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Duff Says He's 'At War' With Edwards
May 10, 2011 - Dunkirk OBSERVER
Posted by Nicholas L. Dean
Today's newspaper features an article about a flare up between Bob Duff and Greg Edwards.
The county executive sent Duff a letter instructing the legislator to cease contact with his department heads and other staff. He cites Duff's sometimes salty language and other behavior as his reason for wanting the legislator to come solely to him from now on.
In the letter, Edwards references a conversation which Duff had with Veteran Service Agency Director Troy Smith on April 18. During the conversation, Duff allegedly yelled obscenities at Smith and accused him of being un-American.
Duff called the incident, as explained by Edwards, "a total lie," though he continued on to admit that he did use obscenities in conversation with Smith.
When reached for comment Monday, Duff said he had two points he wanted to make:
"Number one, I don't lie," Duff said. "And number two, this is a war between me and Edwards."
Duff continued on to detail a disagreement he says he had with Edwards prior to the county executive's election to office.
"Now I'm a B.S.-er sometimes," Duff said. "But you aren't going to find anybody other than a damn fool that will walk up to you and tell you that Bob Duff will tell you anything other than the exact truth, whether you want to hear it or not."
Duff continued on to describe another disagreement he had with the county executive, one which happened at the Chautauqua County Fair only a few years back.
Edwards remembers the fair incident. In fact, he cited it in his letter to Duff and mentioned it a second time when reached for comment Monday.
"I have no qualms whatsoever restricting his contact with my co-workers," Edwards told the paper on Monday. "This is not the only time. I have had any number of people recount to me the time he accosted me at the Chautauqua County Fair. But this is my job. I'm the county executive. If folks want to express themselves to me that way, I'll take it within reason and I will continue to do this job. But this isn't the first time (with Duff) and it is my desire for my employees to no longer be subjected to it."
Just as with the conversation which happened on April 18, Duff's account of the incident at the fair isn't all that far off from what Edwards described.
"He was running his mouth off at the Chautauqua County Fair," Duff said Monday. "He was giving a little bit of a shot to me, so I looked up at him and I said it right in front of probably 25 people that heard it. Ahlstrom heard it. The mayor of Dunkirk heard it too, heard what I told him right to his face. I told him: 'You are absolutely worth nothing, Edwards. Nothing. Nothing you say is ever, ever going to mean anything to me because I know how you really feel about people.' And I let him have it again, only it was in front of all these people. It was just me telling him.
"Now in that letter," Duff continued, "he tells you about all these times that I got into his shit. Now, I'm not college educated and I'm dyslexic. So, y'know, life's been really fun for Bob Duff in a lot of ways that takes a real man. And, now, as far as cursing, I've been known to curse. But when I curse, it doesn't always mean something."
Edwards's full letter to Duff was posted online with today's article.
In addition to the letter, in conversation Monday with the newspaper, Edwards highlighted the point that, as county executive, he takes all calls.
"I have to take all calls and I will take all calls," Edwards said. "I have for five years and I'll do it for however many years I continue to work in this role. But, to have one of my fellow county workers, one of which being a true American like Troy Smith... He gave a career to the Armed Forces and is doing a fantastic job leading the Veteran Service Agency and improving it tenfold. He does not have to subject himself to the verbal abuse and the obscenities, particularly something as horrendous or caustic as the language that Bob Duff was using in calling him what he did four times and in also calling Troy Smith un-American."
Duff said Monday that he did use obscenities in his conversation with Troy Smith. However, Duff maintains that the words were not leveled at Smith, but at a third party not present -- but who is also a county employee and department head.
Additionally, Duff said the allegation that he called the man "un-American" stems from a quote attributed to him earlier this year in the OBSERVER, not from the conversation he had with Smith on April 18.
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County legislator Bob Duff, R-Sheridan, addresses fellow legislators during one of the body's recent meetings.