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FCPS Offers SLHS' Lanigan $72K for Legal Fees

School board's latest offer to falsely accused gym teacher covers only a portion of his legal fees.

Fairfax County Public Schools says it will pay physical education teacher Sean Langian more than $72,000 for legal fees , The Washington Post reported.

The $72,838 is only a portion of the estimated $125,000 Lanigan spent defending himself against two felony charges in 2010. The Post reports that State law allows a county or state employee who is cleared of criminal charges to recover legal fees and expenses but not other costs, which for Lanigan were about $18,000. 

Lanigan, 45, first asked for $107,838 for his fees and expenses in July 2010, two months after his acquittal in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

Lanigan then sued for the entire amount.

The school board agreed in a closed session Thursday to pay $72,838, the Post reported.

A sixth grader at Centre Ridge Elementary in Centreville accused Lanigan in January 2010. Lanigan, who is the boys soccer coach at Herndon High School, was charged with abduction and aggravated sexual battery of a child under 13.

A jury acquitted him on both charges and the girl also admitted she fabricated the story.

Lanigan was transferred from Centre Ridge to South Lakes prior to the 2010-11 school year.

John Farrell June 25, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Can someone please explain what possible good faith justification FCPS has for not fully indemnifying this employee from expenses incurred in defending himself against false accusations suffered in the course of his employment?
Scott June 25, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Oh my John we agree on something! This is such a travesty! Perhaps as a community we can start a fund raiser to help him with the balance?
Frank Sogandares June 25, 2012 at 11:51 AM
a good question for someone from the FCPS Risk Management office...
John Farrell June 25, 2012 at 12:02 PM
The teachers union has paid $35,000 but it should not have to. This was an FCPS obligation. Lanigan should not have had to sue to get fully indemnified.
Scott June 25, 2012 at 12:39 PM
John, So that leaves him with a little over 17K in unpaid legal fees - correct? Or has other monies come in that are not mentioned?
John Farrell June 25, 2012 at 12:45 PM
The Post reports that Sean has received an undisclosed amount of donations. There's also the cost of the suit against FCPS to recover the fees.
Howard Carlin June 25, 2012 at 02:10 PM
And what about the girl who fabricated this horrible story? I hope the repercussions are severe.
Skip Endale June 25, 2012 at 02:11 PM
That just demonstrates to me that Unions in this day and age are not useless as most people are led to believe.
Graham June 25, 2012 at 06:05 PM
The entire case was abysmally managed right from the very start. I read the initial story (and all the followed) and thought: There goes knee-jerk FCPS again! This teacher was treated the way most of our students are treated who are in the airspace of a suspected infraction. Immediately guilty, guilty, guilty based on hearsay and a proclivity to imagine the very worst (about human beings) and act on it without thought. There are teachers who violate the law and do horrible things. They have to be removed, sometimes immediately. But not this way. Our legal system was very, very carefully established to ensure the baby is not thrown out with the bathwater. In point of fact, it was established KNOWING that some guilty people would go free to protect the rights of every single person! It is a founding principle of our justice system. FCPS authorities continuously act outside the mores of this country and interpret flexible laws in the most narrow range possible to protect themselves. I am glad FCFT was there for this guy. Unions protect innocent people! I hope he can recover. I sincerely hope FCPS has learned a hard lesson.
Graham June 25, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Let's follow FCPS's example, shall we? OFF WITH HER HEAD!! She is the worst human to walk the face of the planet and should be locked up forever, amen. There could not possibly be any circumstances in her life that led her down this path at the mature and responsible age of 10 years old. No bullies in her past, no family issues, no mental health issues, nothing. She is clearly irredeemable, just like the teacher was. We shall assign her both perfection so we can punish the heck out of her for failing to stay there, and utter depravity so we can feel good about sending her to the guillotine.
Graham June 25, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Correction to comment: **12 years old**
Fred Costello June 25, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Where is the disincentive for FCPS personnel to repeat this error and for the students not to falsely accuse their teachers? (1) FCPS is not paying. Taxpayers are paying. Maybe FCPS personnel should be paying. With 22,000 employees, the fees are covered with $6 per employee. (2) It seems that the accuser and her classmate witness also suffer little or no consquences. Something should happen to deter other students. In times past, offending God would suffice.
Scott June 25, 2012 at 11:00 PM
John - you seem to have the scoop on this. Can you post the information that we can contribute to Sean Langian fund. This is a cause I would like to help with as a travesty occurred and to much hem hawing around - lets get the man debt free so he can live his life and continue working with our children!!
Scott June 25, 2012 at 11:02 PM
"It seems that the accuser and her classmate witness also suffer little or no consquences. Something should happen to deter other students." AMEN! I would love to know what is going on with this little chick! Can he sue the living crap out of her parents for deformation?
The Only Daughter July 15, 2012 at 09:32 PM
This little girl now attends Liberty Middle School, all teachers beware.

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