Dear Members of the Capital District Community,
On April 27 th , 2020, as you may be aware, I was arrested as a result of allegations made against me by my ex-fiance. These charges resulted in media coverage and the media reported that I was charged with misdemeanor harassment and stalking of “a woman known to my family.” The media did not report that my accuser was my former fiancé who also dated a Watervliet Police officer - the same department that filed the charges against me. The failure by the media to accurately report that the woman who filed the charge was a woman with whom I was engaged to be married is an omission of a very material fact and, in my opinion, a type of sensationalized journalism that painted a picture of facts that were vastly different from reality. I categorically denied all of these allegations. I ended our engagement after I uncovered infidelity, theft, and forgery.
I regret that I need to address this matter publicly but feel that I must clarify the false media reports that were printed and aired on local television.
On the day I voluntarily went to the Watervliet Police department to answer to the allegations by my ex-fiance, I learned that someone alerted the news media. I was then paraded in front of news cameras in a deliberate attempt to tarnish my business reputation. Notably, the police chief of Watervliet was fired 2 weeks later. The Watervliet City Hall masked the termination of the police chief as being related to the pandemic to avoid further embarrassment for a department that has been plagued with issues for years. It is strongly believed that Geraci was fired due to his malicious actions relating to his wife not making it at Gucciardo’s firm. Importantly, the chief’s wife worked for me as a real estate agent and unfortunately, we did not part ways amicably. Please keep an open mind and realize that I have been a Realtor for 20 years having worked with thousands of women. Never before have allegations been made against me. My attorney and I look forward to bringing this matter to a resolution as quickly as the courts allow.
Created: May 14, 2020 11:32 PM
WATERVLIET - The City of Watervliet's general manager is speaking about the decision to furlough the police chief.
Initially it was thought that the chief could be brought back if finances allowed for it, but NewsChannel 13 has learned there is no intention of bringing Chief Anthony Geraci back. General Manager Joseph LaCivita explained the decision Thursday.
"It wasn't about titles it wasn't about position,” he said. “It was really about what was going to happen on the streets."
LaCivita said the city is facing an estimated $1.2 million budget gap due to the pandemic.
To help close that gap, they decided to furlough Geraci. LaCivita told NewsChannel 13 they chose between Geraci and three patrol officers.
"When you look at the chief’s position versus three positions that are potentially on the furlough block you would jeopardize public safety times three,” LaCivita said. “So you lost three bodies out on the streets, you lost the protection to the residents and you lost the protections to the other officers that are on the beat with the individuals."
LaCivita couldn't say how much that would save the city, but the 2020 budget lists Geraci's salary at $96,0000.
LaCavitia said Geraci won't receive benefits on furlough because his contract was never ratified by city council.
He said an Acting Chief will assume Geraci's responsibilities in the interim.
Unfortunately, the furloughs aren't limited to the police department. LaCivita said "everything is still on the table."
"There's going to probably be a few more layoffs coming a few more furloughs coming up to as many as seven or 10 going forward,” he said.
NewsChannel 13 asked LaCivita why the city needs both a mayor and a general manager on the payroll in the wake of the pandemic. He said this role is indispensable because the city's charter gives him power to oversee public safety, public works, code enforcement and city administration.
As for when the furloughed employees may return to work, LaCivita said that's still unclear.
“The 'I don't know' answer is never good and unfortunately we give that day after day that we don't know, that we don't know what the next step is, we don't know where those monies are, we don't know where those monies are going to be," he said.
NewsChannel 13 reached out to Chief Geraci for comment on this decision, but did not hear back.
Anthony M. Gucciardo
The Capital Region’s Top Realtor®