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


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Funding of non-recurring expense secured (?).

According to a report in the Buffalo News,  Hamburg Schools recovered almost 1/2 million in state aid, which was withheld a few years ago because of failed negotiations with the teachers union.  Mr. Cornell takes credit for researching and pressuring Assemblyman Ryan to secure the monies withheld.  (story in Blue from the Buffalo News) 
It is unclear what non-recurring expense Cornell might be referencing, but several people have reported via email to Concerned Hamburger, that the legal bills with the law firm Hodgson Russ, for the close of the 2016 fiscal year ending June 30th have exceeded the $241,000 Ryan help secure for the district.  Perhaps New York State should have by passed the district and  just cut a check to the the 30 plus Hodgson Russ attorneys who are sucking the blood of the school district. 
Well done Hamburg, Attorney Andrew Freedman,  and his Pa, et. al just secured themselves some more dough to go after. 
"Hamburg Central was one of five school districts in the state that did not agree on a teacher evaluation plan by the deadline in 2013, and New York State withheld the increase in state aid that year.
But now the district will be getting the state aid, thanks to the efforts of the superintendent and Assemblyman Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo. 
Hamburg was the only district in the state to lose aid because of lack of an agreement on an evaluation plan. Superintendent Steven Achramovitch was heading the district, and relations between teachers and the administration got testy during the negotiations. 
At one point, the superintendent sent a plan to the state, but it had not been signed by the district or the teachers union. As the clock ticked down and the two sides were on the brink of reaching an agreement on the Annual Professional performance Review , teachers accused the district of threatening their jobs if they did not vote in favor of the evaluation plan.
Talks broke down, the deadline was missed, and the district lost $482,000, the increase in state aid it was slated to get in 2013.
While the state had threatened to reduce aid to the other districts, only Hamburg had the money withheld. 
“There’s no reason that our school district should continue to have imposed upon us any penalty when nobody else in the state has faced a similar consequence,” Superintendent Michael Cornell said.
Cornell said he had been on the job as superintendent for six weeks when he started researching the lost aid in spring 2015. He contacted Ryan, who was able to secure $241,000 in aid this year. It is expected the rest will be included in next year’s budget, Cornell said, in praising Ryan for his efforts.
“I’ve always said that, while it is not our job to change our past, it is our job to shape the present and the future of our school district,” Cornell said.
He said the district will likely use the funding for a non-recurring expense."


20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you see they voted for Tom Flynn to be president again- that guy is a lack job. He spends all his time at M and T Bank on this blog. And he just can't keep his mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

Either legal bills or for more "professional development" for the administrators who don't step foot inside of classrooms except to do teacher observations. Hamburg needs to make better decisions across the board. The district has the potential to be excellent, but it appears the higher ups are ok with average.

Anonymous said...

Hamburg could add another $50,000+ to that amount if they would bring Kavanaugh back and stop paying her to do nothing for the district while she rakes in the money from teaching college classes. If all you have to do is skip open house and not write sub plans, I'll do that next year if it means I get a few years of free salary for nothing! M

Anonymous said...

funny- 6:03 pm you are sure right. so, why does colleen kaney make so much money- like over $125,000 a little departing hush money from Richard Jetter. Kaney is as dumb as they come. I saw the legal bills on the buffalo news, the lawyers run special ed. Colleen calls them to ask permission to go to the bathroom. I mean really? Does anyone know how much money Jetter cost the district- he gave raises to all the people who did his dirty work- Kaney, Jordan, Sporaz. And we are still paying for it. Its unreal. And Cornell is full of crap. THE TEACHERS VOTED NO on APPR in the Spring, and the DISTRICT HAD TO GIVE IN TO THE TEACHERS DEMANDS, AND IT WENT TO A SECOND VOTE AND PASSED. GET IT RIGHT. The only saving grace of Hamburg are the students that make it a great place- despite the lackluster- Fredonia and Buffalo State College dummies running the place. Every now and again, you might find a Canisius Educated person, and even then its rare. There are no standards- just some great kids who will be successful in any circumstance. Its nothing more than scam to make lots of money by some really unfit adults who cheat and lie. I mean really we all know about Colleen and Gordon Kerr... or Jen and Jetter... and well, we won't let the cat out of the bag just yet. Go Bull Dogs.

Anonymous said...

