A hearing to determine if Carl P. Paladino will be removed from the Buffalo School Board is underway in Albany.
Buffalo News education reporter Tiffany Lankes, who will be one of only 15 to 20 spectators in the unprecedented hearing before state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, is covering the event. You can see her tweets below or follow her on Twitter @TiffanyLankes. Photographer Mike Groll, @mikegroll50, will be shooting photographs at the hearing for The Buffalo News.
The hearing will decide if Paladino, the unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor in 2010 and New York State chairman of President Trump's campaign, can remain on the School Board, to which he won elections in 2013 and 2016.
The hearing was expected to attract protesters, who have been calling for Paladino's ouster over comments he made in an article published in Artvoice in December. Paladino wished death on President Barack Obama and said his wife should live in Africa with a gorilla. But Paladino's comments about the Obamas will not be the main focus of this week's hearing. Elia will consider whether Paladino violated School Board policy by revealing information discussed in executive session by the board.
When the hearing began Thursday, there were no protesters in sight.
In his opening remarks, Paladino's lawyer Dennis Vacco said Paladino was protecting the public's interest by publicly disclosing secret information from the School Board's closed-door meeting about contract talks with the teacher's union.
School Board President Barbara A. Seals Nevergold, Superintendent Kriner Cash and General Counsel Nathaniel J. Kuzma are among those expected to testify today.
Here's some stories to help you catch you up on the Paladino hearing news: