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Hamburg School Board charges Schrauth Forcucci with official misconduct

DECISIONS, DECISIONS — Hamburg School Board Vice President Sally Stephenson, middle, speaks in support of Board Member Catherine Schrauth Forcucci at the school board's April 30th meeting, in which district officials voted to pursue misconduct charges against Forcucci. Left: Board Member Holly Balaya, and right, Board President David Yoviene.

HAMBURG — Hamburg Central School Board members charged Catherine Schrauth Forcucci with official misconduct during a special meeting on April 30, but the specific charges were not made public. The vote passed 4-2.

Schrauth Forcucci did not attend the meeting on the advice of her attorney, Margaret Murphy. The charges could result in the board member’s being removed from office. Schrauth-Forcucci did not attend the meeting because she could not vote on items on the agenda, since they involved her.

The meeting comes after an audio recording of a 2010 executive session was released, followed by the election of three board members, last May, including Schrauth-Forcucci. Superintendent Steven A. Achramovitch resigned, then the new board put him on administrative leave and hired a new attorney last July. A new law firm was hired, after the board’s majority shifted.

Concerned parents formed the Hamburg Education Information, the group that headed up the removal of Schrauth-Forcucci and Board Members Sally Stephenson and Holly Balaya. One of the group’s leaders, Daniel Chiacchia, filed an appeal to remove Stephenson and Balaya, but that was not successful.

Stephenson and Balaya voted against the official charges. Stephenson said it was a “sad day,” for Hamburg and that the board member in question was “elected by the public.” Board members also predicted the misconduct charges and hearing process will cost the district upwards of $250,000.

Freedman said the board would arrange a hearing date with Schrauth Forcucci. The board hired Freedman, or his designee, to prosecute the charges, and David Hoover as the hearing officer.

The school board will determine if Schrauth Forcucci is guilty, and then decide the appropriate action, which could include removal from office.

Look for the full story by reporter Steve Dlugosz in this week’s edition of The Sun.


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