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January 16, 2013 - 10:00pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in fire, corfu, east pembroke.

A fully involved tractor-trailer fire has been reported on the New York State Thruway near mile post marker 396.1 eastbound.

East Pembroke has called for help from Pembroke, Indian Falls, Oakfield and the Town of Batavia fire departments.

The driver is not sure what he is hauling.

UPDATE 10:02 p.m.: All mutual aid companies told to stand down. Fire is out. Corfu filling in for East Pembroke.

UPDATE 10:07 p.m.: Corfu can also go back into service along with all other mutual aid departments.

UPDATE 10:22 p.m.: State Police are on scene. Tractor-trailer driver is going to try and have the truck towed to Batavia.

January 6, 2013 - 3:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, pembroke, corfu.

A two-part NYS Snowmobile Safety Course will be conducted at the Town of Pembroke Town Hall from 7 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19. It is sponsored by the Millgrove Sportsments Club, Genesee Sno-Packers and Snowmobile Club and CoPeDa Snowmobile Club.

The two hall is located at Route 77 and Route 5 in Corfu.

The course is free to adults and children age 10 or older. Children under 18 must take the course -- required by the New York State Parks and Recreation -- to drive a snowmobile. The instructors for the Snowmobile Safety Course are certified by NYS.

You must sign up for the course and attend both classes, where you register at. All materials for the Snowmobile Safety Course will be furnished. Those that pass the written exam will be issued a patch, certificate and a license. There is no charge for this course and no instructors make a dime on this course -- it is all volunteer.

Pre-register by calling 585-599-6431 or 585-937-9536 after 5:30 p.m.

January 4, 2013 - 10:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu.

A tractor-trailer has reportedly been involved in an accident on Route 77 at Cohocton Road, Corfu, and the driver struck his chest on the steering wheel.

The truck is blocking Route 77.

Corfu fire and Mercy EMS responding.

January 4, 2013 - 8:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, Stafford, corfu.

Jamie S. Schlonski, 40, an inmate in the correctional facility in Collins, is charged with burglary, 2nd, and criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, and petit larceny. Schlonski was charged following an investigation by Le Roy PD into burglaries in August in the village. The victim reported numerous checks stolen and cashed in the village. Schlonski was living in Le Roy at the time and was later identified as a suspect.

Rebeca Lynn Rose, 26, of North Street, Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. Rose is accused of shoplifting clothing from Target on Thursday. Also charged with petit larceny was Megan Lynn Furr, 26, of North Street, Le Roy.

Alicia M. Stankwick, 21, of 2955 Angling Road, Corfu, is charged with harassment, 2nd.  Stankwick is accused of sending unwanted text messages to a male whom she was advised by a Batavia PD officer the day before not to contact.

Ryan C. Cook, 34, of 7 Mill St., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Cook is accused of having unwanted physical contact with a woman.

Kristen L. Brightenfield, 19, of Stafford, is charged with criminal mischief 4th/prevention of emergency call. Brightenfield was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 2:17 p.m. on Wednesday. No further details were released.

December 19, 2012 - 9:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, corfu.

About 100 people gathered in Pembroke tonight for a prayer walk and candlelight vigil in remembrance of Kelsey Milks.

The 19-year-old graduate of Pembroke High School died Sunday night following an automobile accident on Route 63, Town of Shelby.

The walk started at the Pembroke Fire Hall and headed west to the Milks' residence where Rev. Karen Grinnell, of the Indian Falls United Methodist Church, said a few words and led a short prayer. A group of high school students sang "Noel" and at the end of the vigil, the group raised their candles and flashlights to the sky and sang "Silent Night."

December 19, 2012 - 2:47pm

The following local residents made the Dean's List for Fall 2012 quarter at Rochester Institute of Technology:


Brittani Scharlau, a second-year student in the College of Health Sciences and Technology.


Daniel Mancuso, a fourth-year student in the E. Philip Saunders College of Business.

Dean Kubik, a second-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Daniel Crossen, a fifth-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Erin Crossen, a fourth-year student in the College of Science.


David Renzo, a fifth-year student in the College of Applied Science and Technology.

Matthew Zaso, a fourth-year student in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Joy Snyder, a fourth-year student in the College of Science.

