Weekly Feature

2014-01-09 / Front Page

Gabryszak faces allegations from three more women

by ERIKA CARLSON Cheektowaga Editor

Allegations against Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak continue to pile up as three more women have filed a notice of claim against him.

Trina Tardone and Emily Trimper filed a claim on Friday stating that they were subjected to a continuous pattern of sexual harassment by Gabryszak. The claim states that due to this behavior, the women lost current and future income, their health insurance and other benefits because they were forced to seek other employment.

Kristy Mazurek filed a formal complaint against the assemblyman on Monday. All three women were former employees of Gabryszak. Mazurek worked as Gabryszak’s director of communications from October 2008 to June 2009.

According to the claim, Gabryszak took Mazurek to his apartment on one of her first trips to Albany. While she was there, Mazurek states that Gabryszak pointed out a flat roof area and told her that she could use the area “to sunbathe topless.”

During the fall of 2008, the claim states that Gabryszak suggested Mazurek and another former staff member should join him for a staff Christmas photo. He allegedly said they should “dress in sexy elf costumes and that he should be Santa” with the two women sitting on his lap.

The claim states that after Mazurek told the assemblyman that she was uncomfortable with his behavior, her salary was reduced. According to the claim, Mazurek was making $52,000 when she began working for Gabryszak and that it was less than half that when she left.

Tardone worked as Gabryszak’s director of communications from July 2009 to December 2010. According to the claim, Gabryszak repeatedly suggested that she stay in his apartment when traveling to Albany.

On one occasion, Gabryszak allegedly insisted that Tardone come to his apartment while she was in Albany to look over some documents he had there. The claim states that while she was at the apartment Gabryszak grabbed her and tried to kiss her.

Tardone reportedly told Gabryszak that she would “find a way to work with him, but that she would not be alone with him in any situation.” She further stated “that if they needed to work together, it would be in the office with others around,” according to the claim.

Afterward, the assemblyman allegedly told Tardone that he would not support her travel in any way. According to the claim, Tardone had to either take a train or drive herself to and from Albany and pay for her own travel expenses in order to avoid sexual advances from Gabryszak.

Tardone said she met with Adam Locher, Gabryszak’s chief of staff, to express her concerns. The claim states that Locher’s response was “to just ignore it, that is the way Dennis is.”

In August 2007, Trimper began working as a district office administrator for Gabryszak. She left her job in March 2008.

According to the claim, Trimper said Gabryszak discussed a number of lewd and inappropriate topics in her presence, such as watching pornographic movies on Cinemax. She also stated that throughout her employment, the assemblyman would regularly lean over her while she was at her desk to the point of interfering with her personal space. Trimper also claims that Gabryszak offered her a place to stay at his Albany apartment when she traveled.

The claim was filed through the State Court of Claims and was also sent to the New York State Attorney General’s Office. It states that a seventh former employee may be coming forward with allegations in the near future.

Gabryszak, who represents the towns of Cheektowaga and Lancaster and the villages of Sloan, Lancaster and Depew, has not yet issued a statement on the matter. His lawyer, Terrence M. Connors, did not return a phone call from The Bee.

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