Cost to oust Paladino reaches six figures

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The cost of trying to oust Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino is now in six figures, after more than $50,000 was spent on the five-day hearing in Albany and the legal filings since then.

As expected, Paladino said Tuesday he believed the hearing was a waste of time and money. But the bill for taxpayers will continue to grow.

The hearing in Albany before New York State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia started on June 22. In advance of the hearing, the district told News 4 it had spent nearly $49,521.82 on legal bills for Syracuse-based attorney Frank Miller.

As of this week, that number had grown to $101,674.36.

In addition to billable hours of $180 and $195, expenses for the district also included hotel stays, meals, mileage, postage and subpoena fees.

The Buffalo Board of Education earlier this year filed a petition, asking the state to remove Paladino after he revealed what they described as confidential information only obtained during executive sessions.

Attorneys for Paladino and the district submitted their final legal responses to the hearing on July 19. A written decision by Elia is expected in early August.

Meanwhile, the bill for taxpayers will continue to grow.

Miller will be dealing with the fallout from the hearing, which could be an appeal from Paladino if the state decides to remove him.

And Paladino is also suing the board and the district in federal court because he says they violated his First Amendment rights to free speech.

 

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