A federal judge has ordered administrators at Poly Prep to make available the names of individuals who sat on its board of trustees dating all the way back to 1966.
United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak issued the injunction on August 30, just two days after District Court Judge Frederic Block allowed “portions of an explosive sex-abuse lawsuit to proceed against the elite private school,” according to the Daily News’ Michael O’Keeffe.
Lawyers for the 12 alumni, who claim they suffered repeated sexual abuse at the hands of now-deceased Poly Prep football coach Phil Foglietta, requested in June that the court require the school to furnish the “names, last known addresses, and dates of service for all current and former members of the board.”
From Daily News:
The plaintiffs, according to Pollak’s order, said they wanted the information to “ascertain the acts, omissions, and culpability of individual trustees in order to determine how to proceed with plaintiff’s remaining claims.”
Attorneys for Poly Prep asked Pollak to deny the request because the plaintiffs did not indicate whether they named to name each trustee as a defendant or notify the trustees about the lawsuit.
“Defendants contend that the former option would be improper because plaintiffs have not offered factual support for claims against individual trustees and that the latter option would be improper because only parties to an action need to be served with process,” Pollak reportedly said in last week’s order.
The lawsuit contends that although Poly Prep officials were aware that Foglietta was a sexual predator, they placed reputation and fundraising concerns before the safety of the students placed in their charge.
The suit also alleges that administrators began covering up the abuse in 1966.
Poly Prep officials claim they didn’t learn about allegations of sex abuse until 1991, when former student David Hiltbrand contacted then-headmaster William M. Williams, asserting that he was abused by Foglietta in the 1960s.
According to O’Keeffe, the current scandal has “roiled the elite school” in the ten years since Hiltbrand went public with his allegations in 2002.
As an example of just how deep the ties between the opposing sides of this legal battle can run, Philip Smith – one of Hiltbrand’s fellow plaintiffs, is the brother of Scott Smith, the current chairman of Poly Prep’s board of directors.