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August 15, 2013 - 11:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Ralph Peterson.

Corfu Mayor Ralph Peterson is going to receive a letter from the village attorney demanding his resignation.

If he doesn't resign, Mark Boylan, village attorney, is instructed to contact the appellate division of the NYS Supreme Court to begin the process of trying to remove Peterson from office.

Corfu's trustees voted 3-1, with Peterson supplying the no vote and Trustee Keith Busch absent, to take steps to remove Peterson from office.

While there's a long string of complaints that trustees and village residents have about Peterson, the latest alleged action that has angered trustees is an alleged admission by Peterson that he withheld an important letter from the village because he wanted to see a lawsuit against the village proceed.

This allegation came out after a closed session where trustees -- without Peterson, who was barred from the closed session -- discussed their options in the wake of recent events involving the lawsuit, village personnel and an alleged threat made by former village justice Robert Alexander.

Corfu trustees held an emergency board meeting on these topics this evening.

After Boylan raised the allegation that Peterson withheld the letter to perpetuate the lawsuit, Peterson denied it.

Trustee Ken Lauer said, "Oh, you have a different story to tell?"

"Yes, I have a different story to tell," Peterson said.

As Peterson started to speak, Lauer repositioned a microphone from a television news station to point at Peterson and Peterson paused and then said, "I've been advised by counsel not to make any statements."

As soon as the meeting adjourned, Peterson walked out of the building without speaking to anybody.

In May, Peterson reportedly received a letter from Andrew Fleming, the attorney representing a group of part-time village police officers who claimed they were illegally deprived work hours.  The letter was an offer to settle a potential lawsuit before it reached that stage.

Trustees only learned of the letter Monday when Fleming showed up at the village board meeting.

Peterson allegedly made a statement in closed session that night that he wanted to see the lawsuit filed, so he allegedly withheld the letter from the other trustees.

Also stirring the pot for trustees was a letter Peterson reportedly sent out Aug. 8 (PDF) asserting his power as mayor to run the village. He threatened legal action against any trustee, or the board as a whole, if attempts were made to usurp his power.

This evening, the trustees also voted 3-1 on a motion instructing Boylan to send a letter to Peterson barring him from contact with village office staff over concern that Peterson's continued contact with staff will lead to a harassment lawsuit.

The other motion passed Thursday was one instructing Boylan to send a letter to Robert Alexander barring him from village property.

Last night the Town of Pembroke board instructed Boylan, who also represents the town, to send a letter to Alexander barring him from town property.

According to witnesses, at Monday's village meeting, Alexander allegedly threatened to break the neck of a Town of Pembroke board member.

State Police confirm receiving a report of an alleged incident involving Alexander, but decline to disclose any further information pending completion of an investigation.

Two residents spoke at Thursday's village meeting. Charlie Lenhard, who identified himself as a longtime friend of Peterson's, told Peterson it's time for him to resign. Drew Doll said that as a 60-year resident of the village, he's embarrassed by what the village has become. The problems started, he said, long before any of the current trustees were on the board. It's time, he said, to dissolve the village.

August 15, 2013 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu.

We just received this public notice from the Village of Corfu.

NOTICE TO VILLAGE RESIDENTS – EMERGENCY MEETING

 

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THERE WILL BE AN EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE VILLAGE OF CORFU BOARD OF TRUSTEES ON THURSDAY AUGUST 15, 2013 AT 6:30 PM AT THE VILLAGE HALL.  PURPOSE OF THE MEETING WILL BE TO DISCUSS THE POLICE LAWSUIT, HARASSMENT CHARGES AGAINST THE MAYOR, MATTERS REGARDING THE MAYOR’S CONDUCT AND RECENT THREATS BY ROBERT ALEXANDER AND FAMILY MEMBERS.

 

SANDRA S. THOMAS

CLERK TREASURER

August 13, 2013 - 9:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Bethany, corfu, bergen.

