Paladino Can't Sue School Board Members

by / Oct. 14, 2016 5am EST

Buffalo activists held a demonstration Wednesday night demanding that Carl Paladino be removed from the Buffalo School Board as a result of his defense of Donald Trump’s sexual assault admissions. Paladino defended himself to Time Warner Cable News

I do not sanction sexual abuse. I do not sanction rape,” said Paladino.

Paladino says he enjoys his job on the board and has no plans to step down.

“People will not like, necessarily, what I have to say, but I’m a person who is trying to get my arms around a totally dysfunctional school district which is not performing,” Paladino said.

Aw, that’s nice. Let’s read on. 

Board President Barbara Seals Nevergold and members Sharon Belton Cottman, Theresa Harris-Tigg, and Hope Jay released a statement asking Paladino to acknowledge that words matter, and students are watching.

“We should be the models of behavior as outlined in the district’s code of conduct that we expect of and require of our students,” Nevergold said during Wednesday’s meeting.

Paladino says he never supported the context of what Trump said, but reiterated that that kind of language was commonly used when bragging about sexual prowess.

“I warned you about that and I warned you about bringing it up, so I’m gonna end up suing you for defamation, in addition to the others who brought this thing,” Paladino said to Nevergold following her remarks. 

Get this? Other members of the school board asked Carl Paladino to behave like a responsible adult, and he threatens to sue them, “for defamation”. 

Here’s the thing, Carl. You’re a lawyer, after all. You should know that Nevergold, Cottman, Harris-Tigg, and Jay are all immune from any lawsuit you might want to bring against them for defamation within the context of a board meeting. It’s black-letter law and any such lawsuit would be wholly frivolous. The board members enjoy absolute legislative immunity. Stepien v. Schaubert, et al, 424 Fed. Appx. 46, (2d Cir. 2011) citing Lombardo v. Stoke, 18 N.Y.2d 394, 400 (1966); Allan & Allan Arts Ltd. v. Rosenblum, 615 N.Y. S.2d 410, 412 (2d Dep’t 1994). 

So, go for it, I guess.