TiZA bankruptcy trustee settles for $1,400,000 with ACLU

Categories: Education
ACLU-MN Director Chuck Samuelson has settled with the bankruptcy trustee.
TiZA bankruptcy trustee John Hedback announced Friday that he had reached a settlement agreement with the ACLU of Minnesota over attorney's fees and costs.

In exchange for the ACLU dismissing its federal lawsuit against Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, Hedback will pay the ACLU $1,400,000. Attorneys for the ACLU originally requested $2,373,027.

The litigation between the ACLU and TiZA began in January 2009. That lawsuit alleged that TiZA, a public charter school in Inver Grove Heights, was using taxpayer funds to establish a religious school. We chronicled the legal war in a feature last month, "The Truth Behind TiZA."

Hedback announced the move in a notice of settlement mailed to TiZA's creditors. He explained the settlement agreeing by writing that it avoids continued litigation and "results in a substantial reduction in the claims against the estate."

TiZA Executive Director Asad Zaman still has outstanding issues with the ACLU
ACLU-MN Executive Director Chuck Samuelson said he's comfortable with the settlement.

"I'm okay with it," Samuelson said. "I think it's fair."

Samuelson says the civil case is "wrapping up." although there are still outstanding issues. The ACLU has not settled its claims against former TiZA Executive Director Asad Zaman.

The settlement agreement, announced Friday, follows an earlier order by Federal Judge Donovan W. Frank. Frank entered an order February 28 authorizing payments to Islamic Relief USA and the Minnesota Department of Education in the TiZA case.

Judge Frank granted Islamic Relief $623,172.24 in attorney fees and costs. He awarded the Department of Education $404,073.51.

While the civil case against TiZA is wrapping up, the school's bankruptcy proceedings continue.

The truth behind TiZA: The controversial charter school was more than just a First Amendment fiasco
TiZA bankruptcy trustee opposes paying landlord, in part, "on the basis that they were fraudulent transfers"
Watch TiZA executive director Asad Zaman "attack" KSTP cameraman [VIDEO]

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