Monetary Award Reduced In Johnson Case; Appeal Window Opens

Dr. Mary Ellen JohnsonENTERPRISE FILE PHOTO - Dr. Mary Ellen Johnson

A corrected monetary judgment has been entered in the civil case involving a former Sandwich school superintendent, a move that clears the procedural way for an appeal.

On April 17, Barnstable Superior Court Judge Christopher J. Muse ruled that the superior court clerk’s office had miscalculated the amount of interest due Mary Ellen Johnson in her civil case against the Sandwich School Committee.

The judgment entered by the clerk’s office on March 18 totaled $610,549.

But Judge Muse ruled that that judgment included pre-judgment interest—interest that he already had calculated to determine the size of the judgment.

Accordingly, a corrected judgment of about $434,600 now has been entered in the case.

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John J. Davis, the Boston attorney representing the school committee, said the sum includes Judge Muse’s original calculations for the judgment, along with about $300 for the cost to Dr. Johnson of filing the suit.

Now that the judgment has been entered and the case essentially is completed, Mr. Davis said a 30-day clock has started ticking for the filing of an appeal in the case.

Town manager George H. Dunham has said that the town does not intend to appeal the listed judgment.

But Dr. Johnson, who has said her true damages in the case totaled about $3 million, may choose to appeal the case to the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the next step up the legal ladder.

The former superintendent faces a filing deadline of May 19—effectively 30 days after Judge Muse’s ruling.

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