Joseph Andrew Hernick, 64, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hernick is accused of being verbally abusive and attempting to be physically intimidating toward a neighbor.

James A. Hancock, 44, of 318 E. Main St., Apt. 6, Batavia, is charged with aggravated criminal contempt. Hancock allegedly violated an order of protection while having a prior criminal contempt conviction within five years.

Patrick O. Spikes, 32, of 16 Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Spikes is accused of damaging property of another person valued at more than $250 during an alleged incident on Holland Avenue at 2:30 a.m., Saturday.

Keluan B. Williams, 24, of 109 Summit St., Apt. 2, Batavia, is charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17 years old. The alleged incident was reported at 3:30 p.m., Saturday. No further details released.

Danny D. Williams, 24, of 18 East Ave., upper, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation and consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle on a public highway. Williams was allegedly found driving at 6:54 p.m. Saturday on Hutchins Place by Officer Chad Richards. At the time of the traffic stop, Williams allegedly had an open can of Natural Light beer in the driver's side cup holder.

Brandi A. Watts, 32, of Indian Falls Road, Corfu, is was arrested on a warrant yesterday following a court appearance on an unrelated matter. Watts is accused of failure to pay a fine on an overnight parking ticket in the City of Batavia.

Eric Alexander Ion, 40, of Brant Road, Brant, was arrested on bench warrants related to charges of criminal contempt, 1st, and assault, 3rd. Ion is accused of failing to appear on these charges. Ion is currently being held on bail in the Genesee County Jail on matters in Family Court.

Faith Brenda Obeirne, 45, of Mt. Read Boulevard, Rochester, was arrested on warrants for alleged petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Obeirne was arrested by Rochester PD and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. Obeirne was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Conor Patrick Wilkes, 25, of Lewiston Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to keep right. Wilkes was stopped at 1:31 a.m. Saturday on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Justin Joseph Caryl, 26, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Caryl is accused of stealing $25.94 in merchandise from Walmart.

Jake Philip Myers, 23, of Maple Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, failure to keep right and no or inadequate headlights. Myers was stopped at 1:48 a.m. Saturday on Edgerton Road, Elba, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Evelio Rodriguez-Santiago, 46, of Bergen, is charged with petit larceny. Rodriguez-Santiago is accused of stealing an item of value at a location on Church Street, Bergen, at 6:15 p.m., Saturday. Rodriguez-Santiago was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Timothy J. Poblocki, 24, of East Bethany, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Poblocki was stopped at 1:45 p.m. Sunday on Route 20, Alexander, by State Police.

Jennifer N. Bujnowski, 39, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Bujnowski is accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

August 11, 2013 - 11:21am
posted by Billie Owens in events, corfu.
Event Date and Time: 
August 20, 2013 -
7:00pm to 8:00pm

The next meeting of the Corfu Concerned Citizens will be held at the Pembroke Community Center, 116 E. Main St., Corfu, beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20. This meeting is open to the public.

 

August 5, 2013 - 11:40pm
Event Date and Time: 
September 13, 2013 - 6:00pm to September 14, 2013 - 8:00am

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE...Batavia Assembly of God Church is hosting its 3rd Annual Prayer Conference Friday, Sept. 13th, 6:00pm to 9:00pm (registration is from 6pm - 7pm) and Saturday, Sept. 14th, 8:00am to 4pm. The theme for the conference is "Presence, Prayer, and the Power of God". The keynote speaker will be Dick LaFountain. Dick is an accomplished  speaker and a published author of the book, "Time Alone With God". His passion is to motivate a renewed love for prayer and the presence of God in our churches. Workshops will also be available. Worship will be led by Elmwood Drive.

August 4, 2013 - 2:17pm
posted by Jay Terkel in corfu, Black Swallowtail, Butterfly.

We just had this beautiful visitor to our flower garden. I'm not sure how common this Black Swallowtail is in this area

.

