Ithaca, N.Y. — The Ithaca City School District is defending itself from a civil lawsuit that alleges the school practiced age and gender discrimination when it failed to renew a former administrator’s contract.

Margaret Boice, 62, previously an assistant superintendent for business services at ICSD, sued the district earlier this year for $850,000.

The school responded in court documents made public on June 11.

“The employment actions taken with respect to her were legitimate, non-discriminatory and lawful in all respects,” lawyers for the Ithaca City School District say in court documents, “and were made for legitimate reasons wholly unrelated to plaintiff’s age, gender, the filing of a discrimination charge, and/or other protected status.”

Boice’s lawsuit said that 12 administrators over 40 had left the district under the watch of Superintendent Luvelle Brown. She claimed every administrator but her received a 2 percent raise.

Boice also said she was qualified for a position as chief operations officer at the school but was neither interview nor hired.

“As a result of the unlawful discrimination, Boice suffered monetary loss due to defendants’ failure to grant a 2 percent raise for the 2012-2013 school year,” Boice said.

“Boice was forced to retire early and lost valuable retirement benefits.

The defense submitted by ICSD does not state specifically why Boice’s contract was not renewed. Previously, lawyers told The Ithaca Journal that “Ms. Boice’s contract was not renewed for performance reasons.”

“Defendant has established policies to comply with federal and state anti- discrimination laws, and has acted in good faith without intent to violate and without reckless disregard of those laws,” the ICSD response states.

“Defendants request judgement dismissing the complaint, awarding them costs and disbursements, and awarding them such other and further relief as is just and proper.”

Boice complaint

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.