Hamburg (NY) School Board misconduct hearings will stay closed

After two days of hearing secret testimony about a school board member’s alleged misconduct, the Hamburg Central School District’s lawyer said the sessions must be kept confidential because the proceedings are quasi-judicial.

But if the closed-door hearings are quasi-judicial, then they should be as open as a trial in a courtroom because they would not be covered by the state’s Open Meetings Law, according to the state’s expert on open government. Nonetheless, school district attorney Andrew J. Freedman said the hearings, which are to resume this week, will remain closed.

And so it goes in Hamburg, where voters last month cast ballots in hopes that the notoriety their district has acquired in recent years would settle down. Then last week, the public was told to leave a school building during the hearing concerning the board member and the doors were locked behind them, raising more questions about the process. Continue>>>