August 4, 2013 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu.

A 16-year-old Pembroke resident is in critical condition this morning at Erie County Medical Center following an ATV accident in the Village of Corfu last night.

Benjamin L. Falker was riding a 2012 Polaris Sportsman 500 on West Main Street when he attempted to enter the sidewalk south of Prospect Street. He lost control and struck a row of bushes and the four-wheeler flipped over and he was ejected. 

The ATV struck a utility pole and came to rest in an upright position. 

Benjamin, the sole occupant of the ATV, sustained a head injury and was transported to ECMC by Mercy Flight.

The investigation is continuing and charges may be pending.

Investigating the accident are Deputy Jason Saile, Sgt. William Scott of the Crash Management Team, Investigator Timothy Weis, Sgt. Brian Frieday and Officer Rich Retzlaf of the Corfu PD.

Assisting at the scene was the Corfu Fire Department and Mercy EMS.

(Initial Report)

August 3, 2013 - 11:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, corfu.

A four-wheeler has hit a utility pole in the area of 29 W. Main St., Corfu, near the corner of Prospect Street.

A person is injured. Mercy Flight requested to the scene. A landing scene will be set up at the Corfu Fire Hall.

UPDATE 11:20 p.m.: The patient is seriously injured.

UPDATE 11:24 p.m.: The landing zone is being switched to the area behind the primary school.

UPDATE 11:30 p.m.: Mercy Flight is on the ground.

UPDATE Midnight: Patient transported to ECMC.

August 3, 2013 - 3:14pm

Today the Indian Falls United Methodist Church held its annual Community Days -- Blueberry festival. The festival featured a car/tractor show. There were complimentary hot dogs, baked goods and other items for sale by the churches members. 

At 4, the church held a kids peddle kart race for children of all ages to come out and race each other. 

At 5, the church hosted a lawnmower race that was open to everyone to come out to and race. 

The Indian Falls Fire Company also attended community days, bringing along two trucks with them. 

July 30, 2013 - 6:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, corfu.
Event Date and Time: 
August 6, 2013 -
7:00pm to 8:00pm

The Corfu Concerned Citizens next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the Pembroke Community Center, located at 116 E. Main St., in Corfu. The meeting is open to the public.

July 29, 2013 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, Bethany, corfu, walmart, bergen.

Kyle Jackson, 21, of Slusser Road, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Jackson allegedly drove an electric shopping cart across the Walmart parking lot, onto Route 63 and into the parking lot of Rite Aid at 4:30 a.m., June 12.

Douglas G. Goodwin Jr., of 130 Bank St., Batavia, is charged with offering a false instrument, 2nd, grand larceny, 4th, and criminal mischief, 3rd. Goodwin is accused of entering an apartment and stealing a hot water tank, gas and water lines and other items. Goodwin was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Foster M. Brandt, 22, of 20 Tracy Ave., Batavia, was arrested on warrants for obstruction of governmental administration and criminal mischief, 3rd. Brandt was jailed on $2,000 bail.

Christina A.M. Deluna, 33, of 122 State St., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Deluna was arrested by Batavia PD following an investigation into a domestic incident reported at 6 p.m, Friday.

Angela S. Bianco, 42, of 137 State St., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Bianco was allegedly seen on security footage at Save-A-Lot taking a Red Osier billfold belonging to another customer.

Bryon Gilbert Keller, 18, of Sumner Road, Corfu, is charged with petit larceny. Keller is accused of stealing a laptop computer from a residence in Darien.

Frank Lyman Stanton, 32, of Bethany Center Road, Bethany, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and no/inadequate exhaust system. Stanton was stopped at 12:32 a.m. Sunday on South Lake Road, Bergen, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Joshua Todd Fullmer, 20, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, and unlawful growing of marijuana. At 5:48 p.m., Saturday, deputies responded to a report of a fight at 3124 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Upon investigation, Fullmer was allegedly found in possession of brass knuckles and had several marijuana plants growing on his property.

