© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Protestors rally for Paladino's removal from School Board

Carl Paladino is back as the target of people who want him removed from the Buffalo School Board and are circulating a petition to demand he be gone.

Protestors were chanting in front of the Buffalo Academy for Visiual and Performing Arts School Wednesday night, just before the school board meeting. They attacked Paladino for his comments defending Donald Trump's comments about women, especially 11-year old comments made on television show microphones demeaning women.

Drew Ludwig, one of the protestors, said he had trouble explaining the Trump comments to his daughters. Ludwig said he does not hear those kind of comments in locker rooms he uses.

"I would characterize it as unacceptable talk or prison talk," he said. "Regular guys don't spend that much time talking in the locker room. When we're in there, we get changed and we get out and we certainly don't brag about assaulting women."

Five female members of the board attacked Paladino and his comments during the meeting, but did not call for Paladino's removal. Defending Trump, the local developer said it was just locker room talk, men bragging. That drew a gaveled exchange from Board President Barbara Seals Nevergold.
"I've a right to talk," Paladino said.

"I understand that, but...." Nevergold said.

"You're not saying that. What are you doing?" Paladino countered.

"We're asking you not to proceed with a political presentation," said  Seals Nevergold. "We were talking about your words."

"We're talking about the words of Donald Trump," said Paladino.

"We're talking about the words of Mr. Paladino," said Seals Nevergold.

"And my words at no time supported the context of what he was saying," Paladino said.

When the Board President tried to quiet him, Paladino threatened to sue her.

"At no time did I comment on or support that sexual assault or rape was appropriate," said Paladino. "And I warned you about that. I warned you about bringing it up."

"Mr. Paladino," Seals Nevergold said.

"So I'm going to end up suing you for defamation, in addition to the others who brought this thing up," Paladino said.

"Well, as long as she's sitting on the board, I guess she's okay," Board Member Sharon Belton Cottman interjected.

"She's not okay," Paladino said. "Because you were given adequate warning. That's an intentional tort."

As Cottman told the meeting, decisions on ousting an elected official like Paladino are made in Albany by New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. Board members are familiar with the process, as there have been several recent attempts to remove different board members.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
Related Content