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Cover-Ups Not New In Lew-Port District

By Lenny Palumbo

A Lew-Port School District cover-up would not be the first of its kind.

During the summer of 2007, health teacher Brian Gunby was allowed to quietly resign after it was discovered that he was engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female student of the high school, according to a published report in the controversial Lewiston publication, the Vanguard.

The mainstream media only reported that Gunby was resigning as coach of the high school football team in order to spend more time with his family. His total resignation from the district was not reported. And despite the scandalous and salacious nature of the story, no other mainstream media has reported on it.

Actual legal bill (above & below) during the time of the Gunby scandal.

According to school board trustees, the situation was handled internally by union leaders and Niagara County Assistant DA Heather DeCastro.

No charges were filed against Gunby.

The alleged sexual relationship between the student and teacher occurred when the student was between 17 and 18 years old.
Billing records, obtained by the Reporter, from the Buffalo law firm of Hodgson Russ, confirm this version of events, including a note on the delicate arrangements made to reveal the name of the student to the DA and at the same time protect her privacy.

A great deal of time, effort and money was expended, it would appear, in covering up the Gunby case, which, according to several sources, was an open secret in the school.

According to multiple sources, both teachers and students were aware of the relationship while it was occurring.

On top of Gunby's sudden resignation--which the legal bill refers to as "termination"--three Lew-Port teachers, Dick Lindamer, Joe Lauzonis and Justalene Olsen were given a letter of discipline by the district.

Board members reported that the girl in question admitted to having consensual sex with Gunby.

According to the Vanguard, school teacher Justalene Olsen wrote the necessary passes so that the female student and Gunby could meet and have sex in his school office.

Despite being admonished by the district, Olsen has since been appointed to three coaching slots as the Girls Modified Volleyball (fall/winter) and Modified softball (spring).

Teacher Joe Lauzonis' involvement in the cover-up is less clear, but a letter of discipline sits in his file for his role in the Gunby incident.

According to the Vanguard, Lauzonis had another brush with an abusive relationship. He was allowed to keep his teaching job despite being arrested for domestic violence on Jan. 10, 2010. According to a Town of Lewiston police report, Lauzonis’ wife required hospitalization at Mt. St. Mary’s Hospital to treat injuries sustained by her as a result of his attack.

The following Christmas, his ex-wife penned a letter to the Lewiston Sentinel thanking those who had donated food baskets and toys for her children, stating that were it not for the donations, they would not have had a Christmas.

As for teacher Dick Lindamer, also reportedly involved in aiding and abetting Gunby in his amorous and predatory pursuits, his role is unclear. It perhaps deserves exploration since he teaches children younger than the female student who was reportedly involved with Gunby.

What we do know is that the public has not heard enough about an incident that resulted in the termination of one teacher, disciplinary letter for three teachers and a careful handling of a female student to protect her privacy.

Where is Gunby now? Is he teaching in another district?

Since three of the teachers presently teaching in the school were reprimanded for what appears to be their roles in the incident, shouldn't the parents know what their involvement was and the true facts of the case?



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Feb 26 , 2013