Keeping Lid On Lawsuits Carries Big Price Tag For Reading

Reading has been busy in court the last few years, but its track record has been pretty good.

It has resolved 139 suits brought against it since 2004, with no payout to plaintiffs in two-thirds of them. The cost for its attorneys was more than $1 million.

At the moment, the city has more than 70 cases under way in county, state and federal courts, or in agencies such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

“It’s tough keeping track (of the cases), but the attorneys handling them do a good job of it, and keep me in the loop,” said Charles D. Younger, city solicitor since 2000.

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Critics Say Nepotism Common In Reading Schools

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around the Reading School District, it has almost become a mantra: “It’s all about who you know.”

While school leaders deny its existence, there is a pervasive perception that the district is wrought with nepotism.

And many current and potential employees have the idea that friends and family members of school board members and administrators benefit unfairly because of their ties to school leaders.

Based on information provided by the district, 28 of 2,200 district employees are related to board members who have served in the past two years. Dozens of other district employees are noted as friends of board members.

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