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Grand Island Town Board: Madigan calls McMurray's work environment 'hostile'

Sat, Oct 6th 2018 07:00 am
By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
Councilman Michael Madigan is complaining that Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray's behavior toward him has crossed a line, and he's contemplating legal again.
Madigan said McMurray "has created a hostile work environment, that is certain - it is harassment," after an incident in Town Hall after Monday's Town Board meeting in which he said the supervisor cornered him outside the council office.
Madigan has taken to recording the meetings in anticipation of these confrontations, he said. (The Oct. 1 post-meeting conversation is online HERE.) "I started recording at end of regular meeting expecting him to again act out (it has become common)," Madigan said.
Madigan said that after having a discussion with a constituent following Monday's regular meeting in Town Hall, he was heading back to the council office when McMurray stepped between him and the doorway and began questioning him.
"As you can hear, he initiated and I did not respond to his questions," Madigan said, likening the situation to a similar incident involving the two in the Town Hall courtroom following the Sept. 4 Town Board meeting, which was witnessed by the Dispatch, when McMurray interrupted an interview.
McMurray can be heard on Madigan's tape asking Madigan, "In your heart, do you care about anything?"
McMurray asks Madigan. "Do you have, like, values you care about? I don't think you do. Do you believe in God?"
"I think you're sick. I think you really are," McMurray said. "I have a gun. Don't come to my house."
Madigan: "So what is that, a threat?"
McMurray: "No, it's self-defense."
In a message to the Dispatch that night, Madigan wrote, "My wife thinks I should be worried since he mentioned having a gun. I am not overly worried now, but clearly the pressure of the election is impacting him and he acts unstable already. If things get worse for him, I will become more concerned."
Asked if something happened between himself and Madigan after the Oct. 1 meeting, McMurray said, "Nothing out of the ordinary. He just did his usual lurking and I told him to stay clear from me."
Asked for his side of the conversation, McMurray told the Dispatch, "My side of the matter is this, you should not feed this man's drama."
Madigan said this isn't the first issue he's had with the supervisor, saying several meetings ago "during an executive session he lost it" and "got right in my face pointing and yelling. I would characterize that event as borderline violent as well."
At the Grand Island Town Board work session meeting, June 18, Councilwoman Bev Kinney alluded to the matter when she addressed the topic of board member behavior in executive sessions, but without naming names.
Kinney cautioned members of the board about their interactions, calling for "No yelling, no swearing, no name-calling, no physical aggression."
Madigan said via email he has talked to Town Attorney Peter Godfrey to decide what his options are.
"May need to consider a restraining order," Madigan wrote. "Unlikely that I will not take some action."

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