The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

May 11, 2013

Bus driver’s suit over drug conviction settled

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

WEST SALEM TOWNSHIP — A federal lawsuit filed by a West Salem Township woman challenging a state law disqualifying her from driving a school bus because of an old drug conviction has been resolved.

Details of any settlements have not been made public.

In response to a Right-to-Know request from The Herald, Jamestown School District Superintendent Shane Murray – the district was sued by the woman, Terri L. McCloskey – said the district’s insurance company has handled negotiations and he did not know the terms of the settlement or have any paperwork.

The school board still must approve the settlement, he said.

A message left with McCloskey’s law firm was not returned.

McCloskey filed suit May 24 and her law firm filed an amended complaint in November adding two new plaintiffs and their allegations against Penn Hills School District and Gateway School District, Monroeville.

Gateway School District answered a Right-to-Know request by stating it was not in possession of the settlement contract sought by The Herald.

McCloskey also sued the state Secretary of Education. The state Attorney General’s Office represented the secretary and Dennis Fisher, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, said he had no details.

“So peripheral was our involvement that we did not attend the mediation, and all we know is that we were notified that there had been a resolution of the case,” Fisher said.

Fisher added that the state does not anticipate making any settlement payments or signing any settlement documents.

While the mediation session was held March 18, the mediator did not post word of the resolution until May 1.

McCloskey, who pleaded guilty in 1985 to possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, drove a school bus for about eight years until early 2012, when Frye Inc., Greenville, fired her.

A law passed in 2011 banned anyone with a drug conviction from working in public schools.