Hamburg School Board Hearing Could Go Until July

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Hamburg, NY - A hearing for a Hamburg school board member could continue through July.

The Hamburg School Board has charged Board Member Catherine Schrauth Forcucci with official misconduct. Her hearing is being held in executive session, which means the public and media are not allowed to attend.

Tuesday, community members who showed up were escorted out of the building before the executive session began. It lasted three-and-a-half hours. It ended, and the regular board meeting began again, before the media was allowed back inside. Doors to the Hamburg Schools administration building were locked during the hearing.

The attorney representing the district, Andrew Freedman, says the district will look into why the press was not permitted back inside before the meeting officially resumed.

"You know, I probably think there was some security concerns. As you we'll know, there has been some security concerns surrounding this event. In fact, as you know, the superintendent's car was vandalized and his house was vandalized," said Freedman.

Meanwhile, Forcucci's attorney, Margaret Murphy wants the hearing to be public. She says that evidence presented at the hearing would benefit her client and her public perception. She would even like the board to come up with an alternative solution instead of dragging out the hearing.

"I hope that as the board starts considering the evidence, that they end this. Not go forward with the hearing and find a more productive way to make this board more functional," says Murphy.

Neither attorney would comment specifically on what happened during the hearing Tuesday. It continues Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the district's administration building.

Wednesday, the board will also likely consider a motion to allow board member-elect Cam Hall to sit in on the hearing. He will not be sworn in until July first, but some board members believe the hearing could last well into July. Some board members feel it would be beneficial to allow Hall to be present at the hearing. Tuesday, this motion was tabled.

Three additional hearing dates are set for the first week in June.

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