In the past year, the Buffalo Public School District has spent $47,000 of taxpayer money on legal fees and investigations. Last year the school district spent $12,000 on private counsel to defend school board president, Barbara Nevergold, in a matter against another board member, Carl Paladino. “According to district invoices, the $12,000 figure has grown to $34,000. That’s because the district doesn’t use its own attorneys to handle legal fights among board members.” The district explained that the nature of the dispute as well as a possible conflict of interest necessitated the hiring of private counsel and thus, its associated costs.
Aside from the above legal dispute, the district has also spent approximately $13,000 on two investigations. One of these investigations involved an employee complaint filed against Carl Paladino, a party to the aforementioned legal dispute, and cost taxpayers $8,000. The other was an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department Of Education into discrimination and cost taxpayers $5,000. Despite the high cost of these investigations, the school district failed to explain, as it did for the above legal dispute, why it did not cut costs by using its in-house counsel.