Joshua Christopher Uptegrove, 27, of Meadville Road, Alabama, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Uptegrove allegedly pushed another person during an argument.

July 26, 2013 - 8:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Le Roy, corfu.

Anthony L. Holohan, 77, of Gilmore Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal mischief, 2nd. On July 11, an employee of the Log Cabin Restaurant arrived at work and found a hole in a picture window in the dining room. Later he found another window was damaged. After an investigation, Holohan was arrested and accused of damaging the windows at about 3 a.m., July 11. The estimated damage is $2,260. There's no known motive for the alleged crime. Holohan posted $5,000 bail and was released.

Ryan C. Riggi, 18, no permanent address, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, 4th. Riggi is accused of twice possessing and using a credit card of another person, stealing more than $3,000. Riggi was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Danielle Marie Stevens, 36, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Stevens is accused of stealing a bottle of hydrocodone pills from the purse of another person.

Matthew Charles Olcott, 34, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested on warrants out of the Town of Pembroke and Town of Batavia, for criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, violation of probation, attempted unauthorized use of a vehicle, 3rd, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 2nd. Olcott was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court on all charges and jailed on $500 bail on the Town of Pembroke charges.

July 25, 2013 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Ralph Peterson.

The two members of the Village of Corfu office staff have formally filed letters of complaint with the trustees accusing Mayor Ralph Peterson of creating a hostile work environment.

In her letter, Assistant Clerk/Treasurer Denise Beal said she believes Peterson's treatment of her is meant to demean her as a woman and is therefore a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Both Beal and Clerk/Treasurer Sandra Thomas said they do not want to take further legal action but may be left with no choice if the trustees are unable to stop Peterson's alleged harassment.

The trustees received the letters Monday and voted to forward the complaints to Village Attorney Mark Boylan for his advice on how to handle the complaints.

Beal's letter indicates that it's mostly a feeling she gets from Peterson that he tries to harass and intimidate her because she is female. The one concrete example she gives of different treatment of her and Thomas is that Peterson allegedly demanded Beal and Thomas give him copies of office and file cabinet keys but has not made the same demand of the all-male maintenance staff.

Both Beal and Thomas said things kind of came to a head in the past week with Peterson's alleged insistence that his criticism of the office staff be included in the village newsletter.

"His subjective comments he wrote in the village newsletter are embarrassing," Beal wrote. "I have been employed by the Village of Corfu for over 5 years. Never have I felt so degraded and harassed by a male. I have always taken great pride in my work and have performed my duties with great confidence, the highest levels of professionalism, efficiency and accountability. I have always enjoyed my job, but the hostile work environment that has been created by Mr. Peterson is making it difficult to be at work."

Peterson has not yet responded to a request for comment sent via text message.

Both Thomas and Beal said they believe at least some of the motivation for Peterson's conduct is the fact that they are potential witnesses in the criminal case against Brandi Watts, the former village court clerk accused of stealing more than $10,000 in court funds.

Special Prosecutor Donald O'Geen has warned Peterson and the trustees that there should be no interference with the investigation.

As part of their complaints, Thomas and Beal cite Peterson's alleged attempt to fire them, his request for passwords and keys, his moving a desk and chair for himself into Beal's office, and constant assertions of authority and intimidation when he's in the office.

"I could go into many detailed examples of Ralph Peterson's barrage of threats, innuendos, accusations, falsehoods and harassment," Thomas wrote. "Some are a matter of public record, and many have been made behind closed doors and in emails. He has now made public his contempt and made insinuations of incompetence of the office staff in the Village Newsletter to Village residents. This is unacceptable."

Thomas concludes, "Although Mayor Peterson is smugly confident that he is untouchable and (can) do and say absolutely anything he wants, I am filing this complaint imploring the Board to put a stop to this deplorable situation and prevent any further harassment and retaliation."

