Weekly Feature

2018-03-08 / Front Page

Town GOP leader, Democratic councilman call for Rogowski’s resignation

The chairman of the Cheektowaga Republican Committee and fellow Councilman Brian Nowak separately urged Democratic Town Councilman James Rogowski to step down, after he was arrested Feb. 23 following an alleged domestic incident and charged with first-degree criminal contempt and second degree menacing.

On Tuesday, Don Friedrich, who chairs the town GOP, said Rogowski, has “too many personal distractions” to continue in his role on the council.

“Over the last few weeks, James Rogowski’s series of bad decisions lead us to question his character and ability to lead Cheektowaga,” Friedrich said, adding that Rogowski’s actions are setting a bad example.

“It is for this reason that Councilman Rogowski should resign immediately and give his full attention to resolving his family matter.”

Then, on Wednesday afternoon, Nowak, who, like Rogowski, is a Democrat, released a statement calling on his colleague to step down.

“Councilmember Rogowski’s credible, yet alleged, violation of an Order of Protection is more than a family matter — it’s a very serious matter that involves the courts and criminal charges. It’s a matter of public concern,” Nowak said in the statement, also referring to the events as a distraction for the town.

“Due Process and the right for one to have their day in court is a crucial part of our system, and no one should be denied that. However, the Councilmember swore to uphold the laws of the State of New York, and in this particular case, there was a blatant and egregious violation of those laws,” Nowak said in the statement. “We all deserve the opportunity for redemption and second chances, but in my view, that redemption should not be done as a sitting member of the Cheektowaga Town Council.

Nowak, who was elected to his first term on the board in 2017, closed his statement by wishing Rogowski and his family “nothing but the best going forward.”

Update: After press time on Wednesday, March 7, Cheektowaga Democratic Party Chair Matt Janiszewski issued the following statement regarding Rogowski's arrest:

I recognize the fact that these are only allegations, and Mr. Rogowski will have his day in court, but until that time he should suspend all official town business. These are very serious charges and they have not only become a distraction for Mr. Rogowski, but for the entire town, town board members and the party committee.

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