The Williamsville Central School District received word Monday from a state hearing officer that it is justified to fire its assistant school superintendent. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says a recommendation was issued after a very lengthy hearing process of more than 100-charges against the school administrator.
Dr. Kim Kirsch was placed on paid administrative leave in 2014. She was accused of insubordination, misconduct and other charges after Kirsch accusing Superintendent Scott Martzloff of abuse of power.
The school district received a recommendation Monday on the lengthy 3020-A hearing against Kirsch. She was found guilty of 103 of the 113 3020-A charges filed against her by the school district.
“We feel, in certain circumstances, the 3020-A process, should be followed and in this case it was. The hearing officer basically reinforced our stance on this by providing such an overwhelming determination of guilt and such a severe penalty as termination,” said Martzloff in a WBFO News interview.
The hearing officer’s decision says has “just cause” fire Kirsch. But in Kirsch’s fight against the district she claimed she was placed on leave in retaliation for accusing Martzloff of abuse of power. Her claim was supported by the Williamsville Teachers Association. The union had called for an outside investigation into Martzloff, also accusing him of abuse of power and favoritism. Union president Michelle Licht when they brought their concerns to the school board, that’s when Kirsch was placed on leave.
“Now, no one wants to bring concerns to the board’s attention for fear they’ll be suspended, as well,” stated Licht in a 2016 interview with WBFO.
But Martzloff tells us he believes the hearing officer’s ruling on Kirsch is vindication that he did nothing wrong.
“What I’ve said from the beginning is that the truth will come out, everyone will know what the truth is,” remarked Martzloff.
Martzloff tells WBFO he is hoping to heal divisions between the board and union that have occurred the last few years, noting the hearing officer rejected Kirsch’s claims of retaliation.
“She’s guilty of the charges and that I have done nothing wrong in terms of misconduct or breach of ethics or breaking the law or anything of that nature and it’s unfortunate that I have been misportrayed this way by the teachers’ union leadership for almost three years now,” Martzloff remarked.
The superintendent is calling on the union to review the hearing decision. He said he is looking forward to moving forward and work together with the union.
The Williamsville Teachers union had filed a "no confidence" vote against Martzloff after the initial actions against Kirsch.
The Williamsville School Board voted Tuesday evening on a resolution at its regular board session firing the assistant school superintendent.
Our email request to speak with the president of the teachers union was not returned.