Manlius (WSYR-TV) -- Manlius Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin is responding to accusations of verbal harassment.
Former employee Kristin Hansen filed a report last month claiming the Parks and Recreation Office became a hostile work environment. Tuesday night, she read a statement to trustees during a public meeting of the Manlius village board, explaining that she decided to leave her job because she was no longer comfortable working with Serafin.
"I don't trust you. You are a loose cannon. I don't blame anyone in this room for being scared of you and not wanting to be in the office alone with you. You are ridiculous. You are a poor excuse for a human being. You're a poor excuse for a man and you are certainly no mayor," Hansen said during the meeting.
Hansen says she requested to have the office's panic button moved closer to her desk and tested it because she was scared. The Mayor denies claims that he created a hostile workplace and threatened to warn Hansen's new boss.
"I feel bound by duty and honor to inform her that I might be reaching out to the Mayor of San Antonio to share with them these perfidious actions and am ready to release the documents to them as well," Mayor Serafin says in the recording.
The village trustees who reviewed Hansen's report say this isn't the first time an employee has complained. For both occasions, they had the same conclusion.
Village Trustee Natalie Miner says, "We made findings that there was some credible evidence that the employee had been verbally harassed by the mayor."
Miner chairs the personell committee tasked with reviewing workplace violence prevention complaints. The mayor is normally her partner in the process. In order to avoid a conflict of interest, Miner asked Trustee Scott McGrew to assist with the investigation of Hansen's claims.
"Hopefully it will be a better environment, but I can't guarantee that," said Village Trustee Scott McGrew when asked if he was confident that current village employees will not be subjected to a hostile work environment.
Mayor Serafin told the board he plans to ignore Hansen's report, calling the process "a kangaroo court by witch hunt." He also questioned the legality of Miner's efforts to review and report on the accusations.
"Some people just are going to be vitriolic and some people are going to just try to take their best shot whenever they can at an elected official, so I just kind of take it as I go," Serafin told NewsChannel 9.
The mayor says he's open to meeting about the claims, but the Miner and McGrew say he has not made time to meet. Trustees can decide what to do next when they meet in two weeks.
"We cannot remove the mayor. So, it is up to him as to whether he would like to comply and try to reform his ways to make it a more pleasant working environment," McGrew said.
Hansen's comments at the meeting were followed by several outbursts from others in the audience and on the board, aimed at the mayor. The next day Serafin defended himself.
"I have faith in who I am and I know who I am and the people who have been around me a long time know that as well," said Mayor Serafin.