|Terri (Rose) Kropp
|Mrs. Kevin (Terri) Kropp
A former Lockport city employee this week accused former Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker of using his position to coerce her into having sex with him.
The former Terri Rose, now Terry Kropp, a lifelong area resident, worked as a Lockport City Police crossing guard from 2005 to 2007. She alleges that Tucker, a friend of her late husband Frank Rose, coerced her into having sex with him on several occasions and then threatened her with job termination if she said anything about it, allegations that Tucker denies.
Last week, Kropp read the front page Niagara Falls Reporter story on the reasons behind Tucker’s sudden resignation on Feb. 21, reasons that had nothing to do with what he described as a fantastic offer of a job in the private sector that would pay three times the $43,800 he was making as mayor.
The Reporter revealed the motivation behind Tucker's sudden departure may have had more to do with potential sexual harassment allegations than lucrative job opportunities.
Numerous sources told this newspaper that text and/or email messages of a sexual nature sent by Tucker to city Youth Director Melissa Junke were at the heart of Tucker's decision to step down. Junke has since filed a notice of claim to sue the city.
As we reported last week, sources in city and county government said that a "cover up" deal struck between Junke, Tucker, and city officials was made wherein Junke's name would not be released in connection with missing public money related to an ill-fated golf tournament, Tucker would step down as mayor, and certain allegedly salacious communications Tucker made to Junke would be withheld by her.
Terri Kropp describes a similar pattern of behavior in her own nightmarish scenario, one involving graphic texts and emails, oral sex, and other perversions.
“It all happened in 2005 and many years have gone by,” she told the Reporter. “I have been trying to bring it out since then. I want you to bring my story out because nobody would listen.”
Kropp said she first met Tucker at an Eagles Club event in November 2004.
"I went outside, by the side of the building, to smoke and he came out and told me to follow him around to the side of the building. He was the mayor and my husband worked for the city so I did what he said. Once we were alone he came forward and just started kissing me,” she recalled. “I didn’t know what to do. He gave me his card with his email address and told me I had to email him, so I did.”
Once Tucker had her email, a lurid correspondence began, Kropp said. At the same time, she was hired by the city for the crossing guard job she’d long coveted, something she thinks Tucker may have helped arrange.
“He started emailing me and then I didn’t know what to do because I was scared,” she said. “He said I was his slut and that I would have to do whatever he wanted.”
Before long, Tucker was visiting her at her Transit Road crossing in his city owned vehicle.
“He used to drive up to my corner, where I was working as a crossing guard. He would be wearing skimpy shorts and a T-shirt, and expose himself to me,” she said.
Soon, he was demanding she send photographs over the internet.
“He would text me, he would instant message me from AOL,” Kropp said. “He would tell me to send him nude pictures from my phone. He told me to send him pictures of my breasts and bottom area and he said he had them on a floppy disc and would look at them all the time.
“He wanted me to find another female to have a threesome with him and oh, my God, there’s just so much,” she added. “He wanted me to buy him a webcam to put on my computer…so I could do stuff over the computer.”
One night, Kropp alleges, Mayor Tucker called her from his night job at Delphi-Harrison. He would often contact her at night while he was at work because he knew her husband worked the night shift as well at a different company.
I didn’t want to but I went. He had me park next to him. He came out, said he punched out for break, had a mini-van that he drove,” she said. “He had me go into that van and perform oral sex on him. It was horrible.
"Once he came to my house but didn’t come in. He had me come to the door and I was in my robe,” she said. “He (performed certain acts on her) and said he wanted me to stand in front of the window naked.”
Kropp said her husband used to attend council meetings and Tucker would text her to come in a skirt without underwear and sit in the front. She said she refused.
Finally, Kropp said, Tucker ordered her to come to the house he shared with his wife and family. She said she did not want to. He insisted and said it would only take a few minutes. She said she consented, reluctantly.
