A Rochester, N.Y. Fire Department captain has resigned in the wake of allegations that he took three junior firefighters during their shifts to a racist party featuring fried chicken buckets next to Juneteenth posters, among other inappropriate content.
Rochester Mayor Malik Evans today announced that Captain Jeffrey Krywy chose to retire before termination proceedings could begin, TV station Spectrum News 1 in Rochester reported. A recently completed investigation determined Krywy should leave the service.
A Black firefighter, 14-year veteran Jerrod Jones, has filed notice of a claim for $4 million damages against the city of Rochester, the Democrat and Chronicle reported. Jones is on leave from the department because of emotional distress and fear of retaliation – and filed his claim after the department took no action on an internal complaint he filed, the newspaper reported.
Here's how the report said Jones described the scene at the 9,800-foot mansion where the party took place:
“When he first arrived, Jones said he saw a large cut-out of Donald Trump, large Juneteenth flags with "buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken prominently displayed" around them. Gift bags included a small bottle of cognac and a Juneteenth commemorative cup. There were also photos of Democratic politicians, including City Councilman Mitch Gruber and members of the Rochester Police Accountability Board, on stakes in the grass.”
The report also described “attendees drinking cognac and yelling lewd remarks at a burlesque dancer dressed up as (a Democratic woman who is a local legislator). One inebriated woman who identified herself as Char — for chardonnay — told Jones the party was in good humor and well justified because Joe Biden is ruining the country. She "became amorous" toward Jones, according to the complaint.
In a press conference last week, Jones said, “It cut me very deeply; I'm sorry I even have to be here today," Jones said "But as terribly as I'm feeling, I'm glad it happened to me and not someone who could be easily intimidated."
Evans had a news conference of his own, the newspaper reported.
“I have very serious concerns that we’re still having these kinds of conversations that happened 50 years ago," said Evans. "That we are literally still having these conversations in 2022. So, I’m actually pretty sad today. I’m pretty distressed today.”
There also was condemnation for the owners of the mansion where the party was held, Dr. Nicholas Nicosia and his wife Mary, who are prominent in the Rochester community.
“The Blue Cross Arena, Rochester Amerks and Rochester Nighthawks announced the organizations would be parting ways with the couple, Spectrum News reported.
“We have chosen to end Dr. Nicosia’s relationship with our team upon learning of recent allegations. We do not tolerate racism in any form and it has no place in our world. We urge all individuals to help end racism and choose love in all their interactions with others.”
“Highland Hospital, where Dr. Nicosia is a member of the board of directors, responded to the controversy with a statement on Twitter. Nicosia's wife Mary is a member of the board of directors for the Landmark Society of Western New York, which also condemned the alleged activities at the party in a statement on Twitter.”