NEW YORK —
The Buffalo School Board voted 6 to 2 Thursday to call on the state education commissioner to remove Carl P. Paladino from office, a decision applauded by thousands of people outraged by controversial remarks he made about President Barack Obama and the first lady.
A resolution approved by the board Thursday calls on Paladino to resign within 24 hours, or the board will appeal to Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.
Paladino didn’t attend the meeting. He says he won’t resign.
The millionaire developer told a Buffalo alternative newspaper last week he wanted to see Obama dead of mad cow disease and Michelle Obama living with a gorilla in Africa.
Ally of Donald Trump
Paladino issued a statement Tuesday, four days after the comments appeared. He apologized for his comments, but also took a swipe at critics, calling them parasites, and said Barack Obama was “a traitor to American values.”
It was not immediately clear how quickly the board might be able to remove Paladino. It oversees a district with 34,000 students.
“Mr. Paladino took an oath to ensure that students are afforded an environment which is free from fear and respects diversity within the school district and the community,” reads the resolution calling for his resignation. More than 70 percent of the district is non-white, according to the resolution.
State education commissioners have removed four board members from districts in western New York in the past 24 years, the Buffalo News reported.
Board member won’t resign
Paladino, a co-chairman of Trump’s campaign in New York state, told a radio station Wednesday that he would not leave the board voluntarily.
“I’m the agent of change. I’m the guy that exposed the underbelly of their corrupt and dysfunctional school system, and they want me gone from the scene,” he said in the radio interview.
Trump’s transition team has called Paladino’s comments “absolutely reprehensible,” USA Today reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.