Amanda Krol, a third-year student in the College of Applied Science and Technology.

Matthew Jackson, a fifth-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Maura Chmielowiec, a second-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Sophia Del Plato, a second-year student in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.


Matthew Starowitz, a fifth-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering

Trevor Thunell, a fifth-year student in the College of Applied Science and Technology.

Nicholas Quilliam, a fourth-year student in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Charles Slack, a fourth-year student in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Michael Slack, a second-year student in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Eric Hunt, a first-year student in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Matthew Haywood, a fifth-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Robert Ellsworth, a fifth-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Philip Berggren, a fourth-year student in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Joshua Barnard, a third-year student in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.


Michael Zaikis, a fifth-year student in the College of Applied Science and Technology.

Karl Pajak, a second-year student in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Nicholas Flumerfeldt, a third-year student in the College of Applied Science and Technology.


Robert Osborn, a first-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Christopher Snyder, a first-year student in the College of Science.

Jason Inman, a fifth-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.


Russell Schultz, a fourth-year student in the College of Health Sciences and Technology.

Kristen Stacy, a third-year student in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Benjamin Nicodemus, a first-year student in the College of Applied Science and Technology.

Jonathon Locke, a fifth-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Ryan Hochreiter, a first-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Kari Branton, a third-year student in the College of Applied Science and Technology.

Alex Graham, a fourth-year student in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.


Hannah Belliveau, a second-year student in the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies.

John Koenig, a third-year student in the College of Applied Science and Technology.


Evyn Morgan, a fourth-year student in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging science, sustainability, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. RIT enrolls 17,500 full- and part-time students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

December 18, 2012 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, corfu.

A prayer vigil for Kelsey Milks is being organized for tomorrow night in Pembroke.

Milks is the 19-year-old Corfu resident who died Sunday night following an automobile accident on Route 63, Town of Shelby.

Participants are asked to bring a candle or flashlight and gather at the Pembroke Fire Hall at 7 p.m. A prayer walk to the Milks' home will begin at 7:30.

December 17, 2012 - 7:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu.

Funeral services will be held Friday for Kelsey N. Milks, 19, of Corfu, at Indian Falls United Methodist Church, 7908 Allegheny Road.

Milks died Sunday night at ECMC following a motor vehicle accident on Route 63 in the Town of Shelby.

A graduate of Pembroke Central School, she was the daughter of Gregory and Roxane Savage Milks.

She was attending Genesee Community College, loved dogs and hoped to become a dog trainer.

Calling hours are from 3 to 7 p.m. at the church, with a funeral service to follow at 7.

(Full Obituary)

December 17, 2012 - 7:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu, Orleans County.

For the second time in eight days, a motor vehicle accident has claimed the life of a Genesee County teen.

Kelsey Milks, 19, of Corfu, died Sunday night in a three-car accident on Alleghany Road, Town of Shelby, just north of the county line.

The cause of the accident has not been determined.

Milks was a passenger in a vehicle driven by 20-year-old Dana R. Cipra. Cipra is hospitalized at Erie County Medical Center.

Two Mercy Flight helicopters were called to the scene Sunday and Town of Alabama volunteer firefighters provided traffic control and set up a landing zone at a location in Genesee County.

According to WIVB, "a red minivan was traveling north on Route 63, near the Iroquois Wildlife Refuge Swamp, when it collided head-on with a southbound car. A third vehicle then collided with the car."

Walter C. Hawkins, 73, of Medina, was driving the minivan. He was treated and released at Medina Memorial Hospital.

The driver and passenger in the third vehicle were uninjured.

Milks was a senior at Pembroke High School when she participated in a GO ART! art show.

December 14, 2012 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, corfu.

A possible house fire is reported at 8757 S. Lake Road, Corfu.

Pembroke and Indian Falls dispatched. One tanker from East Pembroke requested to the scene. Mercy EMS also dispatched.

There is light smoke showing, according to the first chief on scene.

UPDATE 6:02 p.m.: The fire started in the bathroom and has spread into the ceiling. A second alarm is sounded. (And just as we write this, a chief says the fire is out, second alarm can respond non-emergency. City Fast Team canceled.)

