NEW- THE FLEECING OF THE TAXPAYER- HODGSON RUSS LEGAL BILL

*****NEW****Click on link below to be directed to the Hodgson Russ Legal Bills Jan- May 2016- THE FLEECING OF THE TAXPAYER.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B03Rg-d-K8EZYVRLTUxxVmpUNzA/view?usp=sharing


Friday, March 25, 2016

Hamburg Board of Education commits misconduct with your tax dollars


And
Hamburg Schools:
$192,502.00* 
Taken by Hodgson Russ- the Lawyers
via poor judgment and suspension of disbelief
From January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015, the Hamburg Board of Education and Superintendents authorized the spending of almost $200,000 with the law firm of Hodgson Russ.   A staggering number of attorneys from Hodgson Russ have taken a seat at the trough filled with dollars earmarked for the education of Hamburg kids. The lawyers have provided what appears to be very poor advice which has led to three publicly humiliating spectacles.    

First, and we need not rehash too much,  the sex, lies and videotape tale of Doctor Jetter.  Followed by the ouster of Catherine Forcucci from a publicly elected seat on the Board of Education, and the bizarro conduct of attorney Andrew Freedman.  And now, we have the first and only 3020a** in the history of Hamburg Schools over strange allegations of missing lesson plans.  The hearing officer lambasted the Superintendent and the Board of Education for acting in "bad faith" and having unacceptable conduct (duh).  The Boars retort that the hearing office is irrational and committed misconduct. Whoa, what a strange bowl of fruit. 

So, it looks like everyone is guilty of misconduct except the shady Board of Education bought and paid for by Daniel Chiacchia, who has been identified by many as having a deeply rooted vendetta against the teacher.  

To say the conduct of the Boars and Superintendent is puzzling is an understatement.  Front and center of the Hamburg Schools webpage is a notice asking community members to beg for more money from Albany, and the intention of the Boars to raise taxes, again.  Yet, they have exhibited poor judgement in spending, an inability to hire administrators who can address issues without having to call any one of the following 25 attorneys at Hodgson Russ.

1. Catherine Cooley
2. Andrew Freedman
3. Karl Kristoff
4. Ryan Eberhart
5. Jeffrey Same
6. Melanie Beardsley
7. Tania Bratton
8. Elizabeth Carlson
9. Michael Risman
10. Jeffrey Swiatek
11. Paul Moesky
12. Aaron Saykin
13. John Christopher
14. Elizabeth Holden
15. Elizabeth McPhail
16. Michael Reyen
17. Seth Pullen
18. Emina Poricanin
19. Jaclyn Hamlin
20. Ryan Johnson
21. Jill Yonkers
22. Bridget Lamb
23. Zachary Hebert
24. Michael Flanagan
25. Bernard Freedman

Yes,  folks it is all true. From January 2015- December 2015, 25 different Hodgson Russ Attorneys have billed the school district for time spent on district business.  Prior to July 2015, the hourly rates ranged from $113.00- $299.00. In July 2015, the Boars voted to approve an increase in hourly rates by approximately $5.00 per hour.  One bets, the hourly staff in the district would be pleased with at $5.00 raise, or one of those clubs that were cut would sure find a way back into kids lives if the Boars took those extra fives and put them into restoring clubs for kids. 

So where is the misconduct?  

* The legal invoices were forwarded to Concerned Hamburg
** Concerned Hamburger did an independent investigation into 3020a hearings. 

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

WTF? Why don't those lawyers rent a bus and come out to Hamburg for a meeting with the public and explain what the heck they are doing. This is unreal. The whole board should go down for this.

Anonymous said...

and the budget will get voted down, and the lawsuits won't end... So the students will end up getting screwed out of a quality education because our school board doesn't care.
Can't there be a vote of "no faith" in the board and have them all out up for re election this voting cycle?

Our kids deserve better

Anonymous said...

They waited til they got rid of Forcucci and Stephenson before they pulled this stunt. And Chiacchia thinks he is so smart. Blows his wad off at little caggers all the time. The parents think he is a blowhard bully- always try to dig up
Some business for his law practice. He is classless, shameless and clueless. McGarry you should be a shamed of yourself. Have u no morals?

Anonymous said...

So, Hamburg Teachers- you will face 3020 a charges if while you are out sick you fail to include the following in your lesson plans"
1. “objective or purpose of the lesson”. a
2. “rubric for grading”,
3. “ an assessment of learning”,
4.“ the relationship of this lesson plan to the standards”,
5" the number of points that students would receive for assessment purposes related to the lesson plans."

