ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Fire Department Captain Jeff Krywy, who was accused of bringing an on-duty firefighter to a racist mock Juneteenth party, decided to retire Monday, after being told he must leave the RFD.
Krywy was accused of forcing three subordinates, including 14-year veteran Jerrod Jones, to attend a private Juneteenth spoof party while on the clock on July 7. Jones said the party had large Juneteenth celebration flags propped up on the lawn, along with buckets of fried chicken.
At one point Jones says he saw Krywy receive a party favor bag that contained a bottle of cognac and a Juneteenth commemorative cup.
Jones announced last week he would sue the City of Rochester and the RFD, claiming they mishandled his complaint following the party. He said he alerted RFD leadership the next day but was still placed with Krywy for his next shift.
Rochester Mayor Malik Evans released a statement Monday regarding the RFD’s internal investigation into the incident. According to the mayor, the investigation determined Krywy would be required to leave the service.
Evans said Krywy chose to retire “before termination proceedings begin.”
“The underlying issues that bring us to today were not created in the last eight months,” Evans said. “I thank Fire Chief Felipe Hernandez for his continued commitment to addressing the structural biases and cultural challenges within the RFD. We will share regular updates on our work to tackle these longstanding issues in the weeks to come.”
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Jones said he believed he saw a senior member of the Rochester Police Department at the party. The RPD responded, saying an internal investigation was already in progress. “If any members are found to have been involved in these vile allegations,” an RPD statement said, “appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken.”
The firefighters union released a statement Thursday, saying, “Our union has zero tolerance for racist attitudes and behaviors, either on or off our jobs. We will await the findings and details of a full investigation of this matter, before making further comments or taking responsive actions.”
The union has yet to comment on the results of the investigation.
The allegations have also led to consequences for local dentist Dr. Nicholas Nicosia and his wife, Mary Nicosia, who were accused of hosting the racist event at their home. Dr. Nicosia was asked to step down from the Highland Hospital Board of Directors, and the Rochester Americans hockey team ended their relationship with him as the team dentist. Mary Nicosia was suspended from the board of The Landmark Society of Western New York.
Friday, Nicholas Nicosia sent this statement to News 8:
“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.”
Statement from Rochester Mayor Malik Evans
The internal investigation into the conduct of a Rochester Fire Department captain has been completed. The effort followed all civil service and labor relations processes.
I want to thank our human resources and RFD leadership for conducting a thorough, fair and expedient investigation.
On Friday, August 12, RFD Captain Jeffrey Krywy was delivered the determination of the investigation, requiring him to leave the service. As of Monday, he has chosen to retire before termination proceedings begin.
The underlying issues that bring us to today were not created in the last eight months. I thank Fire Chief Felipe Hernandez for his continued commitment to addressing the structural biases and cultural challenges within the RFD. We will share regular updates on our work to tackle these longstanding issues in the weeks to come.