Buffalo School District Legal Battle Costing Taxpayers Thousands

An ongoing legal battle in Buffalo Schools continues to cost the taxpayers money. A claim filed with the state’s Division of Human Rights by Rashondra Martin, the district’s former top attorney, in February of 2015 against Carl Paladino and the school board is still going on. Attorney Paul Cambria spoke to WGRZ’s Jeff Preval about the case and why it could be taking so long. The full story is available on the WGRZ website.

Outside attorneys increase cost

WGRZ reports that, since the claim that Paladino creates a “racially and sexually hostile work environment” was filed last year, both parties have been represented by attorneys hired from outside the district. This is to avoid the conflict of interest that would occur if attorneys for the school district were involved, but it also means that taxpayers are covering the additional cost. “Clearly, no one would be happy in the city of Buffalo thinking that dollars for education are going toward lawyers,” Mr. Cambria said. “It drains money away from education.”

Civil cases can take years

According to WGRZ, expenses for the school district are expected to grow, and the money spent will be going toward attorney fees, not education. A Division of Human Rights spokesperson told WGRZ that the case between Rashondra Martin and Carl Paladino is still pending. When asked why these cases take so long, Mr. Cambria explained, “Well, there are only so many judges and only so many courtrooms. And there are many, many more lawsuits than there are courtrooms available. It’s not unusual for a civil lawsuit to take two years or more.”

About Paul J. Cambria, Jr.

The chair of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area, Mr. Cambria advises clients on criminal trials, criminal appeals, constitutional and First Amendment law, zoning and land use, antitrust, and professional licensing defense. He divides his time between the firm’s offices in Buffalo and Los Angeles.