32963 Homepage

Want to purchase reprints of your favorite 32963 or photos?

Copies of Vero Beach 32963 can be obtained at the following locations:


Our office HQ: (located at 4855 North A1A)
1. Corey's Pharmacy
2. 7-Eleven

(South A1A)
3. Major Real Estate Offices


1. Vero Beach Book

2. Classic Car Wash
3. Divine Animal
4. Sunshine Furniture

5. Many Medical

Federal judge reprimands School Board’s hired attorney

Photo: School Board Attorney Suzanne D'Agresta

A federal judge on Friday reprimanded county School Board attorney Suzanne D’Agresta for writing and submitting an unauthorized desegregation “progress” report, and sharply criticized her for refusing to include in the report input from the NAACP and the school district’s Equity Committee.

U.S District Judge Kathleen Williams, who oversees the school district’s compliance with a long-standing federal desegregation order, informed D’Agresta during a hearing in Miami she would not accept the report the attorney authored and submitted without informing the school board.

The outlines of the two-hour hearing were confirmed by Judge Williams office, the school district and the NAACP.

“Judge Williams basically decided to throw the report into the trash and ‘spanked’ D’Agresta for refusing to allow the NAACP and the Equity Committee to have any input,” said NAACP President Tony Brown, who attended the hearing. “The judge chewed her out.”

D’Agresta could not be reached for comment on Monday. School district officials said Superintendent David Moore, who also attended the hearing, could not comment on the legal issue.

Brown said Williams did not instruct the two sides to resubmit a joint report, but said she expected a joint report that meets the court’s requirements when the next progress update is filed later this year.

Williams recommended that Brown and Moore meet and work together to make sure the next report is compiled in a collaborative way, Brown said.

D’Agresta’s report, which claimed the district is complying with the desegregation order, included false and misleading information and was not authorized by the School Board, Moore and the board acknowledged in December.

After the School Board learned that its attorney had filed the report without input from the NAACP and the Equity Committee, Moore said D’Agresta’s actions had damaged the school district’s credibility.

“We can’t undo what’s been done. But we can take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Moore said in December.

In contrast to D’Agresta’s report, the NAACP and the Equity Committee, which is charged with evaluating the district’s efforts to comply with the 52-year-old desegregation order, gave the district failing marks in 2019 in 9 out of 11 areas of concern identified by the court.

Williams ordered Friday’s hearing after the NAACP filed a complaint about D’Agresta’s rogue report, Brown said.

The School Board had promised that the progress report would be compiled in collaboration with the NAACP and the Equity Committee, and board members have said they were not aware of D’Agresta’s solo report until Brown and Merchon Green, chairman of the Equity Committee, told them about it in late November.  

The school district’s contract with D’Agresta’s Orlando-based law firm expires in March, and the School Board, which has expressed unhappiness with D’Agresta on multiple occasions during the past year, was scheduled on Tuesday to vote to seek bids from other law firms interested in representing the district.

The current controversy has put a new strain on the relationship between the School Board and NAACP at a time when both sides have pledged to work together and expressed hope for a new era of cooperation in reducing inequity in the district and improving educational outcomes for minority students.