You see teachers, the school district is harassing the shit out of MK. I read the transcripts Jordan, Gallagher and Kaney- probably anyone who has had any interaction with them will agree are completely useless and incompetent, but they point the fingers at her because they are so angry about the grievance she filed to teach economics, and won if you remember. Jordan's testimony is terrifying- 3 days, Kaney had to admit she NEVER had conversations with MK other than a hello every now and again. And get this Gallagher, who was OUT SICK in the Fall of 2013 actually testified. Wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it. Now, we were JUST told that we don't need to leave full lesson plans only emergency lesson plans, so what the heck is this all about. I for one am enraged about this. Who's gonna be next? And why did we find out about this in the news paper? Whats going on? Cornell has been in the district only a year and he is worse than Jetter. What is this about the number of points that students would receive for assessment purposes related to the lesson? What the hell does that mean? This is abuse and insanity.

Anonymous said...

4:56 3/25/16 Call up Dan Chiacchia and thank him. He paid for Tom Flynn, Cam Hall, Robyn List, Mike McGarry and Robert Scheidner, he gave them large sum of money- t-shirts, and all kinds of crap. If you voted the last three years you'd see that guy outside the gym doors. Its pretty clear whats happening here. The people of Hamburg got duped by Dan. His agenda is pretty obvious now isn't it. Did you go to his hate sessions? They are on youtube if you don't believe the scheme he cooked up. Its very obvious. And the assholes on the board don't give a shit about kids, get that right.

Billy bob said...

CH- when and where in the school board minutes did the school
Board approve the action of filing a 3020a against MK? If you can provide a link that would be great. If you can't give a link please direct us to the exact date where this was approved please

Anonymous said...

11:46 PM- GREAT QUESTION? WHERE ARE THESE PAPERS. HOW ABOUT THEM HAVING THE MEETINGS/HEARINGS IN THE EMBASSY SUITES. I HEARD THEY WANTED TO KEEP THESE ALL HUSH HUSH, AND THAT MK WANTED A PUBLIC HEARING BUT THE DISTRICT SAID NO. THEN THEY HIDE IT AWAY DOWNTOWN. TALK ABOUT SECRECY. WELL NOW WE CAN ALL HIT THE COURTS ON THE DAY OF THE HEARING/TRIAL, AND NO DOUBT THE MEDIA WILL BE THERE. EVERY LAWYER I HEARD TALK ABOUT THIS SAID THE DISTRICT IS GOING TO LOSE. HODGSON RUSS HAS GIVEN A LOT OF MONEY TO EVERY SUPREME COURT JUSTICE IN BUFFALO SO WHO KNOWS WHAT THE POLITICS ARE. ITS JUST INSANE. MORE BAD PRESS AHEAD. WHY THE SECRECY?

Anonymous said...

Hamburg wants to try to run the district like a business when it handles employees and termination but has not done the back work to support this. The administration building is disorganized with individuals who don't speak to each other. There is little to no support for staff from HAB and little to no clarity of expectations. The admin building says one thing and state regulations say another- but HAB continues to do its own thing. Never have teachers been given the list of "must haves" in their sub plans that appear a few posts above. None of that is requested in the emergency sub plan form we are asked to fill out. HAB thinks they can change the rules, not let anyone know and then play gotcha. It is sad. We could use some people up there who have recent knowledge of what it is like to be a teacher in a classroom. Then maybe priorities would be shifted.
How about we ask our admins to teach one class a year to keep them grounded in what education should be like.

Anonymous said...

9:47 am . From what I have been reading it seems like they ask MK something different than they request other teachers. Did they think they were not going to figure this out. I was told she had substitute teachers testify that the plans she left when she was out were more than they see sometimes. Sometimes I know teachers don't leave anything, and that there are NO SUBS in the class so the kids have study halls with no teachers in the room. This is super odd that they would go after her think that she didn't know what went on with others. So how much have we spent on this? Lesson Plans? And as a former student and parent of the district I can tell you there are lots of times at open houses there are teachers absent. I remember Mr. Howe was NEVER there and and the classroom was total dark. I can't figure this all out, it seems like a waste of money and harassment. I didnt like the superintendent when I met him he is smug and arrogant and when he talks he says big words, but NOTHING else. What is wrong out there?

Anonymous said...

and how much did they spend to cover up Martinez? Martinez is a ticking bomb- he will blow when someone simply glances at him. He had a major outburst at LA Fitness against a former employee in the district. Now, he actually substitute teaches when teachers are out in his building. Thank the Lord that my kids are away from him, and now at the middle school with another immoral person running that place. If I had the money, they'd be at a private school. I can not wait until they are done in this district. They have some wonderful teachers that thankfully keep them away from the immoral Martinez, Cornell, Giallella and this Board of Education. They are all misguided and need to have a reality check.

