Timeline of events that led to crisis in the Hamburg School District - The Buffalo News

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Timeline of events that led to crisis in the Hamburg School District

February 2009: A 15-year-old girl is raped at the home of Holly A. Balaya. Clarence Justice, Balaya’s brother-in-law, is later charged.

June 2010: Lindsey Stephenson berates students in Martha Kavanaugh’s economics class, which eventually is cited as a reason for her dismissal as teacher.

July 2010: Clarence Justice, Balaya’s former brother-in-law, is convicted of third-degree rape and criminal sexual act for rape of teen at Balaya’s home.

July 27, 2010: Attorney and Hamburg Village Justice Andrew Fleming writes a letter to Lindsey Stephenson and Kavanaugh, demanding they “cease and desist” harassment of rape victim and sends copy to School Board.

July 28, 2010: Superintendent sends a letter to Lindsey Stephenson, stating he is recommending she be fired.

Sept. 21, 2010: School Board executive session is secretly taped, and the board fires Lindsey Stephenson that night during the regular meeting.

May 2012: Sally Stephenson wins a seat on the School Board.

June 2012: School Board files a lawsuit against Sally and Lindsey Stephenson and Kavanaugh, claiming they secretly recorded the executive session.

May 2013: Three candidates seen as anti-administration, David Yoviene, Catherine Schrauth Forcucci and Laura Heeter, win seats on the board and form temporary alliance with Stephenson.

July 2, 2013: New board majority puts Superintendent Steven A. Achramovitch on administrative leave until his retirement, curtails the district’s involvement in lawsuit against the Stephensons and Kavanaugh, and replaces Harris Beach law firm.

July 2013: Richard E. Jetter, assistant superintendent for human resources and technology, is named interim superintendent.

October 2013: Six parents meet with the School Board in executive session, seeking the resignations of board members Stephenson and Schrauth Forcucci.

October 2013: Parents convene the first of three community meetings where teachers say they feel threatened in school, charges are aired against the Stephensons and Kavanaugh, and the ouster of Stephenson and Balaya from the board is discussed.

November 2013: School Board votes, 5-2, to seek proposals for new legal representation.

November 2013: School Board hires a consultant to search for a permanent superintendent.

November 2013: Attorney Daniel Chiacchia files a petition with state education commissioner to remove Sally Stephenson and Balaya from the board.

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