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Canisius Board of Trustees to conduct full review & investigation

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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The Canisius High School Board of Trustees will begin a full review and investigation into the recent suspension of a student athlete and the employment termination of the former Dean of Students. WBFO News has obtained statements from both the board and the school's President, Father Joseph , Costantino,   S.J.

The high school has retained the legal services of Buffalo attorney Terrence Connors.  "Connors has advised, there will be no further comment issued by the board, the school, or Father Costantino until the review has been concluded.  We thank you for your professionalism and respect for this process," said Tom Lucia, the school's public relations and social media director.

The following statement was issued by the high school's board of trustees and the school president:

STATEMENT FROM Canisius High School Board of Trustees

As part of its mission, Canisius High School “challenges its students to strive for excellence as critical thinkers . . . who are . . . committed to justice.”  In accordance with that mission, the Canisius High School Board of Trustees will conduct a comprehensive review and investigation into the facts, circumstances, policies, and procedures associated with the recent suspension of a student athlete and the employment termination of the former Dean of Students. 

The Board of Trustees has chosen Buffalo attorney Terrence M. Connors to head the review and investigation.  Mr. Connors, a founding partner in the law firm, Connors & Vilardo, LLP, is himself committed to the ideals of Jesuit education, having graduated from Fordham Preparatory School and Canisius College.  Mr. Connors has been recognized by his peers as one of the pre-eminent trial attorneys in New York State.  For the past several years, he has ranked first for all of Upstate New York by New York Super Lawyers Magazine.  In 2012, he was named Lawyer of the Year by the Erie County Bar Association, and in 2006, he was given the Attorney Professionalism Award by the New York State Bar Association.  Mr. Connors is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and is listed in Best Lawyers in America in seven separate categories.

“While the Board of Trustees has great confidence in the excellent professionals who comprise the Canisius High School administration, faculty, and staff nevertheless this situation and our commitment to the ideals of Jesuit education require us to review this matter as a Board,” said Robert J. Reger, Jr., Chair of the Board of Trustees.  “We are confident that Terry Connors and his team will do that in a way that is sensitive to all those involved and consistent with Canisius High School’s commitment to justice.”

The Board of Trustees will have no further comment on these matters until Mr. Connors completes the review and investigation. 

STATEMENT FROM Canisius High School President Rev. Joseph Costantino, S.J.

Regarding the comprehensive review being conducted by Terrence Connors:

“The week began with Canisius High School’s commitment to integrity as its focus.  That commitment has not changed nor wavered.  In that spirit, we welcome Mr. Connors’ investigation.  We know that its findings will help the school community begin to heal and strengthen its reputation for educating men of outstanding character and honesty.  We look forward to the process.”

Please note we have been advised by Mr. Connors to not say anything more publicly about this issue until the review has been completed.

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