HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – Hamburg Schools Superintendent Richard Jetter tells News 4 someone left a note on his car after a budget hearing Tuesday night that said, “Watch your back you **** **** sleeze [sic] bag.”
He says his car was also vandalized, saying there is now a dent on the driver’s side door, some kind of rust smear marks down the sides, and the back of a mirror was ripped off. The note was found folded in a strange way on his windshield.
When he walked out of the board meeting and saw the damage, he initially figured someone accidentally backed into his car. And there was a note under the windshield he hoped was an exchange of phone numbers and insurance information. But he was wrong.
But now the superintendent believes someone targeted him to keep him from doing his job.
“Oh, it was an absolute threat,” Jetter said. “If you read the note, it was not only derogatory, but it was meant to intimidate, scare me. And it was a direct threat.”
The threat comes a week after the Hamburg School Board voted to charge fellow member Catherine Forcucci with misconduct. And it comes after what Jetter freely admits has now been years of dysfunction on that board and with certain community members. But Jetter isn’t letting it get to him.
“When you’re a superintendent in a district of dysfunction, well, there you have it,” he said. “Because of the dysfunction taking place in the district, as you may have heard, it’s a sign of me doing my job. If I’m the target because I’m trying to do what’s best for this district to make the right decisions, then so be it. But don’t touch my kids or staff members.”
Around 100 teachers and community members rallied Wednesday to show support for Jetter and send a message to the community.
The president of the school board, Dave Yoviene, says he believes he knows who is responsible.
“I think we all have a pretty good idea who did it, but we don’t have any proof. so we’ll just leave it at that. So we’ll rally around it and let him know he can’t hurt us and he can’t scare us.”.
When asked to elaborate, Yoviene said, “I don’t want to get into it, but it’s certainly my opinion and the opinion of many in this crowd.”
Hamburg Police are investigating. Jetter says a detailed report was filed Tuesday night.