Source links principal to Hamburg superintendent case

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – The case against Dr. Richard Jetter could get worse. News 4 has learned that not only does he face a misdemeanor charge and a possible state investigation, now another agency is looking into this case.

Sources tell News 4 the Erie County District Attorney’s Office is investigating whether Hamburg’s school superintendent may have committed a felony.

News 4 has learned Jetter admitted to police that he lied about vandalism to his car and had the district pay hundreds of dollars for his car insurance deductible. The DA’s office is looking into whether he committed an E felony because it involved a government institution, the Hamburg School Board.

Board member Catherine Forcucci says she thought Jetter wasn’t telling the truth.

Forcucci said, “There was no doubt in my mind that Dr. Jetter committed this acts of false reporting and faking an accident.”

News 4 has confirmed that an attorney for the Hamburg School District will now be questioning Hamburg Middle School Principal Jennifer Giallella on what she knew.

Sources say that Giallella was with Jetter around the time he crashed into a utility pole near her home on Como Avenue in South Buffalo. News 4 has also learned that witnesses identified Giallella at a rally in support of Jetter.

The principal is being supported by School Board President David Yoveine, who tells News 4, “She is a wonderful principal and that she has done wonderful things for our middle school. She is a wonderful human being and the Hamburg School District needs her desperately.”

The widening criminal investigation has some village residents questioning whether the district will be able to function when the school year begins.

“It just shouldn’t be,” exclaimed long time resident Jack Keller, who was quite agitated over new daily revelations about the district’s problems. “That’s the only thing I can say. These kinds of things shouldn’t happen.”

Village resident Pam Revezzo said in utter frustration, “I think it’s crazy. I think what they really need to do is start from scratch. Just wipe the slate clean and get a whole new board and superintendent.”

All of these developments have shaken the confidence of some parents who have a stake in the district’s future.

Nicholas Rich, while holding his son who is about to enter kindergarten in Hamburg, said he hopes district officials and investigators can “just figure it out before school does start, so people can trust the school system, because he’s going in there and I wouldn’t want stuff like that going on with my son in it.”

New York State Regent Bob Bennett characterizes the situation in Hamburg as “a gravely serious matter.” He says State Education Commissioner King is tuned in to what’s going on in Hamburg.

“He’s been briefed every single day by the legal department and by the Office of Moral Character, and by myself,” said Bennett.

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