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I-Team: Buffalo School BOE pays attorney Frank Miller $101K to oust Carl Paladino from board

Posted at 12:41 PM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 18:34:22-04

Taxpayers have paid a Syracuse based attorney six-figures to represent the Buffalo Public School Board of Education to oust board member, Carl Paladino.

"I think it's terrible. I think the whole idea of seeking my removal is an irresponsible move on their part," said Paladino. 

The 7 Eyewitness News I-Team has learned through the Freedom of Information Law, the bill for Frank Miller, ESQ totals $101,674.36. That bill covers the cost of Miller’s legal counsel from February to July 2017. According to our investigation, the cost includes faxes, hotel, meals, parking, photocopies, purchases, subpoena fees and tolls accrued so far while representing the Board.

Neither Board President, Dr. Barbara Seals-Nevergold, or a representative for the school district responded to our requests for comment. But taxpayers we spoke to had plenty to say about the six-figure invoice. "Yes we should have someone in there that actually is for the kids, is for the teachers, and for the entire system. But, no, we shouldn't be spending that kind of money to do it," said Tamekia Sparks. "I think that's ridiculous to spend that kind of money to get him out. It could be spent on teachers, after school education,  after school programs, just a whole lot of stuff we could spend it on other than lawyers," added Lorraine Henderson. 

The Board is seeking Paladino's removal because it says he leaked confidential board business on two separate occasions. However, Paladino argues he’s being targeted for racist remarks he made in an Artvoice article in December 2016.

The matter went before the N.Y.S. Education Commissioner in Albany in June. She has yet to issue a written ruling.

Paladino's term is up in 2019.