Anonymous said...

8:16
I am happy to see that some administrators in Hamburg are taking responsibility and not leaving classrooms unfilled when there is a shortage of substitutes. At the high school, leaving a group of almost 30 students unattended in a classroom due to a lack of substitutes is a regular occurrence-- all while administrators are in their offices or are all out of the building at meetings. Special education services have also been cut in some years when there wasn't enough staff to monitor study hall students. And regularly special education teachers are not replaced on days of sub shortages violating student IEPs and leaving kids without their academic support.it is especially bad on days that whole departments are pulled for mandatory "professional development"-- which leaves more classrooms unattended than not.
The sub issue is huge in Hamburg and it is only getting worse.

Anonymous said...

"During the past several years I have heard adults as well as children describe varying degrees of anxiety and emotional duress. I am not sure exactly what the root causes are to these distresses, but I heard some of it may evolve around the expectations of academic performance.
I would like to focus on what I believe is the most important expectation of academic performance. The most important expectation of academic performance is to have fun while learning. I do not know when the train went off the proverbial track, but I do know children cannot learn under duress. School was supposed to be about enjoying friendships and inquiry in the world we live.
What if we changed the word quiz to conquest? Would the adventurous term make taking them more fun? What if all tests were known as assessments? I assess my weight, blood pressure, pulse, physical activity, and mood to ensure it is conducive to feeling good. I know my anxiety and emotional duress is usually caused by how I respond to others demands and situations placed upon me. I truly cannot imagine being five years old and thinking the next thirteen years will not focus on having fun while I learned something new every day.
We at Boston Valley do everything in our power to make each day special for your children. Our goal is that the children and visitors feel welcomed when they enter our school."
In Stewardship,
James Martinez

Anonymous said...

Learning has not been about enjoyment or fun in the Hamburg District in quite a while. I bet we could pinpoint the shift in "fun level" to the start of turmoil in the district-- no money for extracurriculars? No money for teachers? Cutting electives? Only offering the exact courses a student needs at the high school level to receive a diploma? Those are the things that sap the love of learning out of students, and teachers. When kids see their teachers crying in the hall after the district calls them down to the principals office in the middle of the day to tell them they won't have a job the next year-- that sucks the love of learning out of a student.
Focusing on pre-assessments, benchmarks, common assessments, mid-terms and final exams suck the love of learning out of students. Nearly eliminating all field trips, assemblies and out of district learning experiences for students impact a love of learning, as does limited funds for libraries, new textbooks, board of Ed review of all new pieces of literature teachers want to use and a lack of support systems at all learning levels impact a love of learning.
Changing terminology doesn't change what is actually happening in education, and the Hamburg School District.
The district has chosen to offer a minimally interesting path to conferring a diploma on students.
The love of learning would return if the love for kids in the Hanburg district by administrators did.

Anonymous said...

6:31-

If you look back to April 2010, the district- Mark Crawford and Gordon Kerr laid off over 25 teachers, tried to send EMT ( a fabulous program) to BOCES, cut teacher aids, all at the same time of trying to sneak thru an arts and music pavilion. Crawford realized it he was working in the Twighlight Zone and headed over to West Seneca- Kerr's brother in law gave him a job, Calkins and Ogilvie hired Ashram-vitch ( who NEVER EVER applied for the job and had to get a District sponsored waiver from the State Education Department), they ended school year 2009-10 with a unprecedented 4.1 MILLION DOLLAR FUND BALANCE. Calkins and her crazy agenda being driven by Ashramo. They released a recording of one of their executive sessions and then started a costly lawsuit to go after those they branded as villains. Consider this in 2009-10 Harris Beach billed the district less than 35,000- 2015-16 over 200,000 and counting. And the question is WHY? Why did certain members of the Hamburg Community go after the board when they dropped the foolish secret taping case, why did the hang the honorable Mr. Jim Tresmond up by his toes, and then usher in the outrageous lawyers of Hodgson Russ. Why did they go after Forcucci? So if you don't like the lady- ignore her. No, No, No, its all to cover up dirt of the district. Why did the foundation mysteriously change their name and tax filings? Love of Learning- really? You must be living in an alternate universe, when developing intellectual thought leads to the prevention of the very problems that plague the district as you rightly point out. What do the students know, and how do the face the world and view the challenges of the world if an investment is not made into their intellectual development? Forget it, it won't happen because the teachers and staff stand by while the board and the crooks that run the place- including the slothful lawyers- take all the money. All Gallagher cares about is graduation rates, and he will lie, cheat, and make up grades to get the desired results. Everyone who works here knows what he does. He creates grades for students who aren't even in the building. How about course recovery? You know what that means- make up the grades. And what is most amusing, the people now complaining are the same folks who went after Sally Stephenson- you know the one BOE member who pushed for a longer school day and drug and alcohol training for kids and parents ( incase you aren't aware there is a heroin epidemic- and some of our kids are suffering- and one know "runner" is in re-hab again). Sally is the one who fought to keep the EMT program, while Ogilve was trying to snatch it up for BOCES. Sally fought the thieves of the district, and they turned it all around on her. So, if you are teacher or staff 6;31 ask what the dolt Laura Heeter has done for you or Dave Yoviene- THeyve been on 3 years and did nothing they said they would do, and the legal bill are worse now than ever. And the HTA is going to support them again- STEP UP AND SAY NO, and BE A VOICE FOR THE KIDS. BLOW THAT GALLAGHER in to NYSED and be a man 6;31. IF you CARE you will see what has happened. Right?

