The flap over selecting a new Buffalo School leader is intensifying. The minority group of Buffalo School Board members sent a letter to the State Education Commissioner dated July 31 calling for the ouster of majority Board Member Carl Paladino.
Paladino is trying to force the board into selecting his choice of Kevin Eberle, Principal at Harvey Austin School, as the next superintendent. Paladino is calling on the state education commissioner to remove board President James Sampson.
But Board member Barbara Seals Nevergold tells WBFO News Paladino is using intimidation and bullying to get his candidate appointed.
"This is a pattern that Mr. Paladino has when he does not get his way. He bullies and intimidates people," said Seals Nevergold. "We had an interview with this principal, but we certainly have reached a point in time where we are ready to appoint a superintendent, but he wants to usurp any of that authority from the board as a whole and make this his own authority to place a person in this position."
Paladino is calling for Sampson to be replaced by majority board member Larry Quinn.
WBFO received a written statement from Paladino in response to the minority members letter saying Sampson has been dealing with a difficult family matter and is "not capable" of providing needed leadership at this time. Paladino also referred to the minority members as "self-absorbed" and "incompetent."
Another new candidate for superintendent has surfaced that Paladino is highly critical of and accusing the minority members of aligning themselves with this candidate.
Dr. Kriner Cash, former superintendent from Memphis, is expected to be interviewed by board members on Tuesday at a special school board meeting.
The following is the response emailed by Carl Paladino to WBFO in response to our request for a recorded comment:
"Eileen, my memo and previous writings speak for themselves. The people of Buffalo will only see constructive and positive change from the status quo of dysfunction when they recognize that you can’t reform the dysfunction of the Buffalo Public Schools with the same people who created the dysfunction. The minority members of the Board were and are now part of the self-absorbed incompetent leadership that brought about the dysfunction. They are not interested in the education of our children. They only seek self-empowerment and to protect the interests of the union leaders who endorse and support them. Jim Sampson is suffering from a very difficult personal problem and, as such, is not capable of providing the necessary leadership at this very difficult time. His obstinacy in stepping down is doing a disservice to the people and the reason he was elected to the Board."