UPDATE 6:06 p.m.: Alabama to fill in at Indian Falls. Darien and Corfu requested to the scene non-emergency. South Lake at Route 5 being shut down.

UPDATE 6:43 p.m.: Responders can go back in service.

View Larger Map

December 13, 2012 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu.

Marijuana, both growing and harvested, was allegedly found in the home of two Corfu men Wednesday after members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force executed a search warrant at the residence.

Two men were charged with criminal possession of marijuana, a Class D felony.

Jailed on $10,000 bail was Matthew T. Milleville, 26, of Main Road, Corfu, and bail was set at $2,500 for Andrew J. Marlinski, 26, of Main Road, Corfu.

Both men were also charged with a misdemeanor count of unlawful growing of cannabis and Milleville was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th.

Investigators report that they found LSD in the residence.

Allegedly found in the residence were more than 30 growing marijuana plants along with harvested marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia.

November 30, 2012 - 4:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, accidents.

A motor-vehicle accident with minor injuries is reported at 853 Genesee St. in Corfu. Corfu Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. Law enforcement is on scene.

UPDATE 4:33 p.m.: Three people are signs-offs and one person will likely be transported to a hospital.

November 20, 2012 - 8:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu.

The Village of Corfu's newest part-time police officer made a bit of news earlier this year when his name surfaced as part of an alleged prostitution scandal involving a Buffalo-based state trooper.

Michael L. Petritz, 33, was suspended by the State Police in April and has since resigned from the force, though he's never been accused of criminal conduct.

Sgt. James Meier, Corfu police supervisor, said he completed a background check of Petritz before recommending him for the job.

"He wasn't engaged in criminal conduct," Meier said. "He was at a location he shouldn't have been at. He had no involvement with the parties whatsoever. There were never any criminal charges against him."

Petritz's suspension followed allegations of involvement with prostitution against Trooper Titus Taggart, an 18-year veteran of the State Police assigned to Troop T. Taggart was accused of organizing parties that may have included prostitutes. Taggart was eventually fired.

The only allegation against Petritz at the time was "misconduct," with no public disclosure of what that may have entailed.

Meier said he spoke to several people who knew Petritz, including supervisors, who all had good things to say about the former trooper, who, according to Meier, regularly led all of Troop T with the most citations issued.

"I personally did the checking into this guy," Meier said. "The people I talked to, especially his supervisors, said we were getting a highly trained, highly capable police officer. They all said we should be proud to have him."

November 8, 2012 - 3:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, corfu.

A large recycling bin that's 20 feet from a structure is on fire at Eddy Arnold's scrap yard. It's located at 1833 Genesee St. Black smoke can be seen from the village of Corfu. Corfu Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 3:37 p.m.: The fire is contained to a roll-off container.

November 2, 2012 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, accidents.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at 9114 Alleghany Road, in front of the hair salon and in a construction area. One driver is unresponsive. Corfu Fire Department and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: A second ambulance is requested.

UPDATE 1:32 p.m.: The driver who was unresponsive is now alert and answering questions.

UPDATE 1:47 p.m.: The driver who is the more injured of the two victims, a woman who was initially unresponsive, is now said to be "sort of alert." "She rear-ended the other car and took a pretty good blow," says a responder. Sheriff's deputies are also on scene. The other driver is out and able to walk.

UPDATE 1:59 p.m. One patient is being transported to Erie County Medical Center.

UPDATE 2:05 p.m.: A second victim is also being taken to ECMC being taken to UMMC. She is 64-year-old female whose vehicle was struck from behind. All units are clearing the scene.

October 23, 2012 - 10:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu.

For at least the past 18 months, Trustee Ralph Peterson and Justice Robert Alexander have engaged in a campaign of half-truths and innuendo to try and discredit the Village of Corfu board, Deputy Mayor Al Graham charged Monday night during a regular board meeting.

Graham held forth for more than 90 minutes, laying out a series of allegations about efforts to call into question the leadership of the board -- efforts, the said, that have cost the village taxpayers money, either through increased attorney fees or lost grants.

"As soon as a complaint is found to be unfounded, they move onto the next one," Graham said. "There has not been one thing they've come up with that stands up, yet we're constantly defending ourselves. One door closes and they come back the next month and open another door.

