MAYVILLE - Bob Duff has been shut off from contact with county employees.
In a letter he received Monday, the Sheridan Republican was instructed by the county executive to cease contact with department heads and other staff. Duff represents Legislative District 3 in the northern end of Chautauqua County.
"Going forward," Greg Edwards writes in the letter, "you are to contact me directly with any request or question relating to the operation of Chautauqua County government."
Edwards cites "a repeated pattern of conduct" by Duff toward department heads and county employees as the reason for "causing this directive."
In specific, Edwards mentions a conversation 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."
Certain things are true about it though, Duff said Monday, but not as written by Edwards in the letter. The obscenity Edwards mentions in the letter, while used in conversation with Smith, Duff said, was not leveled at Smith but at a third party not present. Similarly, 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.
Still, Edwards said Monday that the request he has made of Duff will streamline all communications for the legislator.
"I will acquire all information, documentation or whatever else he needs and return it to him as I have for five years," Edwards said. "And I'll keep doing it, but I have an obligation as an employer to protect my employees. So I'm hopeful that he can redirect his communications to me and I'll certainly be glad to get him everything he needs as quick as I possibly can"
A PDF version of Edwards' letter to Duff can be found online with this article at www.post-journal.com.