Judge Orders School Board Member to Comply with Law
by Buck Quigley - posted 5:48 pm, September 3, 2009
Almost four months after the Buffalo School Board Election which took place on May 5, a new court decision may shed more light on the political contributions made to current board member Christopher L. Jacobs.
Four months? Why so long?
Because in that time, despite our efforts in court, Jacobs has still not filed complete campaign finance disclosure forms. We feel we’re just pursuing accurate information, and that takes time, not to mention expert legal representation from Peter A. Reese.
Jacobs’s attorney, Paul G. Joyce (pictured), disputes our motives. He claimed in an affidavit to the court that we were capriciously and frivolously trying “to harass and maliciously injure Mr. Jacobs.”
The Hon. Frederick J. Marshall did not agree. Here’s the transcript of Tuesday’s proceedings, including his ruling from the bench.
On July 17, two months after the filing deadline, and without notice to the litigants pursuing the records (us), or to the courts, Jacobs filed a somewhat more complete campaign finance disclosure form with the Buffalo Board of Education. That filing omits addresses and full names of contributors. Nonetheless, Joyce used that belated, incomplete, and unannounced filing as a rationale for calling our litigation frivolous and capricious. Here’s the affidavit. At the end of that document, you’ll find Jacobs’s July 17 disclosure. Click here to read Reese’s responding affirmation.
Let the guessing games begin. Assign last names to first names in the document, or vice versa, and win fabulous prizes from Artvoice for accuracy, and/or originality. Judging will take place if and when Jacobs meets the judge’s order to comply with the law within 20 days.
Despite Joyce’s claim, this all began because we were interested not so much in Jacobs, but in an undocumented and seemingly illegal entity created by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership called Buffalo Students First. The group spent more than $30,000 to back the incumbent at-large candidates in May’s school board election.
According to Jacobs’s July 17 filing, his campaign spent almost $54,000 on top of whatever backing he received from the Partnership.