State audit criticizes Buffalo school board president

Jan 15, 2015

A long and contentious meeting of the Buffalo Board of Education Wednesday night turned loud in criticism of  school board President Jim Sampson.

Wednesday's school board meeting at Waterfront School turned into another contentious affair.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

A new state audit is very critical of the time when Sampson was president and CEO of the child welfare agency Gateway-Longview before he retired. He left in 2013 around the time when he was elected to the school board.

The audit does not criticize any of the care the agency provided but does say too many contracts went to companies with ties to the agency board and hundreds of thousands went on what the audit considered questionable expenses.

During the public comment period on the usually bad sound system, Michael Ziolkowski was gaveled down by Sampson.

Among his references, Ziolkowski asked Sampson, "$64,000 for a social club?"

Sampson soon responded, "You're done. You're not talking about school board issues."

Ziolkowski was ushered away by two district security officers.

Asked about the audit, Sampson declined comment.

The school board has dealt with a series of efforts to remove current board members and to have Albany step in.