"And they're not going to stop. They will move on to the next thing. We'll defend it. Our attorney will make some money, and we will defend it, and it will be found as untrue and they will move on to the next thing."

Graham's list of particulars included:

  • A complaint about the handling of STOP-DWI funds;
  • A fight over the re-appointment of the court clerk, Pamela Yasses;
  • A complaint about whether a particular closed session was legally a closed session;
  • A complaint about Alexander being kept from a meeting of the board;
  • A fight over Peterson changing a job description for a village employee without a board vote;
  • A disagreement over what was recorded in meeting minutes;
  • Peterson submitting articles for the village newsletter that allegedly contained political campaign language;
  • Peterson subjecting the village to a personnel complaint after publicly accusing a public employee of wrongdoing;
  • Peterson challenging the legality of the village's budget meeting.

"These are rumors," Graham said. "These are innuendos. These are things that he has nothing to back them up with, no facts, but it's just viciousness, vindictiveness."

The trouble started, Graham said, once the authorities with the Unified Court System ruled that Alexander's daughter, Brandi Watts, couldn't work as a clerk in the village court. The ruling was months before a state Comptroller's audit found alleged irregularities in the court's bookkeeping.

According to Graham, Peterson and Alexander are close friends and they cook their schemes up together to try and pin some sort of malfeasance on any elected official or village employee whom they think might be against them.

For most of the meeting, Peterson sat silently, sometimes even with an air of indifference, other times, mocking Graham's statements.

At one point he said, "Don't I have any friends here?"

Another time he said, "I'm full of love. Be sure you get that down, Howard. I'm full of love. I'm not hating."

Near the end of the discussion, after Graham had laid out all of his complaints, Peterson said everything he's done has been with the residents of the village in mind.

"My number one goal was to fix the issues between the court and the board," Peterson said. "Obviously, my approach didn't agree with some of you, but my ultimate goal was to get this fixed. Number two, my personal feeling is this could have been handled in a better way."

Graham went into some detail on a number of issues he raises about Peterson and Alexander, reading from e-mails, memos and other documents generated over the past year and a half.

While Peterson has claimed, Graham said, that he went to the District Attorney's office with complaints about the STOP-DWI program because a police officer complained to him. E-mails indicate that it was Alexander who first raised the issue with Peterson.

Peterson's complain led to a State Police investigation that found no wrongdoing, but in stirring up the issue, Graham said, it forced the county to suspend Corfu's participation in STOP-DWI. Since then, the village has lost $7,000 in grant money.

Even though there was no wrongdoing found with the STOP-DWI program, Peterson said in a public meeting that the Corfu police administrator, James Meier, should lose his job. This led to a complaint by Meier, and more attorney fees.

When Alexander showed up at a board meeting one night, Graham said he misspoke and told Alexander the meeting was closed to the public. He said Village Clerk Sandy Thomas corrected him immediately, but that didn't stop Alexander from filing a complaint against Graham for closing the meeting.

That led to additional attorney fees, Graham said.

As an example of incomplete or inaccurate information from Alexander, Graham pulled out an open letter Alexander wrote to village residents where he said the state's audit report was leaked to the media.

The report was public record and the Comptroller's Office encouraged Thomas to make it available to the public.

Graham also mentioned an incident from earlier in the year when the court was without a court clerk for a time and no court sessions were held for more then six weeks.

People with tickets were e-mailing Thomas asking how they could get their tickets resolved and Thomas was forwarding those emails to Alexander.

Alexander sent an angry e-mail to Thomas demanding that she stop accepting e-mails about court business from the public.

"How do you stop the public from sending e-mails?" Graham said.

On the budget hearing, the board held a budget meeting and found out later that the legal notice for the hearing wasn't published until after the meeting.

Peterson, Graham said, kept trying to turn this into a big legal issue, but state officials advised the board it was an easy fix: Just advertise the hearing again and hold it again, which the board did.

"He sent e-mail after e-mail just costing us more attorney fees because he wanted to get Sandy in trouble," Graham said.

Corfu resident Jim Ropracht tried to encouraged the board to just get along.

