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Judge Orders School Board Member to Comply with Law

Paul JoyceAlmost 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.

  • Cynical

    I’m not an attorney, but this seems pretty obvious. Why would Joyce even bother arguing that that was an acceptable filing? Why not just acknowledge that the filing was screwed up because it used columns that were too narrow and/or omitted the “Last Name” column entirely? What a waste of everybody’s time.

  • carlota Magdalena

    $53,000 plus over $30,000 the Buffalo Partnership spent on Mr. Jacob’s campaign for an at-large seat on the school board who is he kidding and filing inadequate financial disclosure forms. That’s how Jacob’s has managed to get re-elect the first time and the second time to the Board. It’s shameful, Just shameful and he gets away with it all the time, a lawyer himself, he should not the law better than the rest of us.

  • Bryon J McIntyre

    It is funny how the Ethics Bord rejected my claim of unethical behavior in this election. Question, Who is on the Board, when did they meet, and how did they vote?

  • Geraldine

    Byron had my vote! Why this trust fund baby turd is on the BOE is beyond all of us, unless of course, there’s lots of money and prestige to push around. Him, Reese and the nerd in the pic should all go out one night, like the three stooges.

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  • james

    jacobs is a pin head.

  • Peter A Reese


    Who should I be, Curly, Larry or Mo? I feel like a Stooge for having to put a considerable effort into getting my legal brothers to comply with the law.

  • Peter_A_Reese

    Wow! This factual article stands in stark contrast to the obvious attempts by the Buffalo News to deny Pigeon a fair trial. I am surprised that the anonymous jabberers of the Board of Elections, County Hall and the Erie County Democrats haven’t covered it with their usual cowardly nonsense.

    • SeriousReply

      I always love reading Frank Parlato’s articles, however, he should have posted a brief statement of a conflict in that Steve Pigeon did introduce Frank to the Bronfman daughters as he himself has written here many times, and the money Frank gained from that relationship is significant, although being held up in Frank’s court case. Not to mention Tony Farina’s longstanding relationship with Steve Pigeon, as well. Nothing wrong with that, but, there should have been a disclosure.

      Of course the “anonymous jabberers” probably don’t reply because no one seems to read the online Artvoice comments section anymore. I hope than changes, and I welcome Peter Reese’s comments as well.

      And anyone who follows “Southtowns’ politics” would understand that this part of the article is pure fiction. Steve entered politics through Chris Walsh in 1977 and began with “stuffing envelopes” as he has stated in published stories many times. His base of action was in West Seneca for many years. How then, did he work with John Michalek on Southtowns’ campaigns in the 1970s? Keep in mind that in 1977, Steve would have been 17 years old. More glaring is the omission of several campaigns of John Michalek that were not mentioned, here, when John ran for Town Justice in Hamburg, as well as for Town Supervisor. Those two races were not mentioned in published reports, so it would seem to me that the Pigeon “sources” are merely grabbing published information to establish a link to Michalek, like the time when Michalek’s wife ran for Hamburg Town Spervisor, which was mentioned in the Buffalo News a few weeks ago.

      How can Steve possibly claim a longtime friendship with Michalek, yet, not mention his work on those two campaigns? Probably because Steve and friends are making the whole thing up to sway public opinion.

      I would love to hear John Michalek’s take on this so-called longtime relationship, but obviously he can’t speak to that at this time. After reading this, you would think Steve was in the waiting room with John awaiting word about the birth of Connor Michalek. It’s always over the top with Steve Pigeon. Isn’t it?
      This is Steve’s history, as anyone who knows the man also knows. He takes a pebble and always turns it into a mountain. Just ask Andrew Cuomo. LOL

      I also have appreciated Frank Parlato’s sticking up for the “working girls” in Niagara Falls and writing about the plight of women in prostitution for the last few years. It’s riveting journalism and something he should be proud of. I have also seem Frank grow into a excellent writer in those articles, especially in the empathic and heartfelt way he fights for these women. It’s as if Frank is trying, successfully in my view, in showing the dignity of these women.

      Dignity is an important thing in life.

      Fast forward to this story, however, and it seems to me that Frank just does not understand how Steve has stripped away dignity from scores of people and their families, especially in the Betz part when Steve tried to dump existing staffers of a golf course in order to replace them with at lease one individual (according to this story), that being David Pfaff; but it’s important to note that prosecutors state that more staffers would have been dumped had Steve had his way.

      Take a look at all the employees of the New York State Senate, or locally at the Erie County Legislature and Erie County Water Authority, who were fired not because of their job performance, but because they just happened to be loyal Democrats and Steve figured out a way to co-join a few dissatisfied Democrats together with the balance of Republicans to flip control of those bodies and fire scores of people and replace them with his pals and associates.

      Seems to me, Frank Parlato, that Steve Pigeon in this case represents the “johns” in Niagara Falls, rather than being some victim here. The people who lost their livelihood are the real victims, and they lost the aforementioned dignity for no other reason than because of Steve Pigeon.

      Reese probably would say that’s all fair play being “politics” and all, which I would disagree with, but in the case of the employees of the golf course and at least in the case of Pfaff, where’s the “politics” there? Did Steve see the job performance of the existing staff at the golf course? Did they do anything wrong?

      That’s why Steve Pigeon is nothing more than the “john” that Mr. Parlato has rightfully gone after for years. It just seems sad to me that Frank does not see that in this case as well.

      At the end of the day a lot of people (and their families) were hurt by the politics of Steve Pigeon, and he should face justice for sure.

    • Jimmy Pierce

      That’s because they delete anti-Pigeon comments.