Charges could lead to board member’s removal - The Buffalo News
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Charges could lead to board member’s removal

The Hamburg Central School Board charged Board Member Catherine Schrauth Forcucci with official misconduct in a 4-2 vote April 30. The charges could lead to her removal from the board.

The board has been conducting hearings into the charges, will deliberate when the hearings conclude and decide if the charges have been proven. The board has the authority under state education law to remove her from the School Board.

If that happens, Schrauth Forcucci can appeal her removal to state Education Commissioner John B. King, who has the power to reinstate her.

She is accused of berating and/or verbally attacking the superintendent, several school employees and the board president, thus violating board policy or the district’s code of conduct. One of those incidents occurred last Sept. 24, when Schrauth Forcucci went to the administration building looking for records of legal bills and Superintendent Richard E. Jetter said she refused to leave. Police were called, and she left when asked by the officer.

She also is accused of not returning items distributed during an executive session on three occasions, taking photographs of personnel records and destroying a document that was to be filled out to view a personnel file. The 12 specifications also charge she has been confrontational and impaired the board’s ability to function since she joined the board July 1, 2013.

The board began the hearings May 27, and conducted three sessions behind closed doors. Schrauth Forcucci’s attorney, Margaret Murphy, argued successfully before a state Supreme Court justice that the hearings should be open to the public, and the three sessions held since then have been held in public. The district also released the transcript for the first three days of the hearing.

The district is still presenting witnesses for its case, then Schrauth Forcucci will have the opportunity to call witnesses in her defense.

The board scheduled four more hearing sessions: Aug. 4, 7, 9 and 13.

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