Hamburg Central School Board members plan to meet tonight to decide how to conduct the misconduct hearing against Board Member Catherine Schrauth Forcucci.
It will depend on what happens today in the courtroom of state Supreme Court Justice Diane Y. Devlin, who is hearing arguments on whether the hearing should be open to the public, as Schrauth Forcucci wants, or held in secret, which it has been so far.
Schrauth Forcucci is accused of being confrontational to several district employees and to the board president, and interfering with the board’s ability to do its job.
Meanwhile, one parent called three board members “knuckleheads,” confronting Board Member Sally Stephenson at Tuesday’s regular board meeting.
Daniel Chiacchia, a leader of the parents group that has called for the removal of Schrauth Forcucci, Stephenson and Holly Balaya, suggested if the judge rules the hearing should be open to the public, that it be held in a controlled environment. Several board members objected that he was talking about pending litigation in public.
“I have the freedom of speech, and I’m going to exercise it,” Chiacchia said, as he spoke during the public comment section of the meeting. “This is the reason we have parents, because of the three knuckleheads at the end.”
He was referring the Stephenson, Schrauth Forcucci and Balaya, whose term will end June 30.
“There’s ways we can make this a civil proceeding and protect some of the people who are going to be testifying,” Chiacchia said.
He went on, over the objections of Stephenson and the others, to say he feels sorry for Schrauth Forcucci because she is “a pawn in Sally’s game.” He said if Schrauth Forcucci “did the right thing” and stepped down, she would be forgiven and the district could move on.
It’s not the first time Chiacchia has criticized Stephenson at a board meeting.
“You allow that man to lie about me at every meeting,” she said to board President David Yoviene.
Yoviene pounded his gavel and told Chiacchia he was out of order.
“We don’t have to have public expression, and it might come to that,” Yoviene said.
The outbursts came after the board held a hearing on the district’s code of conduct, which outlines conduct deemed “unacceptable and inappropriate” on school property, and calls for the respectful treatment of others.