The first day of Carl Paladino’s hearing before New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia took place on Thursday, June 22. This hearing is meant to decide whether or not Paladino should be removed from his elected position on the Buffalo School Board. On the first day of questioning, School Board President Barbara A. Seals Nevergold took the stand for about six hours. Attorney Paul Cambria spoke to WBEN about how the hearing is progressing and what could be next as it progresses. The full interview is available here.
Interesting line of questioning
Mr. Cambria told WBEN that he was “impressed” with how the hearing is going so far. Mr. Cambria explained that he found it interesting that Jennifer Persico, a member of Mr. Paladino’s legal team, focused “on the procedures actually used by Nevergold and whether or not they were violating so-called procedures that they’re trying to hold Paladino to.” He went on to say that during the line of questioning about Nevergold’s blog “it seemed like there was going to be an attempt to show that maybe Nevergold had discussed things that supposedly were in executive sessions.”
When asked if he thought that the pace for the rest of the hearing would slow down after a long first day of testimony, Mr. Cambria responded, “No, I don’t think so. I think this is the way you have to do it. It’s a detailed process.” He explained that Persico “was very well prepared and armed to conduct” the hearing and that “Miller, the attorney for the School Board, was sort of rocked on his heels if you look at what he said in his objections.”
WBEN asked Mr. Cambria if the way in which the executive sessions were brought up and whether they were called legally or illegally might lend credence to Paladino’s claims. “I think that this is also part of it,” Mr. Cambria responded. “Not only are they trying to say, ‘Well, you broke the rules you’re trying to enforce against me,’ but [they are also trying to say] ‘you did this in such a way that the real goal was to punish me for what I said and the current charge is a subterfuge, is an excuse, if you will, for what you’re really after.’”
Mr. Cambria told WBEN that Paladino’s testimony could be and important moment in the hearing. “I always think that the person accused, if you will, if they can testify and explain, they should. And I’m sure that Carl will be the kind of person who will want to testify. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t,” he explained.
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