TOWN OF CHENANGO, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The Town of Chenango Board has censured Supervisor Jo Anne Klenovic for violating the town’s code of ethics by interfering with code enforcement.

The board accepted a report from the town’s ethics board following a complaint filed by the former Code Enforcement officer John Freer.

It details several instances where Klenovic pressured the code officer to cite or not cite homes or businesses based on her personal relationships.

They included an allegation that she did not want code violations leveled against Chenango Commons which she had a business relationship with through her event planning company Envy Event Design.

Board Member Jim DiMascio read aloud the Ethics Board’s determination.

“The Board finds the information provided by Mr. Freer credible. The Supervisor unquestionably violated Section 5-4 of the Code when she directed Mr. Freer to refrain from citing the Commons for violations of the building code in order to benefit herself financially.”

The board voted to send the report to the Broome County District Attorney and the New York Attorney General’s Office for further consideration.

One of 3 members of the Board of Ethics is businessman and Chenango resident Mike Lumsden.

Lumsden is a frequent critic of how the town conducts its business and enforces its rules.

Lumsden says this has created a backlash among town employees, including Klenovic, which lead to the town hiring a Syracuse based law firm Hancock and Estabrook to conduct an investigation into people and situations where employees felt threatened and mistreated.

Lumsden says a number of town employees submitted written affidavits alleging misconduct on his part.

However, Lumsden claims that he has audio proof that many of those allegations are false because he always operates an audio recording device whenever he visits the town.

Lumsden says, “I want all citizens in the Town of Chenango to know if you go in there, take someone with you, take a recorder with you. Because they can fabricate and make up any lie that they want. Had I not had this, I very well could have been charged.”

Lumsden says he also foiled security camera video from the town which also refutes some of the claims made against him.

He says the board decided to forward a report from Hancock and Estabrook to the DA with the recommendation that no one be charged.

Klenovic would not agree to an on camera interview but did speak with NewsChannel 34 over the phone.

She disputes all of the claims against her in the Ethics Board report and says she looks forward to sharing her side of the story with the DA.

Klenovic says she wouldn’t agree to be interviewed by the Ethics Board because they wouldn’t tell her what the claims were against her in advance.

She says the claims include a number of errors, including that Envy Event Design is a caterer and that it is a tenant of the Commons.

Klenovic says she recused herself from the decision to hire Hancock and Estabrook, but that it grew out of concerns raised by the town’s safety committee which is advocating for a new safety policy that would allow the town to remove unruly visitors from town hall.

She says it’s mind boggling to her that everyone isn’t more concerned for the safety and wellbeing of town employees.