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Member Files Lawsuit Against School Board That Tried To Remove Him For Obama Comments

In this day and age of heated politics, you would think that any public figure would be very careful in choosing his words. One school board member is in a stand-off after wishing the president dead and making disparaging comments about the president and first lady. His colleagues demanded he resign, and when that didn't work they tried to vote him out. He's now suing.

Last December, Carl Paladino, a member of the Buffalo, New York school board, made derogatory comments about then-President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Obama's top aide, Valerie Jarrett. Paladino's comments were published in a local paper, quoting him as saying that he hoped the president would catch mad cow disease in 2017 and die.

The local weekly paper, Artvoice, asked a number of local leaders and business owners what they wanted to see happen in 2017. Two of the questions were, "What would you most like to happen in 2017?" and "What would you like to see go away in 2017?"

Paladino answered to the first question, "Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford. He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihadi cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her."

To the second question, he answered, "Michelle Obama. I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla."

Ironically, in the same article, Investigative Post editor Jim Heaney responded to the second question with, "Carl Paladino. Enough, already."

After Paladino was slammed as being a racist for the comments, he responded in another Artvoice article, "It has nothing to do with race. That’s the typical stance of the press when they can’t otherwise defend the acts of the person being attacked. It’s about two progressive elitist ingrates who have hated their country so badly and destroyed its fabric in so many respects in 8 years."

At the end of the month, the board voted that Paladino resign. When Paladino refused, they turned to the state education commissioner and ask he be removed. They cited disclosure of confidential board proceedings related to contract negotiations with the teachers' union as their reason.

Paladino apologized for his comments about Obama, but said he wasn't going to be intimidated into resigning. He swore to fight, arguing that board members are only trying to kick him off because they didn't like his comments about Obama. He says the charges of disclosure of confidential information is just an attempt to cover up their real issue.

He has now filed a federal lawsuit against the board, claiming that they attempted to violate his First Amendment rights. The district and school board are named as defendants in the lawsuit. It also names all six board members who voted to demand his resignation for his Obama comments.

Paladino is seeking monetary damages, but he has not asked for the next hearing to be cancelled. So many have expressed interest in attending the hearing that the board of education is setting up a special viewing room, and seats are being assigned by lottery.

"My client feels very strongly that his constitutional rights, including his right to free speech have been violated by the actions of the majority members of the Board, the Board of Education and the school district as a result of a resolution that was passed seeking to remove my client from elected office," said Paladino's attorney to Buffalo News. "Certain members of the Board of Education are seeking Carl's removal in retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights."

Source: Education Week
Photo: Buffalo News Screenshot

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