9:57 50,000? Try more like 150,000. Remember they are paying her full salary and benefits AND paying a long term sub Emily Lennartz to be in for her. Add on to that the one million they have spent with lawyers trying to jam her up because of substitute teacher lesson plans ( another subject right), and you got criminal activity on behalf of the Board. Then, Kavanaugh filed an appeal with the Commissioner that the suspension is illegal. Andrew Freedman of Hodgson Russ wrote the districts reply and the lost. So, its an illegal suspension. How many years has it been? The lawyers gave the district really bad advice and they are paying heavy for it. Now they are fighting it in court- and you ready for this???? I read the decision and the lawyers at Hodgson Russ screwed up AGAIN. They didn't serve her right. As for not writing lesson plans, that wasn't what they said...read the charges on the internet. They said that the sub plans didn't have classroom instruction. You know, like she left a movie or a work sheet for the kids. Did you ever hear of such a thing? Where is the Hamburg Teachers Union on this? I get my info from the source and the legal papers all on the internet. I think you should read them too. Its criminal what the board has done. Criminal.

Anonymous said...

10:44. I've read the legal papers, but don't spent my life re-reading them. So, I got one point about the lesson plans wrong-- for years the High School has flip flopped on the point you mentioned. A few years ago we were told to leave lesson plans with instruction and expect it to be completed-- now we are told to leave meaningless work, because our classes aren't likely to be covered. The union doesn't negotiate what we are expected to leave for sub plans- so they have no place to get involved here. If you want it to be a negotiated item, then ask for it to be. Then, expect to be spoken to every time your plans are perceived not follow that to the tee.
I would add to your list of questions-- where is the Hamburg community on this? It is evident from the lack of individuals to run for school board positions that the community is over the drama and inefficiency of the school board. There is little outrage about the districts expenditure in legal proceedings against Kavanaugh. If the people whose taxes are spent funding this endeavor don't speak out places other than this blog,nothing is going to happen. So the next time school taxes are raised, Hamburg residents should do exactly what they are doing now-- sitting with their mouths shut. Because when they were given the opportunity to complain and make changes, they did nothing.

Hamburg High School Teacher said...

7:20 AM-

I know exactly what you mean. The district is trying very hard to hide this whole thing. They spent thousands of dollars- thousands- having the 8 days of hearings hidden away in a hotel in downtown Buffalo. Gallagher, Jordan, Caney and Cornell- plus three lawyers from Hodgson Russ sat there EVERY DAY. I can tell you that I was told it was the biggest circle jerk ever. Jordan lied, Kaney lied and Gallagher testified about made up stories that were supposed to happen when he was out on sick leave. Ok, so if you go over the minutes published from the union meetings- you can see for yourself. The district charged kavanaugh will lesson plan flaws- and told the other teachers in the district not to worry about the lesson plans. Could be maybe because we havent had substitute teachers available for years, and as you know very well I am sure, our classes often go with NO ONE in them, or a teacher aid, or special ed teacher or a teacher who is on standby- just to baby sit. And then, Jordan said under oath- read it yourself- great summer reading, " our students are NEVER unattended". Of Course if you taught in the high school you will know that Jordan did absolutely NOTHING when he was AP, maybe scheduling, and that about sums it up. As for Gallagher- does anyone see that guy- where is he?

So now- the district is dragging this through court,more legal fees. The district wants to have the hearings all over again. They don't like that the one judge who tossed out all the issues and found Kavanagh did nothing wrong, so they are going to go find another one. I don't know how much one person can take. But its pretty odd I think that we don't hear a word about this from the union, don't you?
Then, in April Mike Gallagher went into the Social Studies Department meeting and told the entire department things that he should never talk about because they are personnel matters. But he blabbed away and Lisa Palma had a temper tantrum. I can tell you any teacher in that building knew all about that.

My guess is this won't be finished for a very long time, because the district is still trying very hard to cover up what happened with Jetter, the union, that insane "public meeting" group that started all this in the first place. I mean really, you must have gotten those emails about those meetings two years ago right? The one at the village church, where Becky, another social studies teacher got up an bellowed out flat out lies, or the lynching mob- run by none other than our guidance department. If you were around back then, 7:20 AM- you know exactly what I mean. All because why? The community is in hiding on this, because the people who started it all are afraid that they will be found out for who they are. Let me tell you, I have sat by and watched this whole thing play out, and if I wasn't too far into my career in Hamburg I would piss on the district and go someplace else ( and the students are just great as so many people agree). Its sick, its hateful, its destructive and for what? Lesson Plans? Cmon? You would have to be dumber than a door nail to think that. Shame on that Board, and as for Cornell- he's useless.

