Fleischmanns trustee accused of unethical behavior
By Jay Braman Jr.
A Fleischmanns resident has accused a village trustee of being responsible for her husband’s verbal outburst at a village board meeting last month, an episode that landed him in the hospital.
During a tense and awkward segment of Monday night’s village board meeting in Fleischmanns, Mayor Todd Pascarella had a letter read into the record from Rita C. Adami.
The letter follows a tumultuous episode that occurred at the November village board during which Adami’s husband, John Hoeko, lost his temper, jumped up onto the stage where the trustees were seated and launched a verbal tirade against Pascarella and other trustees.
While Pascarella says there was no violence and no threats were made, Hoeko’s actions were intimidating and made him and the other trustees uncomfortable.
In the letter, Adami accuses Trustee Harriet Grossman of being responsible for her husband’s outburst.
“I am writing this letter to you regarding the trustee, Ms Harriet Grossman,” the letter states. “Ms. Grossman has been beseeching my husband, John N Hoeko, to write letters on her behalf that the bridge on Bridge Street not be constructed because that might mean the loss of her house. Although he is writing regarding it to be constructed in a different way.
I understand her feelings of loss and being misplaced. In recent weeks Ms. Grossman has been very assertive in convincing John into believing that (village trustee) Mr. (David) Yates is not a resident of this village and has slandered your name and Mr. Yates by saying Mr. Yates was appointed for your needs only and not the village’s needs.
Indeed the opposite seems to be true, as Ms. Grossman’s votes against any new progress for this area, which can be advantageous to our village. My husband is a very ill man and when he experiences an episode of his illness, his judgment and ability to make decisions is impaired.
Ms. Grossman was calling him all the time and having him do her bidding. That is what caused the riot like behavior of John at the last meeting. Ms. Grossman is encouraging him to overthrow this board because she thinks he is willing to take her side against the village. Ms. Grossman is unethical towards her duties as trustee and continues to be unethical, as after being told by me that John is very ill and to please stop calling him and encouraging him to take matters in his own hands which could have resulted in an extremely volatile meeting, but resulted in worse!!!! John being taken to the hospital where he has been for three weeks. I think Ms. Grossman should be reminded that she represents the Village of Fleischmanns not just her self indulgences and should not be manipulating vulnerable people.”
Grossman was absent from Monday’s meeting. At press time she could not be reached for comment.
Pascarella, who noted that Fleischmanns has no ethics committee to review the matter, said that he will investigate.
“I feel I have a responsibility to get to the bottom of this issue as an ethical matter as well as a security one, without sensationalizing it if that is possible,” he said. “I will certainly be looking to Trustee Grossman for some specific answers on certain things but I honestly don’t know where this is going or what I will be able to find out.”