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R’dam DPW head resigns amid probe

Sexual harassment investigation is ongoing, position could remain vacant or part time

— Rotterdam Public Works Coordinator Michael Griesemer has resigned from his position after claims of sexual harassment from a female subordinate spurred the town to open an investigation.

Former Department of Public Works clerk Vicky Carrieri filed a notice of claim against the Town of Rotterdam in February that accuses Griesemer of recurring acts of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment through intimidation and threats. Carrieri claims “unwanted sexual advances” and “ongoing harassment” began shortly after she started working for the town in 2005. She is seeking economic injuries from alleged incidents occurring from August 2005 to present day.

Griesemer submitted a one-sentence resignation letter to Town Clerk Diane Marco on the morning of Friday, April 20, stating his departure.

Town Supervisor Harry Buffardi said he was expecting Griesemer to resign and it didn’t come as a surprise.

“I was familiar with the investigation that led up to this, and I knew he was anxious to get out of the process,” Buffardi said about Griesemer’s resignation.

Griesemer’s attorney, Christopher Massaroni, denied the claims made by Carrieri. The statement Massaroni emailed The Spotlight was received after going to print.

“The allegations of Vicky Carrieri against Michael Griesemer are both outrageous and false. However, this is a confidential personnel issue and we therefore decline to comment further,” Massaroni said.

Buffardi said the town is continuing to look into the allegations and it is being “extensively investigated.” Buffardi said he was looking into “some other issues” before the notice of claim was filed.

When asked if Griesemer’s resignation came under pressure from town officials, Buffardi declined comment.

The Spotlight acquired the notice of claim and resignation letter from the town through the Freedom of Information Law.

“Griesemer, acting within the scope of employment … engaged in an extreme and outrageous course of conduct, well outside the bounds of human decency, which intentionally caused (Carrieri) to endure severe emotional distress,” the claim reads. “Griesemer repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances towards (Carrieri), demanded and/or coerced (Carrieri) into performing sexual acts on him, made sexually explicit, inappropriate gestures and statements directed at (Carrieri), and exposed himself to (Carrieri) throughout the course of her employment.”

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