Utica Common Council member Joe Marino is questioning a release sent out last week by Mayor Palmieri in which it was stated that a Utica firefighter was punished after an investigation into an allegation by a prospective recruit.

"Am I to understand that there was zero punishment from the mayor, contrary to the news release last week?  This is clearly a decision made by the employee himself," Marino said in a letter to Charles "Sonny" Greco, Mayor Palmieri's Chief of Staff.  "Further, it is absurd that the repercussions from this act, that appears to be officially recognized now by way of this news release, is that Mr. Kelly will revert back to Deputy Chief and go back to 24 hour shifts, as opposed to the 8 hour shifts he was performing as interim chief.  The mayor is essentially allowing Mr. Kelly to go back and sleep at the fire houses, which is what led to this trouble in the first place.  That is the most irresponsible and unacceptable decision that could have been made.  Again proving that the Mayor is not a ZERO tolerance mayor, and completely ill-equipped to lead the public safety division, and because of the apparent high tolerance for sexual harassment claims, should consider not leading anything at all for the safety of all of our employees," he added.

On Monday, Palmieri released a statement that following accusations made last week about acting Utica Fire Chief John Kelly, that on Friday he handed in his resignation to the Mayor, effective July 1.  The allegations surround a young prospective recruit who claims that Kelly was holding porn parties and sex games at the fire house in the deputy's chambers after hours. The young man claimed that the antics had been going on from 2015 until March of this year during which time Kelly was deputy fire chief and then for the last year, acting fire chief. Earlier in the day, the young man's father, Mark Ambrose who is a deputy chief with the Utica Fire Department, released a scathing statement critical of Mayor Palmieri for the way he handled the allegation after it was reported in March.

Listen to the statement read by Keeler on Monday morning here:

Marino will join WIBX's First News with Keeler in the 7am hour on Tuesday.

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