July 24, 2013 - 2:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, corfu, Dan Burling, Burling Drugs.

The way Dan Burling sees it, the cards are stacked against the small business owner these days, especially for independent drug store owners.

Reimbursements from big insurance companies for customers' prescriptions have shrunk dramatically in recent years, Burling said. In his view, big mail-order firms engage in anti-competitive practices designed to cripple local pharmacies. And the coming implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act is just going to make matters worse.

So the former State Assemblyman did the only thing he thought he could do: Close.

Yesterday was the last day of business for Burling Drugs in Corfu.

"When I came here 21 yeas ago, there was no pharmacy here," Burling said. "It was shut down. I opened the store up. I put a lot of my heart and my soul into it."

There's no way an independent shop can survive, he said, on what insurance companies are willing to pay these days.

"It looks to me like the insurance companies are ratcheting down their reimbursement to match what the large chains can pay," Burling said. "I have no quarrel with the large chains, Rite-Aid or anything, but our margins just weren’t enough to sustain our business."

To survive recently, Burling had to borrow money and that's something he is no longer willing to do.

"I wasn't taking much out of the business," Burling said. "I did everything I could possibly do to try and stay profitable, but the profits just weren't there."

Big mail-order houses also put the squeeze on independent pharmacies, he said.

As a member of the Legislature, Burling sponsored a bill that made it illegal to force patients to buy prescriptions by mail order. The big firms just ignore the law, Burling said.

"They constantly badger my customers," Burling said. "They get the data and they call them and they market their mail-order business directly to them."

And the crony capitalists in Washington continue to work against the survival of the little guy.

"Medco and Express Scripts merged, and as far as I'm concerned, that never should have been allowed," Burling said. "Being in politics as long as I was, I know how it works. Big money goes to the politicians in Washington and they ignore the little guy and get paid off."

Obamacare -- the Affordable Health Care Act -- Burling said is going to put the squeeze on all sorts of small businesses in medicine. The law will force even smaller reimbursements and the mandated cost cuts that small business owners won't be able to manage. You'll see a lot of health-care providers go out of business when that happens, Burling said.

He understands some people are upset by his store's sudden closure, but his co-op contract with Rite-Aid gave him an out now and he decided to exercise it.

Over the 21 years he's run the store in Corfu, Burling said not only has he provided a pharmacy to the community, he's also brought in doctor offices -- doctors who have since relocated to their own practices.

"These are contributions that I made to the community that I think were significant," Burling said, "but there comes a time in your life, you know, when you're at my age, that this is the only way I'm going to be able to retire, the only way I'm going to be able to enjoy life."

July 22, 2013 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu, Robert Alexander, Brandi Watts.

Former Village of Corfu justice Robert Alexander said after his appearance in County Court this afternoon that he would never, ever, do anything to hurt the people of his lifelong hometown.

Alexander would not discuss the specifics of the case against him -- he's charged with coercion and official misconduct -- but reiterated in a short statement to media gathered outside the courthouse that he's a born-again Christian and that he wouldn't break the law.

"I had the privileged of serving in the Village of Corfu for 24 years," Alexander said. "I grew up there. I love that village, and when I see people or hear people in social media or on television or anything like that say anything about a case, I say, let a case run its course, number one, but number two, the wonderful people of Corfu shouldn’t have to be put through all those kinds of things where it’s played out in the media versus where it’s played out in a court."

Asked whether he would take the case against him to trial, Alexander said that's something for him and his attorney to discuss and otherwise declined to comment.

The changes stem from what may have been an alleged attempt by Alexander to clear the name of his daughter, Brandi Watts.

Watts worked for Alexander as his court clerk from 2009 to 2011.

After Watts was named in a NYS comptroller's audit that allegedly found the court was missing more than $10,000 in funds, Alexander reportedly asked his new court clerk, Pam Yasses, to audit the court books. Yasses reportedly completed the audit and found the court was missing funds.

