Massachusetts school district sues e-Rate consulting firm

The Nashoba Regional School District in Bolton, Mass., has filed a federal lawsuit claiming “breach of contract” and alleging a New York technology company misrepresented the quality of its e-Rate consulting services and mishandled requests for funding reimbursement for an internet upgrade, reports the Sentinel and Enterprise. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court on Aug. 10, is seeking $115,040 from E-Rate Exchange LLC, alleging the company mishandled the school district’s request for funding from the federal e-Rate program. Nashoba officials maintain that the school district would have been entitled to a 40-percent discount for a one-time charge of $287,600 for Comcast’s installation of a fiber optic WAN. Christopher J. Petrini, of Petrini & Associates, representing the school district, said: “The district’s position is that E-Rate breached its contract with the district and misrepresented its professional expertise and qualifications, causing the district to lose more than $100,000 in reimbursements from the federal government.” E-Rate’s attorney, Scarlett M. Rajbanishi, of Taylor, Duane, Barton & Gilman, said E-Rate Exchange “denies all allegations in Nashoba’s complaint and will vigorously defend this suit.” Nashoba hired the firm in May 2008 to manage, advise, and facilitate certain discount submissions for the funding years 2009-10. But E-Rate began “committing errors and omissions from the time it began preparing its for submission,” according to the lawsuit. When the errors were brought to E-Rate’s attention, the errors allegedly were not corrected…

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