"If you're trying to do things for the village, trying to work together, then that's why you're here," Ropracht said. "You can say Ralph has every right to go and do whatever he wants, but that doesn't mean it's best for the village. You can do everything you want, but if you want to make things happen for the village, you do it right. Just because one of you might vote no on something and the rest of you vote yes, that's what you have to do. You can't decide to go off on your own path. You're supposed to be working together."

October 21, 2012 - 3:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, corfu, accidents.

A head-on collision is reported at Route 20 and Warner Road. One person is unconscious. Mercy Flight is on in-air standby. Darien Fire Department, Mercy medics and law enforcement are responding.

UPDATE 3:21 p.m.: Mercy Flight is called to the scene and it has about a five-minute ETA. Corfu Fire Police are asked to shut down traffic at Route 20 and Route 77. Traffic will also be stopped at Broadway and Harlow roads. Several ambulances are headed to the scene.

UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: Corfu responders are told to use caution when approaching the scene as southbound traffic on Route 77 "is busy and there's no where to pull over." It appears there are only two vehicles involved. Mercy Flight 5 out of Batavia is about to land.

UPDATE 3:28 p.m.: A second Mercy Flight helicopter is called for.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Mercy Flight 7 out of Buffalo is flying in, with a 12-minute ETA.

UPDATE 3:35 p.m.: A third vehicle was also involved in the accident.

UPDATE 3:48 p.m.: The second bird has landed. Two patients will be transported in Mercy rigs and each helicopter will have a patient on board. Buffalo General Hospital is the only destination mentioned so far.

UPDATE 4 p.m.: All patients are going to Erie County Medical Center.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: The roadways will remain closed until the accident investigation is completed.

UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: Route 20 is reopened.

October 10, 2012 - 8:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Robert Alexander.

In May, Village of Corfu trustees met in closed session and discussed whether the village court really needed both a full-time and part-time clerk.

A portion of that closed session conversion was leaked to Justice Robert Alexander.

At Monday's meeting where the full-time clerk, Pamela Yasses, raised a formal complaint about alleged harassment by Alexander, Trustee Ralph Peterson was accused of being the source of that leak.

At the meeting, Peterson flatly denied it, but a May 24 memo from Alexander to the village trustees suggests Peterson was the source of the information.

From Alexander's memo:

I was amazed when Trustee Peterson informed me this morning that Trustee Graham reported to the Board that the Village Court Clerk Pam Yasses told him that she didn't need the Part Time Court Clerk, (Tom Ingram) and that she can and is handling all the court business without in the him (sic) in her 40-hour-work week. The court clerk does not have the legal right to speak for the Court or evaluate and or comment on the duties or her performance of the court duties to the Board of Trustee members.

Al Graham said today the only place Peterson would have heard about his conversation with Yasses was in the executive session, held the night before Alexander's memo was issued.

Here's the conversation from Monday's meeting:

Peterson: My question is, what do we do?

Attorney Mark Boylan: What do you not do. What you do not do is get on the phone after the meeting and call the judge and tell him what just happened, first of all.

Peterson: I’m asking a question, the question I’m asking is related to this particular situation and the action of the board to pursue this.

Boylan: I’m concerned about action with individuals, too.

Peterson: Well, OK fine, but ...

Boylan: If you’re not acting in concert, in other words, as a board, you're acting individually against the board's wishes ...

Peterson: Are you accusing me of something?

Boylan: Well, I don’t know how this last issue with executive session could have gotten to the judge so quickly. I don’t have any information, but I’m just wondering.

Yasses: Let me say on the record, Rosie, I’m going to call you out because it was you.

Peterson: Well, I asked, that's right.

Yasses: You lied to my face and then you tried to tell me you didn’t tell Judge Alexander something. You did.

Peterson: Where did I lie?

Yasses: You came to me and then we had that meeting ...

Peterson: Whoa, whoa, whoa ... where was the lie.

Yasses: You breached executive session and then he came to me and told me.

Peterson: No I did not.

Yasses: It's the only way ...

Peterson: I did not.

Yasses: Rosie, ...

Peterson: I did not. I did not tell him. I don't know how he found out, but I did not tell him.

