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Grand Island Town Board: Supervisor, councilman trade charges of bullying

Sat, Oct 13th 2018 07:00 am
By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
Both Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray and Councilman Mike Madigan are accusing the other of bullying following release of an audiotape in which McMurray told Madigan, "I think you're sick. I think you really are. ... I have a gun. Don't come to my house."
The Dispatch reported last week that Madigan said McMurray "has created a hostile work environment, that is certain - it is harassment," after an incident in Town Hall after the Oct. 1 Town Board meeting. Madigan taped the encounter and is considering legal action.
After the gun comment, Madigan said: "So what is that, a threat?"
McMurray: "No, it's self-defense."
After the Dispatch posted the audio recording, McMurray said his actions that night at Town Hall stemmed from his belief that Madigan is stalking him.
McMurray said of Madigan, "He has a long history of these menacing tactics. I'll stand up to any bully I see. But I don't follow people. I don't carry around secret recorders like some creep. I'd be blissfully content if I never saw the man again. He should stay away from me."
Both McMurray and Madigan have said they are considering restraining orders against the other.
Madigan has denied precipitating the Oct. 1 argument or confronting McMurray at his office, as McMurray alleges, and he said the incident mirrored one that happened Sept. 4 following the Town Board meeting in which McMurray interrupted an interview between Madigan and the Dispatch.
In that encounter, in which McMurray questions Madigan about a vote to hire former Councilman Gary Roesch to a part-time job in the Parks Department, McMurray said to Madigan: "Hey, how could you justify it? How can you justify it? Look me in the eyes. How can you justify it? Look me in the eyes, Mike. How can you justify it? You're not looking me in the eyes."
Madigan to McMurray: "I don't see anybody that's worthy of looking at."
McMurray: "Oh, you're afraid of me. You know it."
Madigan: "Afraid of you?"
McMurray: "Yes, you are."
Madigan: "Afraid of you?"
McMurray: "Because you know you are betraying your values ..."
Madigan: Afraid of you?
McMurray: "... and you're doing whatever you can - you can't even look me in the eye."
Madigan: "Nate, don't make yourself so self-important, because I've got bad news for you."
McMurray: "Dude, I don't even know who you are. You're writing articles about me 24 hours a day. Seriously, if you're that interested in me, I might get a restraining order."
Madigan said Thursday McMurray's actions are "a pattern" calling the supervisor "a bully."
"There are two Nates - Mr. Hyde does concern me, I contend legitimately."
Madigan said, "I stalk nobody, so that is another lie."
"I have two choices - accept the bullying and stay silent or set a boundary and say unacceptable," Madigan said. "I choose the later. I realize it hurts both of us, but I will not enable it by staying silent."
McMurray, who is in the home stretch of a Congressional campaign against Chris Collins, alluded to the issue with Madigan when on Oct. 8 he posted a message on Facebook after a campaign aide's car was vandalized.
"My guys are getting tires slashed. I thought they were being silly, but here we are with another pierced tire," McMurray said.
"You cowards. You don't scare us. We scare you. That's why you creep with secret microphones and in the dark.
"Face me on stage Chris."

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