Maybe the people who started all this should be called out. But they are just hidden away, like the middle school principal and Boston Valley principal. But my guess is you can't hide for ever. Read the legal papers 7:20 am, they are public records now.

House of Cards said...

9:13 and 7:20:

Why don't either of you say something? Go to a meeting, sign- in and talk. You could ask the district about using electronic surveillance to monitor Kavanaugh's house. You could ask them why dave yoviene and james martinez lied to at least on state agency when asked if the district monitored the home and telephone of a public school teacher and private citizen? You could ask why they allowed Andrew Freedman of Hodgson Russ to sign a document with a company called _ DIGITS- look it up on behalf of the school board to spend tens of thousands of dollars monitoring a private citizens home and cellular phone. Andrew Freedman should lose his law license for that action- and many others. The Attorney Grievance Board is gonna have a hay day with Freedman and Hodgson Russ on that one, and 67 other complaints of appearances of impropriety You know they got Pigeons emails, the Supreme Court Justice Mickalek, and lots of others because the corruption in Erie County is criminal and you are just seeing the tip of the ice berg. Lots of other judges, and lawyers have their "nuts in a vice" and are scurrying around hiding. The attorney generals office has cast a wide net, and all roads lead to Hamburg. Look- Mickalek and others. Now, we see the DAs Office is full of pond scum- and has been for a very long time. So, stand up and say something because the corruption in the school district, the village the town and county are being looked at real close. Ask Andrew Freedman why he monitored a teachers house? Go ahead, ask. House of Cards.

Chiacchiera Dan the Lawyer is a LOSER said...

Dan Chiacchia and Andrew Fleming.
Look no further. Fleming was admonished twice for corruption. Chaicchia is the document creator. Cmon folks, don't you remember the Boston Valley meeting. Amazing the documents Dan got produced there. And then we have the summer of 2010. Dan and his inability to use the law, and has to create shadows on the wall because is frankly quite stupid, so he manufactures things that never happen. Thank you Captain Melisz, and his little minions Cullen and Shara. And poor Mayor Moses, he doesn't know much at all. Nice guy, but a bit dim. Lets see what Chiacchia says at a public meeting- " Do I need to get Judge Michalski in her to verify"? Verify what dan, the lies you tell, the lies you create, because Dan you are a shitty lawyer. Really bad. You sucked in the DAs office and you suck now. You have a stool pigeon Dan. People are talking, because Dan Chiacchia is a liar who can't attract real clients, so he makes up wild stories, calls the DAs office and chats up his dumb shit buddies ( you know the DAs Office isn't known for attracting smart people, right). he lurks around courts- like Orchard Park and tries really hard to do dirty things, because Hamburg Dan Chiacchia is a filthy man. The wagons are circling Dan. Why on earth Dan would you send court documents in the Charles Mahoney case, documents that were sealed by judge Damico to Donald Ogilvie trying to have Mahoney fired from Buffalo? Why Dan? Because Dan, you are really quite stupid. like your dumb shit Commissioners appeal, you didn't get what you wanted to you cried to Don Ogilve who contacted the Office of Counsel at NYSEd. Sorry Dan, keep those slip and fall ads on the radio- you might bring in a $1,500 dollar client. So was it you that created the Arbys drive thru incident. A very sick man. This is all opinion based on evidence that Daniel Chiacchia is a big ass loser.

Retired Ann said...

