Irondequoit Town Board member who accused supervisor of breaking her wrist is censured
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IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. – A few weeks ago, Irondequoit Town Board member Patrina Freeman accused town Supervisor Rory Fitzpatrick of slamming a door into her arm and breaking her wrist after a heated meeting.
On Tuesday, Freeman was censured by her fellow town board members, which means if she wants to talk to a town employee or spend town money, she needs permission. Fitzpatrick, a Republican, and Freeman’s three fellow Democrats on the board voted in favor of the action. She was the only one to oppose it.
The resolution approved in Tuesday’s special town board meeting laid out a number of complaints against Freeman, ranging from her alleged misuse of town resources to her speaking to town employees in demeaning and accusatory ways. It claims she refuses to schedule meetings, abstains from votes, and reveals private information from executive sessions.
A few weeks ago, Freeman, in a press conference, claimed Fitzpatrick shut a door on her arm, breaking her wrist.
News10NBC asked Fitzpatrick whether the censure vote was retaliation for that.
“So we have been silent for 10 months, we’ve had to deal with a lot of press conferences, a lot of one-sided things, but this was in no way retaliation. It’s concern for our employees and I think that our board has taken a lot and by no means did that play any part in what was decided today,” he said.
Fitzpatrick said employees have been coming to him with complaints about Freeman.
“We’ve had residents and board members and other groups come as well, so, I’m not going to say how many employees, but it’s significant. And obviously we have to protect them,” he said.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Freeman had a number of supporters in the room who were hoping to offer comment before the board voted but there was no public input. Freeman didn’t want to do an interview following the meeting, but said this from her seat just after her colleagues voted in favor of censure:
“I am here again, the only town board member facing censure. This event tonight in and of itself is a symbol of the discrimination I have faced and what I have been speaking about for the past 14 months.”
A statement from Freeman via her attorney, Nate McMurray, reads in part: “This whole hearing is a disgrace. I was given no time to prepare. No opportunity to properly refute these petty and specious claims…The goal seems simple: to shock, humiliate, and silence me. But I will not be silenced. I will continue to fight for the people of Irondequoit as a fearless, independent voice.”
The censure will last the length of Freeman’s term, which ends in 2024.
Meanwhile, Irondequoit Police investigated the alleged incident between Freeman and Fitzpatrick and did not file any charges.