Democrats called on Monroe County Republicans June 25 to explain a “political double standard” when it came to disciplining the county’s communications director, Justin Feasel, for his wife’s DWI arrest while driving a county vehicle June 13.
The county suspended Feasel, without pay, for one week, on June 15, and has withheld his use of county vehicles for 30 days.
However, on the contrary, Democrats said Mike Bovay, a Democratic candidate for Monroe County Legislature and former county social worker, was unfairly fired by the county June 19, for incorrectly reporting his lunch break to his supervisor.
Bovay has been slated to run against incumbent Republican candidate Joe Carbone in the northern Irondequoit district in the fall.
According to Bovay, he took his lunch break an hour early in May, at around 10 a.m., in order to attend a rally in support of Regional Transit Service workers. However, after filling out his timesheet in advance, he inadvertently reported having taken his lunch at 1 p.m.
“The simple fact is that if Mr. Bovay had not been running for office, and running as a Democrat against an entrenched incumbent like Joe Carbone, he would not have been targeted, and fired, for such a minor infraction,” said Monroe County Democratic Committee Chairman Dave Garretson.
In addition, Bovay said, “I enjoyed my job, because I believe in the power of public service to help others. I knew that doing so would upset many people who run our county, namely my opponent Joseph Carbone, who had hoped to run unopposed this year. Nevertheless, I elected to exercise my right as a citizen to run, because I feel that choice is important in a Democracy, and that I could offer fresh ideas to our County Legislature. Last month, I elected to take my lunch break an hour early, in order to attend a rally in support of local bus workers who were facing proposed layoffs. I take full responsibility for an honest mistake in how my hour was reported to my supervisor. However, I firmly believe the only reason I was fired from my job is that I am the Democratic candidate for County Legislature.”
County Executive Maggie Brooks has released the following statement regarding the matter:
“This is the type of bad politics that this community has rejected time and time again. It’s shameful that these partisan Democrats are trying to make a spectacle of two sensitive personnel matters that have been handled in accordance with county policy.”
Previously, Brooks said Feasel had been suspended due to “poor judgment and violating the Monroe County vehicle-use policy.”
Democrats have currently called for the removal of Feasel, and for the county to reveal the name of the third county employee who was in the car with Feasel, and his wife, during the time of her arrest.