Carl Paladino has been removed as a member of the Buffalo Board of Education. Although Paladino’s comments about former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama are what prompted some members of the public to call for his removal, these comments are not the legal reason that he ultimately was removed. Attorney Barry Covert spoke to WGRZ about Paladino’s removal from the Board and what message that removal sends. The full story is available on the WGRZ website.
New precedent for leaks
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has stated that Paladino was removed from the Buffalo Board of Education because he broke education law by publicly disclosing private information from an executive session. On Thursday, he was officially removed for improperly discussing teacher contract negotiations. Maryalice Demler from WGRZ asked Mr. Covert if this decision could set a new precedent for how these issues are handled.
“I think it sets a very hard standard,” Mr. Covert responded. He pointed out that, when leaks from executive sessions occur, they are often anonymous and difficult to penalize. “But here,” Mr. Covert continued, “Mr. Paladino wrote right in the articles what occurred during executive session. So this sets a very strict standard that, if you’re going to leak executive information, then you can face being removed. And he was removed.”
About Barry N. Covert
Mr. Covert is a senior partner in Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area. He is known for his aggressive representation of clients in the areas of New York State and federal criminal trials and appeals; driving while intoxicated; constitutional law, including First Amendment, civil rights actions, and federal False Claims Act; defending against allegations of scientific misconduct and fraud, research misconduct and fraud, plagiarism, and fabrication of evidence; and professional licensing defense. Mr. Covert frequently provides legal analysis for WGRZ and other media outlets.