NIAGARA, NY -- The Town of Niagara supervisor, Steven Richards appeared in state Supreme Court in the Niagara County Courthouse Friday afternoon for an arraignment on a 28 count indictment, including three felonies.
On Thursday, the town board held a work session, which was the first since Richards was indicted on state and federal charges.
Richards stormed out of Thursday night's meeting after some board members demanded that his situation be discussed in executive session.
"What are you accused of?" asked Channel 2's Kelly Dudzik.
"You have to ask these people," said Richards as he pointed to the board.
"Because they think you're accused of something, but we don't know what you're accused of," said Dudzik.
"I have not seen the indictment. I haven't been arraigned yet," replied Richards.
Richards says he is relieved because now whatever the two-year-long investigation involving the state attorney general's office and FBI was about will be out in the open.
"From this point forward, it gets better for me," he says.
Councilman Rob Clark tried to talk about the town's options once Richards is arraigned, but that's when Richards told the board not to go into executive session.
"I make a motion to go into executive session," said Clark.
"And, for what reason?" asked Richards.
"Personnel matters," said Clark.
"I'm not a personnel matter. I've heard you're going to give me administrative leave. What do you think? I'm a union employee?" said Richards.
"Well, you can't tell us what we can and can't discuss," said Clark.
"I was told tonight the board was gonna vote me off the island. And I'm here to tell the board I'm not going anywhere. I'm here to tell the board there still is a shred of our constitution left. And what many elect, one person cannot set aside. And if I do get convicted of something, then we'll look at that at that time," said Richards. "I'd rather sit in jail an innocent man than be a coward and be bullied. I'm not gonna let anyone bully me."
Shortly after that, Richards walked out of the meeting.
"My work session is over. If this isn't proof of a political hatchet job of Steve Richards, then there is nothing," Richards said.
Clark tells us that after Richards stormed out, the town council decided it would ask the town attorney for his opinion on what should happen after Friday's arraignment.