Principal files defamation suit against teacher

February 28, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The principal of Crofton Middle School has filed an $800,000 lawsuit against a former teacher who filed an assault charge against him last year that prosecutors later dropped.

The lawsuit filed by Richard Berzinski in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court accuses special-education teacher Rose Marie Brohawn of malicious prosecution and defamation.

The principal alleges that Brohawn made accusations against him in October to "deflect attention" away from herself, said his attorney, Harold B. Murnane III. Berzinski had been investigating the teacher's involvement in an incident in which one of her students was trapped inside a locker, Murnane said.

"Mr. Berzinski is a gentleman who had an exemplary record as a school administrator for 37 years and was traumatized by the fact that he was accused by a teacher of assaulting her, which never occurred," Murnane said.

In her complaint, Brohawn said the principal grabbed and bruised her arm. The state's attorney's office dismissed the charge after finding that Brohawn's witnesses contradicted her account.

Brohawn, who has resigned from her post, could not be reached for comment.

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