Opponents of Paladino speak out, board members seek legal counsel at meeting

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Nearly a dozen people called for Carl Paladino’s removal from the school board Tuesday night.  It was the last board meeting before State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia starts a hearing Thursday to determine Paladino’s future as a board member.

The board demanded his resignation in December after he made what some consider racist comments about Michelle and Barack Obama.

Paladino apologized for his remarks, but did not resign.

In January, the board vote 6-3 to petition the state to remove Paladino, arguing he shared confidential information discussed during executive session.

Paladino was not at Tuesday’s meeting, his absence was criticized by his opponents.

“I understand why people are upset, I don’t really think this is the place for it,” said Quinn,

Board Member Larry Quinn voted to keep Paladino on the board. He said there are bigger education issues for the board to deal with.

All of the board members except for Paladino are on a list of 12 witnesses for the hearing.

Last week Paladino filed a lawsuit against the board, the district, and six specific board members including, Dr. Barbara Seals Nevergold, Sharon Belton-Cottman, Hope Jay, Dr. Theresa Harris-Tigg, Jennifer Mecozzi and Paulette Woods. He argues they violated his civil rights by moving to remove him from the board for making his comments about the Obamas.

The board voted Tuesday to allow those six board members to be represented by Frank Miller, the same lawyer representing the board during the Albany hearing. He costs $195 per hour.

The school board as a whole and the district still need to retain a lawyer. Quinn spoke up at the meeting to say he doesn’t believe Miller should represent the whole board in this case.

 

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