A longtime member of the Utica School Board and its current president says suggestions of wrongdoing being made against him by a candidate for the school board are false.

Lou LaPolla, a former mayor of the city and current Utica School Board President, tells WIBX 950 he doesn't know where candidate Howard Potter is getting his information from, but says it is incorrect. The allegations of improperly using district resources surround an upcoming retirement party for LaPolla, with a cost of $40 per ticket, with the money going to a retirement fund in his late-wife's name.

"I didn't take any stamps from the school district," LaPolla said, adding, "...and, I paid $800 out of pocket for the flyers."

His comments followed an allegation by Potter that the district provided the board president with a district mailing list containing upwards of 5,000 contacts, and may have also sneakily, and improperly, used district resources to pay for the postage.

"It's my understanding that we, as the district, paid for the mailing of 5,000 of these flyers to go out," Potter told the Keeler in the Morning show on Tuesday, saying that his info came from 'someone who would know'.

flyer for fundraiser honoring Louis LaPolla
flyer for fundraiser honoring Louis LaPolla

Potter, who has openly complained about the time it has taken to get a response from the district on some of his Freedom Of Information Law (FOIL) requests, went on to say when he FOILed the district for documents regarding the 'Retirement Roast and Toast' of LaPolla, the district responded by saying they did not have any records to share as it is not a school district sponsored event. The district response to Potter also denied that the district printed the flyers or covered the cost of postage.

Meanwhile, LaPolla told WIBX, "I don't even know 5,000 people. The [invitation] list was about 1,500 - 2,000. Look, I've been in politics for over 40-years, and I've got my own lists from all the fundraisers I've done," LaPolla said. Regarding the stamps used to mail them out, the long-time public servant said the money to cover the cost of the stamps for the mailing was paid in-part by himself, along with his daughter who organized the gathering, and friends who've helped out along the way.

LaPolla's retirement gathering is scheduled for May 12.

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