Boylan: What I'm telling you is if anybody, if anybody acts against the agreement of the board, you are subjecting this board to potential litigtion.

Tonight, Peterson said he did talk with Alexander, but only after consulting with a staff member at the New York Conference of Mayors who said the board met in a session that should not have been closed to the public.

Under New York law, elected bodies can -- but are not required to -- go into closed session to discuss personnel matters. Peterson said he was told that since the board was discussing a staff position and not the person who held the position, there was nothing confidential about the conversation. The conversation should have taken place in an open meeting.

In his May 24 letter, Alexander accused the board of conducting an illegal executive session and said he, or any village resident, had the option of pursuing litigation to overturn any decision in an illegal executive session.

Graham said the issue came up in May because he went into the court clerk's office prior to a trustee meeting and happened to ask if the part-time position was really necessary.

Yasses, he said, shared with him her thoughts on the matter. He conveyed those thoughts to the rest of the board, which voted to eliminate the position.

At the time, Graham said, the part-time clerk was apparently working on a project for Alexander and Yasses was handling all of the court's business during her 40-hour work week.

The issue has apparently become a sore point for Alexander (who hasn't responded to our request for a statement or interview) because Yasses said he's raised several times with her his belief that she should have no communication with trustees about court business, even though Yasses is employed by the village.

Because Yasses is an employee of the village, according to Boylan, it's perfectly acceptable for trustees to communicate with her and for her to respond to questions about her duties, responsibilities and how they're are discharged.

In emails obtained by The Batavian as part of a larger FOIL request this summer, after this May meeting, Alexander begins a long argument with Mayor Todd Skeet about the re-appointment of Yasses as his clerk.

In a May 31 email, he suggests that the board of trustees didn't follow proper legal procedure in her re-appointment and that he needed a meeting with Skeet. He concludes: "I would like to fulfill the last year of my 24 years as Village Justice with an experienced clerk. I am therefore asking that you confer with me and re-appoint my court clerk."

Alexander maintains in several emails that he has not been properly consulted, as required by state law, on the re-appointment of Yasses.

According to Graham, the trustees feel Alexander gave his consent to her re-appointment in the May 31 email and in a voice mail he left for Skeet.

The board has taken the position that Yasses is an employee of the board and cannot be dismissed by Alexander.

October 9, 2012 - 10:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Robert Alexander.

Some time within the next couple of days, Corfu Justice Robert Alexander will receive a letter from the Village of Corfu Board of Trustees reprimanding him for allegedly harassing and intimidating his court clerk.

Pamela Yasses, who has clerked for Alexander since September 2011, lodged a formal complaint with the trustees at the board's regular meeting Monday night.

The complaint has its roots in how Yasses came to be court clerk in the first place: as a replacement for Brandi Watts, the daughter of Alexander, who was dismissed from her job after it was determined she couldn't work for her father as a clerk.

During this same period of time, a state audit of court records found the court is potentially missing as much as $30,000 in funds received as fines or bail money.

The Judicial Review Commission is reportedly investigating the matter.

Alexander has not responded to an email request for a comment on the complaint filed by Yasses.

According to the account given by Yasses on Monday, shortly after being hired by the trustees, she was asked by Alexander, who is her direct supervisor, to conduct an internal audit of court financial records.

At the same time, Alexander sent a letter to all village residents saying the accusations of financial irregularities could easily be refuted, but "I refuse to lower myself to such tactics, and even much worse by doing so in the news media."

Instead, Alexander announced that he ordered Yasses and then part-time clerk Tom Ingram to conduct an "objective investigation and document the truth."

He promised to release the results no matter what the outcome.

Yasses said Monday night that the internal audit was completed in March and she found evidence of missing funds that "paralleled" the state's findings.

A substantial amount of money is missing, she said, and new evidence continues to emerge of possible misplaced funds the longer she's on the job.

Alexander never released the audit results to village residents as promised, according to the conversation during the meeting.

Instead, according to Yasses, he has tried numerous times to contrive ways to force her out of her job.

"His treatment and attitude towards me has shifted, becoming intimidating, and quite frankly unacceptable," Yasses said. "The continual threat of forcing my resignation or possibly firing me is not something that should be tolerated. I do believe what I am experiencing is classified as harassment."