According to Yasses, who spoke about the situation at an Oct. 8 meeting of village trustees, Alexander did not accept the results of the new audit and Yasses complained that Alexander was trying to intimidate her and get her to quit her job.

The allegations against Alexander reportedly stem from that incident.

Alexander denied breaking the law.

"I won’t say anything about the case, except I will only say I love the people of Corfu and never do anytihng, as a born-again Christian, as a man serving them, I would never even think of breaking the law in any way, shape or form, no less doing it," Alexander said. "I would certainly would never, ever, ever want to bring anything that would hurt those people that I served for 24 years. We'll let it play out in court."

Alexander also told reporters, "I’m a Christian, I believe in Jesus Christ and I believe in the end I will be vindicated."

Neither Watts nor Alexander entered a plea today and both are scheduled to reappear at 2:15 p.m., Aug. 12, in County Court.

July 22, 2013 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, corfu, bergen.

David Bruce Brusie, 40, of Fancher Road, Holley, is charged with assaul,t 2nd. Brusie, an inmate at the Genesee County Jail, is accused of punching another inmate and breaking his nose.

Rosemary R. Waters, 27, of 4035 W. Main Street Road, lowrr, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and trespass. Waters is accused of stealing makeup, valued at $6, from Dollar General. Waters was allegedly previously barred from the store for a prior shoplifting complaint.

Matthew W. Clark, 31, of 10 Washington Ave., Batavia, was arrested on a warrant from City Court for a traffic citation -- parking on a city street, 2 to 6 a.m.

Daniel P. Callahan, 29, of 8 Old Meadow Lane, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or higher and driving without stoplights. Callahan was stopped on Main Street at 12:01 a.m., July 9, by Officer Chad Richards.

Lizbel D. Cramer, 35, of 8 Lewis Place, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant out of City Court for traffic citations for alleged failure to obey stop sign and parking violations.

Bryon Gilbert Keller, 18, of Sumner Road, Corfu, is charged with unlawful dealing with a child. Keller is accused of allowing people under age 21 to consume alcohol while attending a party on his property.

Dariel Solivan Mendoza, 28, of Church Street, Bergen, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Mendoza allegedly pushed a person to the ground during an argument.

Lance Joseph Seppe, 27, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and disorderly conduct. Seppe is accused of breaking items and issuing verbal threats while at a residence in Corfu at 7:39 p.m., Tuesday.

July 19, 2013 - 10:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Ralph Peterson.

Corfu Mayor Ralph Peterson is reportedly going to publicly criticize village office staff in his column in a newsletter being sent to village residents today.

Trustee Ken Lauer, who shared a copy of the mayor's column with The Batavian, called Peterson's words unprofessional and said trustees tried to dissuade him from publicly criticizing employees.

In the column, Peteson portrays himself as a reformer who is trying to bring more cordial communication and greater efficiency to village government, but that office staff is refusing to cooperate.

Peterson writes:

Attempts are being made to work with the all of the Village staff. We have been successful with the Maintenance, Court, and Police however we are struggling with the Office Staff. For us to improve we must communicate and understand the authority of the Mayor.

Peterson said he has been consulting with the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) and that he's been told that as mayor he has a right to access all files and data owned by the village, but his efforts to exercise his lawful authority as mayor is being undermined by staff and trustees.

The lack of understanding of the lawful authority of the Mayor by employees and Trustees has made my first three-month as Mayor interesting. I want to insure the people who are responsible for me becoming the Mayor of Corfu I remain steadfast.

In April, Peterson allegedly fired Sandra Thomas and Denise Beal, but when the women refused to work after a confrontation with Peterson, the village office was left without any staff. The trustees did not support Peterson's actions and Lauer negotiated the return to work of Thomas and Beal.

