Analysis: Paladino v. Buffalo School Board

Our Legal Expert on What Both Sides May Present


Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - A June hearing has been set for both the Buffalo School Board and Carl Paladino to present their cases to the State Education Commissioner on whether or not Paladino should be removed from the board.

Paladino's attorney, Dennis Vacco, said he welcomes the opportunity to state his client's case. What should we expect to hear in defense of Paladino?

"Carl's defense is going to be that what he said, was said not during the time of a board meeting," said Legal Analyst and Attorney Paul Cambria. "It was on his personal time that's protected by the first amendment, if they don't like the content of his speech, they can't punish him for it."

However, the hearing and effort to remove Paladino is technically not about Paladino's comments about the Obamas, but rather another Artvoice article in which the board says he shared confidential information about contract negotiations.

"I'm not surprised that they've shifted to that," Cambria said. "I anticipate that (Paladino's) lawyer is going to say that is just a cover. The real situation is to punish him for having legal speech. I think that's going to continue to be his defense."

The hearing with State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia is scheduled for June 22. The Buffalo School Board meets Wednesday night.


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