As a personnel matter, Yasses could have requested her case be heard in closed session, but she said she preferred to address the matter publicly.

While Alexander supervises the clerk's position, the clerk is an employee of the Village of Corfu and only the trustees have the power to terminate her employment, according to village attorney Mark Boylan.

While Alexander has allegedly ordered Yasses on numerous occasions to not communicate with trustees, Boylan said the judge doesn't have the authority to prohibit the clerk from talking to the elected officials who pay her wages.

Though Yasses said Alexander has allegedly harassed her since she completed the internal audit, things apparently came to a head about a month ago after Yasses agreed to do a favor for a Corfu police officer by mailing out a traffic ticket to a citizen.

While it's unclear whether Yasses used an envelope with with a Village of Corfu Court return address, Alexander has accused her of using such an envelope.

Yasses read from an email she said she received from Alexander about the matter:

I'm contemplating what action I am taking about the gross violation of the issue with Officer Retzlaff's ticket. The powers that are in charge are researching whether you committed a violation of the law or just a gross violation of ethical issues in the matter. Hopefully, we'll have the reply by this week or early next week and I will then decide what I am going to do as it applies to your removal from the clerk position, given a chance to resign, or other less drastic measures to see that you never do such an egregious violation.

Boylan told the trustees that the village is facing a potential lawsuit and needed to take action to protect Yasses from Alexander.

"There needs to be a letter, some sort of written admonishment from this board to the judge instructing him to cease and desist his activities," Boylan said. "He cannot continue to conduct himself in this manner. Clearly, this is harassment and clearly this board has an obligation to protect its employee, to safeguard her."

If Alexander fails to comply with the board's request, Boylan said the board could begin proceedings to remove Alexander from office. He said the procedure isn't easy and would take some time.

Out of concern that once Alexander finds out about the complaint lodged by Yasses, but before he receives the letter, he will harass Yasses further, the board agreed to give Yasses a week off with pay. However, upon discussion, it was determined certain court tasks must be completed this week, so she was instructed to only come into the office at times when other employees or trustees are present.

Trustee Art Ianni several times asked Yasses if she understood what she was taking on by bringing a complaint about an elected official to the board.

"This isn't a hot dog stand," Ianni said. "Just because you don't like the guy who puts the mustard on the roll doesn't mean we can get rid of him."

Regardless of how difficult it might be to remove Alexander from office, Mayor Todd Skeet said that as employers, the board needed to ensure employees were protected from a hostile work environment.

"One of the things I think I should say as mayor is that everyone of our employees should come to work happy and go home happy," Skeet said. "If I put myself in Pam's shoes, I'd be pretty unhappy."

September 18, 2012 - 2:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in Basom, elba, Oakfield, byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, corfu, darien center, Milestones, bergen.

Genesee Community College named 633 students to Spring 2012 Dean's List. Students earned a quality point index of 3.50-3.74.

This year's honorees, with their hometowns, are listed below:


Staci Casper
Andrew Greene


Ashley Spangenburg
Jason Birch
Luke Stacy
Amanda-Kay Sands
Jeanette Menzie
Garrett MacDonald


Reed Olmstead
Morgan Midwick
McKenna Downey
Charlotte Donahue


Laura Holovics

Darien Center

Michelle Waldo
James Odell


Lauren Hughes

Le Roy

Corrie Doeller
Debra McKnight
Rachael Panepento


Alyssa Esola
Cady Glor
Zaneb Silmi
Katie Engle


Jamie Haentges
Taylor Lafferty
Sydney Case
Sarah Nugent

Genesee Community College offers more than 60 academic programs and certificates, including the brand new Veterinary Technology A.A.S. degree and Polysomnographic Technology A.A.S. degree, (the study of sleep disorders).

Genesee is accessible through seven campus locations throughout Western New York in Albion, Arcade, Batavia, Dansville, Lima, Medina, and Warsaw, as well as through online classes in the Distance Learning program.

College housing is available at College Village, just a three minute walk from the Batavia Campus. With small class sizes and state-of-the-art technology both inside and outside of the classroom, Genesee Community College is known for being 'high-tech' and 'high-touch'. Find out more at


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