From EAG News:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Public Schools agreed to spend $863,000 to settlement this week with one of its chief critics after officials banned the retired shop teacher from board meetings in 2010.

Charles “Ched” MacQuigg told the Albuquerque Journal the settlement vindicates him from allegations of intimidating behavior at board meetings that former board president Martin Esquivel used to justify the ban.

The legal expenses and payout – $863,000 in total – are also evidence of how the district spends taxpayer funds, he said.

“There is no limit to what they will spend on litigation,” MacQuigg said. “You cannot believe what you are going up against when you sue APS.”

Esquivel alleged he imposed a ban on MacQuigg with the support of school board members in September 2010 because MacQuigg would speak out of turn, hover over administrators and once wore an elephant mask and refused to remove it, according to an April 2014 Journal report.

MacQuigg’s alleged behavior was aimed at advocating for the canceled student program Character Counts, and he was ejected from meetings multiple times before the ban. MacQuigg reportedly attended virtually every public forum at the time to push for the character building program.

Federal Judge M. Christina Armijo ruled in March 2014 that district officials were wrong to ban MacQuigg, and lawyers have been hashing out the settlement since.

“The Court finds that the real reason for excluding Plaintiff from Board meetings is the Board’s frustration with Plaintiff’s ad nauseum belaboring of the Board about…

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