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Union weighs in on sexual harassment case from Cheektowaga Supervisor

Town board and attorney can't comment as they are targets of complaint filed with the state.

We are following up on our story of the Cheektowaga Town Supervisor and her sexual harassment complaints against a town employee and town officials.

Now another party is coming forward with their accounts.

As we reported yesterday, Cheektowaga Town Supervisor Diane Benczkowski filed two sexual harassment complaints in 2020 with the State Division of Human Rights which called for a formal hearing. 

Benczkowski says a Facebook posting from 2019 by a town highway department employee depicted one of her campaign ad stickers in a urinal with a derogatory comment. 

And the Supervisor says she sought action from the town based on the town's sexual harassment policy.

She claims there was no action taken in this particular case referring to the town board. "This board hasn't done anything to take some action against this employee. And ask the proper questions - why wasn't this investigated. Why wasn't the employee disciplined."   

On Thursday, we were contacted by an attorney for the union that represents town employees, the Town of Cheektowaga Employees Association. They wanted to present their side of the story.

Union officials say there was an Aug. 28, 2019 meeting with the employee who posted that image. They even shared handwritten notes of that session. The now retired Town Coordinator of Employee Relations, who we could not reach - lead the meeting with her questions.

Union Vice President Ray Jablonski told 2 On Your Side about that meeting, "She really never said there was a decision during this whole thing. She even chuckled about this and thought it was sort of funny that they would even bring him in on this. Because nobody thought he did anything wrong. But she never got back to us after this meeting or said there was going to be anybody that was going to be in trouble."

In response to asking if the supervisor involved in this meeting whatsoever, Jablonski responded, "No - not that I know of." 

It was also asked if the coordinator did  say she had spoken to her to get her perspective?

Jablonski responded, "From what she told us at the meeting that Diane (Benczkowski) said she wanted an investigation . That's where this comes from."

The other town board members and town attorney declined interviews because of legal action against them.

Town Highway Department Supt. Mark Wegner said he could never prove anything against the employee in a free speech situation.