HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – Hamburg Schools Superintendent Dr. Richard Jetter is being investigated by Village of Hamburg Police, according to police and the school district.
Police would only confirm Tuesday that they are conducting an active investigation, which involves Jetter. However, News 4 has learned from several sources that the investigation has to do with alleged vandalism to the superintendent’s car.
Hamburg Police had previously investigated a report that someone damaged Jetter’s car and left a threatening note on the windshield, while Jetter was in a school board meeting on the night of May 6. Jetter also told News 4 that someone egged his rental truck.
According to sources, police now believe the damage may instead have the resulted from a crash with a telephone pole the night before, and that the vandalism report was false.
“I’m hoping that the allegations are untrue. Because I think, up to this point, Dr. Jetter’s done a wonderful job,” said Dorene Bruce, a parent with several students in the Hamburg Central Schools.
“I wondered about that business about his car being vandalized,” said parent John Stiny. “Generally, it’s just very confusing, what’s going on.”
The Board of Education released a statement about the situation Tuesday, saying board members will hold a meeting to discuss legal options on Wednesday. In the meantime, assistant superintendents Colleen Kaney and Barbara Sporyz will serve as acting superintendents of the district.
Andrew Freedman, an attorney for the Hamburg Central Schools, said he could not answer further questions about whether Jetter has been or will be placed on leave. He said district officials would be able to say more to the media after Wednesday’s meeting, which is scheduled for 7:15 a.m. and is likely to go into executive session.
All of this is unfolding as the board continues to try to oust member Catherine Schrauth Forcucci. School staff along with Jetter have testified about alleged bizarre incidents, including a time when Forcucci spoke in a “spooky” voice like Jack Nicholsan’s character in “The Shining.”
“I just wish that somebody would send in the grown-ups, because this is ridiculous. Closed hearings, open hearings, lawyers, law firms. I mean, that’s not how a legislative body is supposed to operate,” Stiny lamented.
Many parents and taxpayers are also frustrated with what the protracted legal battle is costing the district, financially.
“I think there’s funds that we need to put towards our music program, toward our academics, toward our athletic programs. That could be spent on that and not wasted on what I consider to be nonsense,” Bruce said. “This has become a three-ring circus, on our school board. And they need – they have a job to do. They owe it to our children, they owe it to us taxpayers, to us parents.”
“I don’t get it. Because the staff and the people I’ve dealt with at the system has always been very helpful, very forthcoming, and very competent,” Stiny remarked. “So I don’t know what’s going on at the board level. It’s just annoying.”