After reading these comments, if this is all true, it does really sound like there is criminal activity going on here. Seems to me like conspiracy to commit crimes, theft of public money to advance personal agendas, document creation, aiding and abetting, heck just have a peek at the penal code. I don't doubt it one single bit. Thats a long time game of dirty lawyers, document creation. They do it all the time in divorces. Some lawyers are dirtier than others, and the DAs office is notorious. Case in point, really two cases, 1. the Erie County DA who accused a man on trial of trying to run her over on Delaware Avenue, but then she was found out to be a liar when the Metro Bus turned over video of the man on a train miles from Delaware Ave. 2. Univ. of North Caroline Lacrosse team. And we know right here in Buffalo we have a dirty situation with the DA urging the grand jurys probable cause finding in the murder of Barry Moss to be reconsidered. Sedeta was successful. Why do we have Grand Jurys if the DA can convince them to change their decisions if he doesn't like them? Have a look at Judge Michalek- and his ex parte conversations with Steve Pigeon. I mean who would thing a lawyer would pick up phone or email a judge making intimations of palm scratching. I wonder how often this goes on? My guess right here in Hamburg this kind of thing happens all the time. Like for example, it is very strange, if you look at the Hodgson Russ legal bills on the Bflo New webpage that during the Forcucci removal sham, a lawyer at Hodgson Russ- Hugh Russ appears on the billings charging the district for a call he made to the NYS Supreme Court Judge who was presiding over a motion related the school board removals. Now, it could be nothing more than one of the senior partners checking a schedule for a case he had nothing to do with, I know that never happens. Or, it could be hanky panky. I am going with hanky panky on this one. In fact, if you scour the legal bills, which I know several people have, you never see the name Hugh Russ show up anywhere other than a billing for a phone call to the judges chambers. Was this ex Parte? Someone should as Mrs. Forcucci.

So, you see while lots of this seem like fantasy, it probably isn't. And there should be a state probe. You see if the events in Hamburg, the County and across this nations have taught us anything- its the lawyers who are rotting this form of democracy that has be gradually degraded and abused- the lawyers and for the most part- not all- but some of the greedy judges. ( case in point Hamburg Village Judge Fleming who was admonished for taking business from the bench- didn't he have ex parte conversations too? Come to think of it). So folks we got no one to blame but our selves. The Hamburg School Board is a board in name only just rubber stamping the enormous contracts for the busing company and the construction firms. They are a waste of time and their decisions as have been demonstrated are not really wise. But the good news is, if there is any, they feel really good about themselves. They actually think they are important- because they booted and harassed on member from the board, ran up millions in legal fees, and have hidden away two school administrator- HMS and BVS principals from consequence for their involvement and cover- up of Jeeter. Nice example for kids.

So maybe the communities worst fears will come to reality, maybe not. But then again, who really cares, we have a round about to build. Ta.

Anonymous said...

The schools Focus for the summer has Keith Fisher in it giving money to a student. Isn't he a vendor to the district? Has the bus contract ever gone out to bid? Wasn't Fisher or is he on the Foundation? Didn't he have Don Ogilve and even the school superintendents out to his house in Ellicotville? Something stinks like dirty pool water? Wheres the oversight? Oh I get it, lets load up the BOE with dummies, and lackies who don't know much about too much and give K. Fisher his bus contract every year. Several Millions of dollars and that guy controls the scheduling of students. What about Potters Road and BOCES? The bus companies sure make a ton of money on that. The cost of educating a kid is expensive and well worth it, but funding the bus companies by driving around the county to pay for what? Funny when Ogilvie took over BOCES it was "shop", and the districts had their own technical programs, then it all moved to those giant Erie BOCES Campuses around town. For what? Maybe to keep all the contracts going. Its not about the students, its about the contractors. meanwhile parents, when your kids schedule comes out check to see how many study halls they are plopped in, and then when you see Keith Fisher cruising around in his one of many Porsche cars ( little men, fast cars), be sure and wave and ask him for a ride, you paid for it.

Anonymous said...

11:27. As you well know from what is happening to Kavanaugh, there isn't much a Hamburg employee can do to try to enact change in Hamburg without becoming a target. I value my employment so you won't see me going out on a limb to save taxes in a community where they don't care to advocate for themselves or their kids. I'll keep doing my job, with little to no supplies or technology provided by the district-- and will hope the board will eventually see the light.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I sometimes read this blog to find out the gist of whats happening, and I wonder why I never read about the two former students who are suing the district and some teachers for negligence. Pretty sure that one little boy from Boston valley was called pejorative terms by Miss Sipptell, and the BVS Principle Martinez made the kid eat lunch on the floor. And wasn't one little tike pee'd on on the playground by one of the Piazza kids. I don't write much, but that much I know and I think it is really bad the district is trying really hard to make sure the public doesn't find out anything about any of those things. So lets drone on about not much of anything, and the school board can pretend that the district isn't going to have to pay out millions in damages for the lawsuits they and some really bad staff members caused. Its true. And where are Sipptell and Martinez? Being hidden by the district? Both of them should have been fired. What does Flynn and his lackluster board members have to say about kids getting abused at school? Guess they are too busy hiding this from the public. Why hasn't the Hamburg Blogger written about this? There are really bad eggs in that bunch and it's not who you think, the real bad ones are being hidden away. Karma has a way of coming around tho.

