Letter to the Erie County Bar Association from Carl Paladino:
June 20, 2011
Erie County Bar Association
438 Main Street, 6th Floor
Buffalo, New York 14202
Re: Brendan Kelleher
To Whom It May Concern,
This letter shall serve as a complaint on behalf of the children of the City of Buffalo who are students in the Buffalo School District against Brendan Kelleher, Esq.
Mr. Kelleher is the attorney for the Buffalo Board of Education and as such, has and continues to act unethically with severe and notable conflicts of interest. He attempts to represent the interests of not only the School Board but also Superintendent James Williams on issues where they materially differ.
His actions, especially during recent deliberations on the issue of the contract buy out of Folasade Oladele a/k/a Beverly McElroy-Johnson are obviously conflicted. He has encouraged unnecessary “executive sessions” to cloak his tainted and improper advice to a Board that is collectively challenged in its knowledge of substantive law, procedures and ethics.
In an executive board meeting Kelleher advised Board Members that they do not have the authority or power to discharge Oladele and had no choice but to approve the employment contract termination amendment Williams made to pay her one year’s salary instead of nothing or the 3 months salary called for in her employment contract of June, 2009.
In fact Oladele was seeking other employment and has not lived in her house at 138 University Avenue for months. She intended to resign her position in which case she would be entitled to no severance pay but for no defined reason Williams chose to negotiate a buy out which is clearly an illegal gift of public funds. Kelleher justified his advice to the Board by advising that the Board’s contract with Williams provided that only Williams was authorized to discharge or otherwise deal with the employment of Oladele. He alone interpreted the contract for the Board. Williams in fact is only an agent of the Board. Kelleher’s positions and advice have continuously favored the Superintendent effectively telling the Board that it was subservient to the Superintendent.
Kelleher’s motivations are clear. If the Superintendent is discharged Kelleher will lose his job. If he doesn’t go along with the Superintendent’s corrupted and criminal diversion of the public monies to Folasade Oladele, he will lose his job. As a result, he has failed to truthfully advise the Board or tell them they should seek independent counsel in their deliberations and activities when they conflict with Williams.
In addition, as Board attorney, Kelleher has knowingly failed to properly investigate an attempt by Mark Frazier, Lead Community Superintendent in concert with others, to illegally convert the private Wallace foundation grant monies by instructing and coercing an administrator to sign a check over to him that properly was a reimbursement to the Board of Education.
Kelleher has also knowingly conspired with Oladele to allow private monies granted or gifted for activities of the Board of Education to be diverted to off budget foundations or colleges to be disbursed for the benefit of and at the direction of Board administrators and Oladele and has knowingly allowed Oladele and Williams to use the powers of their offices to extort and coerce vendors of the school district to make gifts of money to the Leadership Academy and Buffalo Schools Foundation, if they wanted to keep their contracts as vendors.
Mr. Kelleher illustrates a lack of integrity, character and ethic in his maligned service to the Board of Education.
I request that the Bar Association investigate Mr. Kelleher’s activities. He should not have a license to practice law. His actions have detrimentally affected the futures of thousands of school children in the Buffalo Public School system.
By copy of this letter, I request that the Buffalo School Board immediately suspend or discharge Brendan Kelleher pending completion of the investigation by the Grievance Committee.
Very truly yours,
Carl P. Paladino
Cc: Hon. William Hochul, U.S. Attorney
Hon. Frank Sedita, Erie County District Attorney
Board of Education
City of Buffalo Fiscal Control Board
N.Y. State Board of Regents
Comptroller of the City of Buffalo
Buffalo Common Council