against three of the Lew-Port board members, and in March 2014, Skretny also threw out Lilly’s suit against David S. Schaubert, who was board president in 2007. On Feb. 11, 2015, the Second Circuit upheld Skretny’s rulings.

Lilly took the case to the Supreme Court, which on Oct. 5 refused to take the case. On Oct. 30, Lilly petitioned for a rehearing, but Monday the high court again said no.