Anonymous said...

Teachers and staff are not the ones who elected the board members. Most teachers live out of district. Can't blame those ineligible to vote I the choices of those who do vote.
"Shared decision making" has been pretty much eliminated from Hanburg Schools. Teachers have little to no say in any decision in the district before it is handed down as a decree.
Instead of getting mad at the teachers for something they have no control over, get mad at your complacent by neighbors who don't care enough to run for the board of education or vote for people who care about the kids.

Anonymous said...

3:40- Did you support Dan Chiacchia, Ed Piazza, Christina Whipple, Wendy Eveneden, James Martinez, Captain Mike Melisz and Tom Moses, Andrew Fleming, and the others when they made up lies? Daniel Chiacchia and Andrew Fleming have put at risk their licenses to practice law in NYS over school elections ad the dirt they are trying to hide. Think about it- why did these guys work so hard? To bring the school district to where you and 4.6.16 talk about. Why don't you go picked out in front of the Chiacchia Fleming Lawfirm? These guys are the ones who created the mess you are talking about, and over what you might ask? Fleming was admonished twice, and according to his partner Dan- " its no big deal". yes, Dan stood at the Hub and stated that the NYS Judicial Ethics admonishment of his partner Fleming was " no big deal". So, it seems the being ethical is NO BIG DEAL to the guys that Chaicchia put on the Board. Ask yourself, whats their skin in the game? And where are these concerned parents now? Hopefully they may have decided to start doing some parenting at home, because is seems the apples aren't falling too far from the branches of the trees. Lots of people read the blog, and some are the ones that supported Chiacchia in his insane agenda to take over the board to spend hundreds of thousands dollars with the LawFirm HR, and God knows what else. Cornell is a pansy puppet- just like Jetter. Wake up and look around.

Anonymous said...

11:41. You just continuously rant and rant and rant about things that have happened in the past. Are you currently working on a time machine so you can go back and save the district from its failures? Are you doing more than just posting on this blog? Will we see your name on the School board ballot? Where is your picket sign?

Anonymous said...

7:53- I am 11:41, and I read pages of transcripts and watched dan c on you tube shaking away. He is the one you must look to. Rant rant rant? So strange. I got it- let dan put those pansies on the board and run things for ya. Good luck with that bozo.

Anonymous said...

SO THE ADMINISTRATION COMES INTO THE SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT MEETING AND GIVES A TELL ALL ABOUT THE MK HEARINGS, AND TALKS OPENLY ABOUT A PERSONNEL MATTER. ISN'T THIS JUST WRONG? DID THE ADMINISTRATION GO TO THE ENTIRE OF STAFFF OF THE THE MIDDLE SCHOOL WHEN GIAALLELLA WAS CAUGHT HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH JETTER, OR GO TO BVS TO TELL STAFF THAT JAMES MARTINEZ IS BEING SUED FOR HIS IRRATIONAL CONDUCT? SO WHY WOULD THE HIGH SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION GO TO THE SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT AND TALK ABOUT A PERSONNEL MATTER. OH WHAT A BAD IDEA. ITS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS WHAT HAPPENS WITH ANOTHER TEACHER. THESE ARE SOME OF THE MOST UNPROFESSIONAL PEOPLE I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED IN MY LIFE, AND I HOPE MK SUES THEIR ASSES OFF. WHAT A TERRIBLE THING TO DO SO SOMEONE. JUST SAYING DUDE.