Once again, Corfu trustees and Ralph Peterson are at odds over the conduct of the first-term mayor.
This time, residents and trustees raised concerns about Peterson obtaining keys to all of the filing cabinets and demanding an office in the village facility.
In non-binding motions passed 3-0 each, the trustees expressed displeasure with both actions.
When asked by Trustee Ken Lauer if he would surrender keys to the file cabinets, Peterson shook his head no. When the motion was made opposing setting up an office for the mayor -- workers have already started moving filing cabinets -- Peterson shook his head no.
He made no apparent vote on either motion.
Lauer, Keith Busch and Dave Bielec voted yes. Art Ianni was absent.
Since taking office, Peterson has been accused of firing village staff, lying, banning the employee of the sewer contractor from the sewer plant, and demanding employee passwords for computers.
The password incident garnered a warning from Donald O'Geen, a special district attorney handling the investigation into missing court money, for Peterson not to tamper with evidence.
Village officials are concerned that Peterson's acquisition of file cabinet keys and the desire to have an office in the building are further attempts to interfere with the investigation.
Former Village Justice Robert Alexander and his daughter, Brandi Watts, are the possible targets of the investigation following a comptroller's audit that found the court was allegedly missing at least $10,000.
O'Geen has been appointed special district attorney to help avoid any potential conflicts of interest that may exist with the Genesee County District Attorney's Office.
Debbie Graham, a longtime village employee, and wife of former trustee Al Graham (the sewer employee Peterson allegedly tried to have banned), raised the issue of the file cabinet keys during the public comment portion of the meeting.
She questioned why Peterson needed the keys.
"I have the authority to have the keys," he said.
Debbie Graham said that for keeping records properly secured and to avoid any accusations of missing records leveled against Peterson, Peterson shouldn't have a key. Lauer, Busch and Bielec all said they agreed.
"To be honest with you, Rosie, I don't trust you," Debbie Graham said.
"We all have people we don't trust," Peterson said.
Asked about establishing his own office in the building, Peterson said, "I have the authority and I'm going to exercise my authority."
Resident Greg Lang told Peterson that it appears he's trying to establish a dictatorship.
"You're doing whatever you want and nobody has enough guts to stop you," Lang said. "We used to be friends. You were a decent guy before you got that power. It went right to your head."
After the meeting, Al Graham asked a gentleman in the third row of the audience who he was. He identified himself as the attorney for the Village of Oakfield. He said he had been asked by Peterson to come to the meeting by Peterson to observe it.
The attorney is Reid Whiting, a Le Roy resident.
Peterson has previously tried to replace village attorney Mark Boylan. Whiting didn't reveal if he was there as a possible Peterson nominee for attorney or to assist Peterson with his situation in Corfu.
Al Graham asked Whiting what he thought of the meeting, and Whiting said it was "hostile."
Photo: Lauer, left, and Peterson.