Anonymous said...

Hey why aren't you writing about the lawyers for the district failing to be able to serve papers properly? And Dan Chia-pet called Jim Tresmond into question? Really? Mr. Tresmond never violated the CPLR or had to be given three changes to properly serve someone. So, it Hodgson Russ really worth 300 bucks and hour. They are probably doing it on purpose to keep the districts meter running. Why isn't the blog writing about that? Go to the ecourts and check it out bloggster. And Hodgson Russ is called a top law firm? Not. I wouldn't hire them to get me off of a stop sign roll through. Really incompetent. So, wheres Dan Chia-Pet on this one. Jim Tresmond is a stand up guy, and he'd never suck the dollars out of the mouths of children like the lawyers at Hodgson Russ. Gross, really gross.

Anonymous said...

How would you know that they can't serve papers correctly? They tried to serve you?

Anonymous said...

2:01 Anonymous, Nope. Go check out the ecourts. Ive been watching this drama play out for a very long time and it would be very comical if it were not so sick and demented. I mean really isn't that just the craziest thing that a law firm like Hodgsen Russ can't serve papers right? No Ive have never been served, and I wouldn't know if I was if it was right or wrong. But it sure looks like that from the court papers. Read them online they are right out there. Isn't the school board thinking they should get new lawyers? The only way the lawyers they have now can win a think it by making calls behind the scenes. and hiring someone like Dave Hoover. Was Andrew Freedman dis-barred yet? Or hasn't his many, many ethical violations not caught up with him. Shame, bet Judge Michalek never thought he'd get caught. Lost of dirty lawyers around- really dirty slobs. Like our Village judge and his partner Chia-pet. Anyone every wonder why Chia ever came crawling out of his hole in the ground to protect Matt Dills, and email Donny O. Dan can't do things the honorable why because in my opinion he is a terrible lawyer that is the laughng stock of Buffalo, where is Chia Pet these days- wondering when the Part 1200 Police are gonna call his boney little self in before them? I mean really 2:10, Dans little show looks real nice in the rear view mirror. Who wouldn't watch this play out- much better than Netflix.

Anonymous said...

2:01- There are many of us who are watching what goes on with this waste of money. Mike Cornell is so far in over his head he doesn't know what on earth to do. Cornell has pissed off the teacher aids, kitchen staff, and would get down on his knees for Flynn, and Flynn would love it. Its all crazy. Too bad for the kids of the district. Cornell was let go from Amherst and he landed this job, ask the Amherst teachers. Cornell was bumped out and took Hamburg because there isn't anyone around who would blow tom Flynn- even Mrs. Flynn.

Amherst Dad said...

Cornell was on the verge of being fired in Amherst- something involving a student, and Vince Cappla, and Hodgson Russ resuscitated the loser by offering him Hamburg. As the parents in Hamburg what Cornell was like as a principal- cocky, and ignored people. He got into that anti testing stuff and thought he was a superhero. Amherst Board was ready to fire the guy and he ended up as hamburgs problem, Anyone surprised here? He will for sure blow the Flynn guy, and watch out you Hamburg women he is about as faithful as Hollywoods worst playboy. Look into his history, a very troubled man with no self esteem. Remind ya of Jetter- bug?

Anonymous said...

Drunk Flynn, Yoviene and Schneider are wasted at JPs Pub in Hamburg. They really should watch out who they sit next to, drink and talk about in Hamburg. Some people like to listen. What idiots. Is Dave Yoviene on some medication? He was weaving back and forth. Just saying and then we left the big mouth. Oh Boy Tom Flynn thinks he is something special. The shit they say in public, WHOA.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous July 22 @ 2:30pm - the boy at Boston Valley was urinated on at the playground but not by one of the Piazza kids, but by one of 9 students bullying him during that entire year. Martinez was not the principal, it was the one before him and yes Sipprell did say horrible things about the boy. The whole story is truly disgusting. All parties involved still have jobs in the district but have just been moved around to other schools and one didn't receive tenure. You were completely right about one thing though, it has been all swept under the carpet and the District would never want what happened there ever to get out because people would be outraged.