District Superintendent Susan Agruso said the district is paying only the cost of the attorney that is investigating the allegations and is not paying attorney fees for the board trustee being investigated.
"That attorney is not being paid for by the district,” Agruso told Patch. “The district is paying for the lawyer who is conducting the investigation, that’s all."
Neither the board nor the district has confirmed who that trustee is and have said that doing so would interfere with the investigation.
Jay Worona, General Counsel and Director of Legal and Policy Services for the New York State School Boards Association, said that generally speaking, the district would not cover the expense of a lawyer in a case such as this.
“Generally I don’t think they would be defended. It would be contrary in interest to the board."
Robert LaRusso, the attorney investigating the allegation, said if the trustee is found to have shared information with a third party, the commissioner of education would make the final decision and that the removal of a trustee from the board is left to the commissioner and not the board.
“The board is not going to make the decision. It wouldn’t be right, generally speaking, for one party to make a decision about someone that is part of their own group,” said LaRusso. “The commissioner will make the determination whether or not it was confidential. It will rest with the commissioner of education.”
According to LaRusso, once an allegation is made, the board has 30 days in which to submit it to the commissioner.
“There is a request that when an allegation is brought, you have 30 days to bring it before the commissioner."
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday, sign up for our free newsletter.