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Jerome Grasso

October 6, 2015 - 2:12pm

(Submitted photo: Jerome J. “Jerry” Grasso)

Press release from Batavia Downs:

Jerome J. “Jerry” Grasso has been named the recipient of Batavia Downs Gaming’s annual Italian-American of the Year award. Jerry Grasso will be honored with this accolade on Monday (Oct. 12, Columbus Day) with a special trackside ceremony after the seventh race.

Joe Gerace, the first recipient of this award, will act as master of ceremonies.

“Jerry is a wonderful individual. In addition to being a good family man, he has been an asset to our community for many years and is truly deserving of this award.” Gerace said.

Mr. Grasso, who resides in Batavia, is a current trustee of the Knights of Columbus (Monsignor Kirby Council #325) where he was also a past Grand Knight. He is a faithful navigator of the Knights of Columbus 4th degree, Batavia Assembly #0755.

Aside from his involvement in the K of C, Mr. Grasso was a volunteer at Notre Dame High School for 25 years where he contributed his time heavily to sports and scholarships.

Besides his efforts for the school, Mr. Grasso has also spent countless hours volunteering and assisting in fundraising for multiple organizations, in and around Batavia.

He has been a Eucharistic Minister in the Catholic Church since 2001, taking particular pride in giving Holy Communion to those unable to attend church services.

Joining Mr. Grasso in the winner’s circle for the presentation will be past Italian-American award winners Chuck Zambito, Ray Cianfrini, Joe Teresi, Charles Ruffino, Russ Romano and Laurie Napoleone.

November 12, 2010 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, politics, crime, Jerome Grasso, Chris Charvella.

County Legislator Jay Grasso says he felt threatened by online postings, and one phone call, from a member of the County Democratic Committee and so he called State Police.

file_chris_charvella.jpgYesterday, 30-year-old Chris Charvella -- a former candidate for the legislature himself and a frequent contributor to The Batavian -- was arrested and charged with aggravated harassment, 2nd, a misdemeanor.

Today, Grasso said that he felt Charvella had gone too far with some of his postings, but when Jay got a call from his wife, who said she felt fearful after a phone call from Charvella, he couldn't just laugh it off.

"I don't view it as a joke once you call my wife and upset my wife," Grasso said. "When you call my house and threaten my wife, that's going too far in local politics."

The complaint against Charvella reads:

On the aforementioned date, time and place, said defendant did contact the residence of Jerome J. Grasso by leaving a message. The message stated "Hey, Jerome, it's Chris Charvella, thanks for reading my blog."

The complaint is signed by Jay Grasso.

The alleged message is the same one Charvella said he left in a blog item about troopers showing up at his house that he posted on his own website yesterday at 7:55 a.m., more than 24 hours before his arrest.

Today, Charvella, who lost a legislative race to Republican Hollis Upson in 2009, made a two-sentence statement to The Batavian: "You can decide whether or not there is something illegal in there. I obviously don't think so."

The genesis of this particular dispute goes back to just a few days before the Nov. 2 election. Charvella wrote in a blog post that he had shown up to work that morning and found a lawn sign for Republican Mike Ranzenhofer's campaign on his employer's property. He speculated that Grasso had left the sign, giving him the alias, "Sharome Glasshole."

Charvella concluded his post thusly:

"So, to the Genesee County 'sign guy' and the Ranzenhofer campaign: The next time I see an unauthorized sign go up in front of a commercial property, I'm going to harvest the damn thing, march straight down to Republican headquarters and cram it up the first ass I see."

The next day, according to another blog post by Charvella, a Ranzenhofer sign was left in his front yard with a message, "Courtesy of Sharome Glasshole."

It was that message, according to Charvella, that prompted the phone message on Glasso's home phone.

In that post, Charvella raised a number of allegations about Grasso, accusing him of not having a job to pay his bills, having a house go into foreclosure and assaulting a subject while a Sheriff's deputy.

Those are allegations Grasso has heard before and he said today that he can prove he was the victim of identify theft and he is fully prepared for local Democrats to try and use those allegations against him.

Charvella's post concludes with a picture of an Ewok (of "Star Wars" movie fame) and the caption "Prepare Your Anus."

That was a remark that Grasso said he found threatening, adding that the alleged threats have no place in local politics.

"This is local," Grasso said. "We all know each other. We don't need this partisanship. Hopefully, (this case) will cause people to reflect and step back from the politics of destruction."

Photo: File photo of Charvella.

February 18, 2009 - 4:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, Jerome Grasso.

Jerome Grasso, LeRoy representative of the Genesee County Legislature has posted 14 comments over the past four weeks as Michael Barney.

In a conversation this afternoon, Grasso admitted that he made the posts because in his new part-time job he is discouraged from blogging.

"I love the site," Grasso said. "I ain't going to bullshit you, but I missed the site and I enjoy the site immensely."

A few weeks ago, Grasso took a two-day-a-week job with State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer working out of his Erie County office.

"They haven't banned me from it (leaving comments on The Batavian), but they just don't want me on there.  But it's a good source for news and let's be real, it's damn entertaining. What can I say? I missed it."

We were alerted by local Democrats (we will let them reveal their identities in comments if they wish) that they suspected Barney was really Grasso. They noted similarities in outlook and writing style.

Upon further investigation, we found that on a handful of occasions, Barney left comments from the IP address associated with previous comments by Grasso. The Barney persona and Grasso where the only users to ever post from this IP address.

When we spoke to Grasso this morning, Grasso identified Barney as a good friend and member of the GOP county committee.  He said he wasn't surprised Barney might post from the same IP address because they were close friends.

During the conversation -- which covered a range of local topics -- Grasso mentioned that he didn't post as frequently on the site because his new employer "wasn't keen" on him blogging.

We checked with local election commissioners and found that there is no Michael Barney on any GOP committee, nor is there a Barney registered to vote in Genesee County.

During our second call with Grasso, he quickly fessed up and said he and his wife discussed the issue on a shopping trip around noon and agreed he should admit to the nom de plume.  "I can't bullshit you, Howard," he said. "I shouldn't have done it, but I just missed the site."

The Barney comments can be viewed here. Some of them do discuss county business, particularly related to the recent ambulance service controversy.

Outside of sticking up for the county's position on the ambulance service and a general conservative/Republican point of view, none of the Barney comments can be said to promote Jay Grasso. Though in one comment, he clearly contradicts the fact that Barney and Grasso are one and the same person:

Most local electeds will contact you if you reach out to them by phone. Perhaps you see Mallow and Grasso on here because they are younger. I am not sure how old they are. Does anyone know their ages? I am thinking older electeds are not familiar with blogs.

There is a term on the Web for prominent people who use fake names to promote their own causes: Sock puppets.

While I sympathize with Jay's predicament and constraints related to his new job, we clearly can't knowingly allow elected officials to post under false identities. The sock puppet issue is one of the primary reasons we do our best to enforce a real name policy on The Batavian.

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