ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Former Rochester Fire Department Captain Jeff Krywy did not think the allegedly racist Juneteenth party he is accused of bringing an on-duty firefighter to was inappropriate, according to an investigation conducted by the City of Rochester.

Krywy is believed to have forced three subordinates, including 14-year Black veteran Jerrod Jones, to attend a private Juneteenth spoof party while on the clock on July 7.

In his complaint, Jones said he was greeted at the lawn of the party by a life-size cutout of former President Donald Trump. Upon entering the property he saw a lady in a red wing who he said “seemed embarrassed” to see firefighters there, and quickly snatched the wig off her head.

Also on the lawn, Jones’s complaint states the party had large Juneteenth celebration flags propped up on the lawn, along with buckets of fried chicken. The veteran firefighter also recalled seeing a game of cornhole set up, with local politician Rachel Barnhart’s face as one of the targets.

At that point he noticed Krywy making his way into the party, talking to several people and receiving a party favor bag that contained cognac and a Juneteenth commemorative cup.

Krywy, who decided to retire from service after being told he must leave the RFD, was interviewed during the progress of the investigation on July 28 and recalled the following:

He said it is common to go out on nights and do some sort of training. He then stated he told the crew they had been invited to a “social event” around dinner time after starting his shift at 4 p.m.

In his statement, he recalled walking up to the party and seeing around 6-8 people. Jones in comparison said he saw about 12 to 15 people, including a familiar face of a former RPD officer who became “uncomfortable” when his name (Leo) was spoken out loud by Krywy.

Krywy continued on to say he “did not notice a theme to the party” but did see the faces of politicians such as Barnhart, Mary Lupien and PAB members, around the premise. His statement claims he did not think the pictures were derogatory and said no one at the party mentioned anything about being uncomfortable. He said he received a gift bag assorted with a tiny hat, a candle, a stuffed bear and a Hennessy bottle. The man also claimed he did not see KFC buckets nor Juneteenth flags.

In the latter stage of his interview, the former captain says he “did not think the party was inappropriate.” He categorized the function as a “community engagement function.”

The investigation determined the events that took place on July 7 violate the rules and regulations set out by the Rochester Fire Department. Furthermore, the report stated Krywy’s actions showed an extreme lack of judgment and recommended the department engages in diversity training.

Since the investigation began, Jones has spoken publicly about his intention to sue the City of Rochester and the Rochester Fire Department for discriminating against him because of his race.

Additionally, the alleged hosts of the party, identified as prominent local dentist Dr. Nicholas Nicosia and his wife have denied involvement, saying they “strongly disagree with how we [they] are being characterized.” The pair own the home the party took place in and have since cut ties with their fields of employment, with the Rochester Americans breaking ties with Nicosia, who was the team’s dentist, and Dr. Nicholas resigning from the Highland Hospital board of directors.

The Nicosias sent the following statement to News 8 on August 12:

“My wife Mary and I were surprised and disappointed about the allegations that have been made against us, and by the responses being posted on social media. We strongly disagree with how we are being characterized and are hopeful that the community will hold its judgment while we seek to clear our names. Highland Hospital has asked me to step down from its Board of Directors, and I have agreed to do so, so that I can focus my efforts on restoring our reputations.”

Full Investigation Document

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