The column characterizes a village in disarray and not up to "2013 standards." Peterson vows to fix these issues.

My goals as Mayor have not changed I trying change the tone from of communication from confrontational to teamwork. This has truly been a struggle. I realized my comments will not set well with some employees, trustees and residents. However, I must be truthful in my evaluation of the Village business at this time to the residents. I will remain focused on the goals I promised.

July 18, 2013 - 10:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, corfu.

The state's commission on judicial conduct has ordered that all cases assigned to Town of Pembroke Justice Alexander be reassigned to Justice David O'Connor.

Alexander, the former justice for the Village of Corfu, was indicted yesterday on three misdemeanor crimes, including coercion and official misconduct.

An e-mail was sent to officials in Corfu and Pembroke today informing them of the order.

The e-mail reads:

For your information, kindly find the attached administrative order AO/201/2013 signed by the Hon. A. Gail Prudenti reassigning all judicial matters currently pending before the Hon. Robert E. Alexander, Town Justice, Pembroke Town Court, to the Hon. David M. O'Connor, Town Justice, Pembroke Town Court, effective immediately, and direct that no further judicial matters be assigned to Justice Alexander until further order of the Chief Administrative Judge.

Thank you.

Kate Breen
Court Analyst
Deputy Chief Administrative Judge's Office
for Courts Outside New York City

The Batavian has not yet obtained the attachment cited in the e-mail.

Alexander is the father of Brandi Watts, the former court clerk in Corfu who is accused of stealing more than $10,000 in court funds and filing false documents.  Alexander was charged with crimes related to his alleged attempts to disprove there were missing court funds.

O'Connor is a justice in the Town of Pembroke Court and the Village of Corfu Court.

UPDATE: The attachment, the actual order, is short and to the point:

Pursuant to the authority vested in me, I hereby reassign all judicial matters currently
pending before the Hon. Robert E. Alexander, Town Justice, Pembroke Town Court, to the Hon. David M, O’Connor, Town Justice, Pembroke Town Court, effective immediately, and direct that no further judicial matters be assigned to Justice Alexander until further order of the Chief Administrative Judge.

It's signed by Judge A. Gail Prudenti.

July 18, 2013 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu.
Brandi Watts

Of 61 criminal counts lodged against Brandi Watts, the former court clerk in the Village of Corfu, 53 of them deal with allegedly filing false time cards exaggerating the number of hours she worked.

Watts and her father, Robert Alexander, former justice in the village and a current justice in the Town of Pembroke, were arraigned on criminal charges yesterday following an 18-month State Police investigation into alleged missing funds from the court.

A state comptroller's audit and uncovered the potential of as much as $10,000 being diverted from the court treasury.

The Batavian obtained a copy of the 42-page indictment this morning from Donald O'Geen, district attorney in Wyoming County, who is acting as a special prosecutor on this case.

Watts is also charged with two counts of grand larcen,y 3rd, and one count of grand larceny, 4th.

In the indictment, she is accused of stealing $8,819 between 2009 and 2011, and of stealing another $3,770 in that same time period. She is also accused of stealing $1,308 on June 7, 2011.

She is also accused of altering the files of six traffic citations, leading to six counts of tampering with public records in the first degree.

Alexander was also arraigned on two counts of coercion. The indictment contains no details on the specific acts that led to the charge, but accuses Alexander of using the power of his office as justice to induce fear to cause a person or persons to do something they might not otherwise do.

He's also charged with official misconduct, which accuses him of performing acts as a justice that he was not authorized to perform.

UPDATE: We've learned that the charges against Alexander stem from a harassment compliant lodged by current court clerk Pamela Yasses. At an Oct. 8 meeting of the trustees, Yasses said Alexander threatened her job and tried to intimidate her after she completed a financial audit of the court -- at his request -- that she said reached a conclusion similar to the comptroller's audit.

Yesterday's story: Former Village of Corfu court clerk charged with grand larceny

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