"I loved my job and I knew he could fire me," Kropp said, "so I went. I can describe his house. When you walk in the side door the kitchen is on the left and he was sitting on the couch to the right in front of the window in the living room. He was sitting on the couch naked and said his wife was out babysitting his grandchildren.
“He told me to perform oral sex on him and I did but I was gagging and couldn’t finish so he satisfied himself.”
Kropp said she could describe Tucker's body parts in detail in order to prove she is telling the truth.
In time, Kropp said the abuse began to take an emotional toll on her as the degradation became worse.
“I was a whore, ‘cause that’s how he made me feel. He even called me that,” she said, her voice choking.
“When he was messaging me he told me that I was his slut and nobody else’s slut and that is how I felt.”
Finally, she said, the emotional and sexual abuse became too much. She told her husband.
“Frank (Rose) was furious. He was very mad. He went and confronted Tucker. All Tucker said was,‘There’s things that were said and things that happened that shouldn’t have,’ and he wouldn’t tell Frank everything that happened. I did.”
The episode strained the marriage to the point where Frank and Terri separated.
“I’ve been devastated ever since,” she said. “I told (Tucker) I couldn’t do it no more. I went to Mountain View for psychiatric help. I attempted suicide. I’ve been going there off and on for years for my rage, depression and anxiety. I felt bad.”
Even almost a decade later, she said, the wounds have not healed.
“I am a rape victim (before Tucker) and I did have to go to counseling for this. I let him do this because I was scared,” she said. "I’ve gotten so I hate leaving my room.”
For his part, following the confrontation with Terri’s husband, Tucker threatened her, she alleged.
“He had told me before that I could keep my job but when I told my husband and told [him] I can’t do this anymore, that’s when I lost my job and they wouldn’t hire me back,” she said.
She and her husband filed complaints with the state police, and the Lockport City Police Department, she said.
“I have been trying to have people believe me and I see that he has done it to other woman (and men?),and that’s why I really want it out,” she said, explaining her reasons for coming to tell her story to the Reporter.
Kropp’s extraordinary charges would be difficult to believe if not for rumors swirling around the Melissa Junke situation and other allegations that have surfaced involving Tucker’s use of the computer for sexual purposes.
Just prior to press time, Tucker contacted the Reporter and said that Lockport Police have a recording of Kropp admitting she "made the whole thing up, that her husband (the late Frank Rose), and my previous opponent (Mike Pillot) made this story up, so he could beat me in the election in 2007. It’s a total fabrication.
"(Kropp-'s story) has been vetted by two police agencies, New York State Troopers and the Lockport police.
Plus we have a tape of her admitting it’s a fabrication," Tucker said.
Could you make this tape available to us?, the Reporter asked.
"Not to you I'm not," Tucker said. "But I'm going to use it in court when I go to court. I'm not going to make it available to you but it will be available to somebody, someday."
Referring to the Reporter's articles as a "witch hunt," Tucker added, "I had enough of this garbage from these people. I'm a private citizen today and I have had enough of it. …. She lied right through her teeth."
Asked if it was true that he sent inappropriate messages to Melissa Junke, which sparked his resignation,
Tucker said, "I am not commenting on any of that junk. It's all garbage and I'm not commenting on any of it."
Tucker then hung up.
Shirley Nicholas, 77, of Lockport said she believes Kropp's story. "She told me at the time (before Pillot ran for mayor). She was a wreck when it was happening. That's something you cannot fake. (Tucker) took advantage of her. What she did was out of fear."
When the Reporter asked Kropp to respond to Tucker's claim that she was lying, she said, "I really want a polygraph test. I swear to you I am not going to be called a liar. He's a liar, a 100 percent liar. I want a polygraph test."
Finally, the Reporter called Tucker's previous opponent, Mike Pillot who Tucker claimed was behind the "false story."
Pillot, a retired police officer, said. "I was first told about this story in 2007 when I decided to run for mayor.
Frank and Terri Rose came to my house. Then later, at a public meeting at the library, Terri stood up in front of 50 people and told her story. I did not comment and did not say a word about it."