CORFU, N.Y. (WIVB) - A judge played the role of defendant in a Genesee County courtroom on Monday. Justice Robert Alexander and his daughter, Brandi Watts, appeared in court.
Prosecutors say Watts stole nearly $14,000 from the Village of Corfu, and her father tried to prevent anyone from exposing it. The judge is charged with three misdemeanors - two counts of coercion and a count of official misconduct.
Watts is no longer the Corfu Village Court Clerk and her father is no longer Village Justice. But prosecutors believe before he left to become Pembroke's Town Justice, he intimidated a village employee who preformed an audit and found money missing.
Watts lost her job when it was deemed she couldn't work for her father. But now prosecutors say while there, she lied on her time card, plus stole nearly $14,000. She faces 61 charges - all but two are felonies.
The charges made against Alexander have to do with accusations made by the new court clerk in Corfu. Prosecutors say after her father asked Watts' replacement to do an audit, he prevented the new clerk from revealing its results. He's accused of intimidating her.
After Monday's court hearing, Alexander proclaimed his innocence.
"I'm a Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ. And I believe in the end, I will be vindicated by that," Alexander said.
He says to wait for the details to come out in court.
"I had the privilege of serving in the Village of Corfu for 24 years. I grew up there. I love that village. And when I see anyone on social media or on TV talking about a case - let a case run its course. Those wonderful people of Corfu shouldn't have to be put through all those things where it is played out in the media versus in the court or versus in whatever," Alexander said.
Alexander, who is a retired corrections officer and currently an ordained minister, left an impassioned message for the people of Corfu.
"I would never even think of breaking the law in any way, shape or form, let alone doing it. And I would never ever want to bring anything that would hurt those wonderful people I served for 24 years," he said.
Watts did not comment at the hearing.
There was some drama in court when a former village trustee who worked with Watts and Alexander came to the hearing. There was obvious animosity between him and Alexander's family, although it was same trustee who made a motion to hire Watts in the first place.
After being indicted, the state ordered Alexander be removed as a judge in the Town of Pembroke.
The abandoned puppy in the Town of Evans was actually turned in by the dog's owner.
Volunteers at Buffalo’s Salvation Army created holiday cards and gift bags for the seniors at the Golden Age Center.
Buffalo police homicide detectives are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred early Saturday morning.
Buffalo Police have arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Finnegan of South Buffalo and charged him with pushing Russ Ross to his death.
The Niagara County Sheriff's responded to Saunders Settlement Road near Comstock in Cambria Friday night after receiving a tip about a suspected meth lab.
Call 4 Action looked into claims this week that members of BJ's Wholesale Club were paying too much on sales tax on some deeply discounted items.