The saga of Niagara County Democratic Party Chairman and former Vice-Chairwoman Diane Roberts continues to fester. Roberts, as you may recall, wrote a scathing letter alleging both physical and verbal abuse at the hands (and mouth) of Rivera.
In Sunday's Niagara Gazette, Mark Scheer wrote a piece about the now infamous nose-pulling incident. In the recent edition of the Niagara Falls Reporter, Mike Hudson delves further into the issue. Assembly candidate Paula Banks-Dahlke, a challenger to incumbent Francine Del Monte has also released a statement calling on Del Monte to speak on behalf of Roberts.
In the statement, Banks-Dahlke states, “I have heard Assemblywoman DelMonte often claim that she stands up and fights for women. Why then she is willing to look the other way when it comes to calling Dan Rivera to accountability?" We have to agree with her.
Del Monte's silence on this issue speaks volumes. Loud volumes. We all know that Rivera was fired from his job as an insurance investigator for using company assets to dig up dirt on Del Monte's opponent two years ago. Apparently Del Monte feels that she "owes" Rivera something and will not call him out on this, despite the fact that verbal and physical abuse have been alleged.
Del Monte is showing that she cares more about her political allegiances than doing the right thing. We all hear politicians say "It's time to put people before politics". In fact I heard former county legislator Harry Apolito say it on the radio this morning. Well you know what, Harry? You're damn right, it is time to put people before politics. It's time that people who volunteer their time for a cause that they believe in don't have to be subjected to verbal and physical assault, allegedly. And it's time that the highest ranking Democrat in Niagara County stop sitting on her hands on this issue and take a stand for what's right, regardless of her personal relationship with Dan Rivera.
That, my friend, is putting people before politics.