UTICA, N.Y. -- One of the Utica city councilmen involved in a heated disagreement with another councilman wants Utica’s mayor to release the video from the March 5 council chambers budget meeting, where it happened.
Councilman Joe Marino is involved in what he's calling a 'spirited debate' with fellow Councilman Frank DiBrango.
Marino is running for mayor against Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri, and he is the one calling for the release of the video.
City officials say it will be released when an outside investigator completes his inquiry as to whether any city policies were violated.
Marino is calling that outside investigation politically motivated, saying it's using taxpayer's money to fund the mayor's 'sensationalism, rumors and rhetoric.'
The letter sent to Palmieri's office reads:
"Rob Palmieri, is effectively forcing City of Utica taxpayers to be unwilling donors to the Palmieri for Mayor campaign by using the people's money to fund his sensationalism, rumors and rhetoric. He owes the people of this City real transparency not just more lip service.
I am calling for Mr. Palmieri to release the video today and for him to stop hiding behind a politically motivated ‘investigation’ especially since scores of City Hall employees who work for the Mr. Palmieri have already viewed the tape. Let’s stop playing games with distractions and let's get to real issues facing city residents like roads, taxes and term limits, anything less is insulting to the people."
The mayor's office released a statement in response to Marino saying:
"The City of Utica has zero tolerance for workplace violence which, pursuant to its Violence in the Workplace Policy and Employee Handbook, includes intimidating, making threatening remarks, engaging in acts of aggressive behavior or inferring violence against any person or property associated with the City.
When the City is made aware of actions that could be violation of these policies we cannot ignore it, but rather we have an obligation to investigate it.
It is improper for any video or evidence related to an investigation to be publically released until such an investigation is concluded. The public has a right to see the video and it will be released as soon as the investigation is completed.
Given that this is an ongoing investigation; this will be the City’s only comment at this time."