Windham vote

Windham voters went to the polls in early November to decide whether to close the school and adopt school choice for elementary school. 

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NEWFANE — A complaint filed by two parents at Windham Elementary School claims three non-residents participated in a controversial vote resulting in the school staying open rather than closing.

The three non-residents — Lisa Beshay, Alex Beshay and Christopher Strecker — are described in the complaint as “political allies” of State Rep. Carolyn Partridge, vice chairwoman of the Windham School Board and member of the Board of Civil Authority. The non-residents all live in the same household in Peru and claim residency in Peru, states the complaint filed by Erin Kehoe and Crystal Corriveau in Windham Superior Court, Civil Division.

On Sept. 7, a vote was held on whether to close and provide school choice for elementary school. The article passed by two votes, then Partridge helped organize a petition for a revote, which occurred Nov. 2 and failed by three votes.

“The defendants have remained on the voter checklist, though being removed from Windham Elementary School due to non-residency, which the School Board was privileged to have access to this information,” the complaint states. Partridge and the Board of Civil Authority “have violated their non-discretionary duties to remove non-residents from the checklist.”

The complaint alleges “fraud in [the] electoral process” and seeks to have the voters removed from the election results.

Partridge said she will probably not comment on the suit until she has talked with an attorney. A phone number listed online for Lisa Beshay was disconnected when attempts were made to call Beshay.

“This is not about the school,” Corriveau told the Reformer. “It is about assuring free and fair elections in Windham.”

A status conference is scheduled for Dec. 6 in court.