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Hamburg school chief answers charge today

Hamburg School Superintendent Richard E. Jetter is due in Hamburg Village Court this afternoon on a charge that he falsely reported that his car had been vandalized.

Jetter confessed to police last month that he had damaged his car May 5 when he sideswiped a utility pole in Buffalo, the night before he said the car was vandalized in a school parking lot.

Police charged him July 21 with a third-degree misdemeanor count of falsely reporting an incident. Conviction on the Class A misdemeanor could result in a penalty of up to a year in jail.

Jetter told police in a written confession that he visited a South Buffalo bar with a district administrator and walked back to the administrator’s house “so that I would become sober.” He said he hit the pole when he was leaving and indicated that he left after midnight.

But a witness said the pole was struck at about 6:30 p.m. May 5. Jetter was moving the car, which had been parked on the street, to the other side of the street because of alternate parking, the witness said.

The witness also said that the man got out of the car, looked at the damage and laughed, and the administrator who lives at the Buffalo address came out of the house, looked at the damage and then returned to the house with Jetter.

Police were called to the school parking lot the following night, May 6, after Jetter and other school officials were leaving a Hamburg Central School Board meeting and the damage and a threatening note were found.

“Watch your back, you (expletive) sleezebag,” the typed note said. Jetter made no mention of the note in his confession to police.

The following day, teachers held a community rally in support of Jetter.

The School Board placed Jetter on paid administrative leave July 23, and the district wants him to resign. An attorney for the district and Jetter’s lawyer are to meet today to discuss issues regarding his resignation, a board source said.

Vincent J. Coppola began his term as acting superintendent Monday.