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Notice of claim involves Watkins mayor, village ADVERTISEMENT

Notice of claim involves Watkins mayor, village

SCHUYLER COUNTY--After more than a 45-minute interview with a local Watkins Glen podcast, Wet Couch Radio, the details of former Watkins Glen Police Sergeant in Charge Brandon Matthews and wife Danielle's notice of claim against the mayor of Watkins Glen and the village became public.
On the podcast, Danielle Matthews explained why her family had filed the legal document and the details of a police search at their property.
The eight-page claim alleges defamation; abuse of process; violations of personal privacy rights, including those provided under the civil rights law; sexual harassment; retaliation against claimants; among other charges.
Officer Brandon Matthews was hired by the police department in 2006 and was promoted to sergeant in charge in 2019. Watkins Glen Mayor Luke Leszyk was elected in the spring of 2019.
The notice of claim alleges a series of events that began in late October or early November of 2019. In part it says:
• The document details two separate conversations where Leszyk allegedly used his position of power to make inappropriate comments and demands.
• In July of 2020 a search warrant was executed by the New York State Police at the Matthews residence. The claim alleges this was retaliatory.
• In August of 2020 it was reported Matthews was placed on administrative leave. The leave currently continues and he has been demoted to a patrol officer.
• In September of 2020 Matthews and his wife appeared before a grand jury; the case was subsequently closed.
• The notice of claim is dated Oct. 30, 2020. It contains a verification page signed by Brandon and Danielle that has been notarized.
The full interview with Danielle Matthews is available at
When reached for comment Tuesday night, Feb. 2, Leszyk said, "My attorney has specific instructions for myself and the board that we can't make any comments on it. It is in litigation, and I can refer you to our attorney's office."
Leszyk added the attorney will be representing both the village and himself in the matter.

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