Drama Erupts at North Tonawanda Workshop as Capozzi Confronts Tylec Over Accusations

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The following is an actual excerpt of the North Tonawanda Common Council Workshop meeting:

Cosimo Capozzi, North Tonawanda Building Inspector: In light of the recent story in the Niagara Reporter – in the very beginning of June 17th – I received an email from a Nicholas D’Angelo from the paper looking for my side of the story. I refused because I never talk to papers before I know the whole story. So, they told me during our conversation a few things that were said to them by Mr. Tylec. In the story it sort of painted me as a mean building inspector who does not cooperate.

Austin Tylec, Alderman: Is that from a discussion with them, from an email, or from the article?

Cosimo Capozzi, North Tonawanda Building Inspector: It was a little bit of both.

Austin Tylec, Alderman:  So, in no way you think the newspaper might have elaborated or exaggerated our interactions? Because, in all honesty, our interactions were fine and calm.

Cosimo Capozzi, North Tonawanda Building Inspector:  Not when you call me a liar.

Austin Tylec, Alderman:  When did I call you a liar?

Cosimo Capozzi, North Tonawanda Building Inspector:  Why would you tell the world, I cussed at you, mistreated you, and somehow was rude to you?

Austin Tylec, Alderman:  Well I think you were somewhat rude but…

Cosimo Capozzi, North Tonawanda Building Inspector:  Well these are your comments not mine. It was brought into question, where are these codes written? Some of the stuff was maybe even made up. What you have in front of you is a copy of the e-mail that I received from the paper, which I did not reply to until several days later. I do not make a habit of replying to bad news for a minimum of 48 hours because I learned the hard way that you do not react instantly.

Austin Tylec:  You are saying, when you cited me?

Cosimo Capozzi, North Tonawanda Building Inspector:  We are past that. You did what you did, got your permit, and paid the fine. And as far as I was concerned it was over. It was over. The only thing you owe my department now are inspections. Other than that, you and I are even, and I said that in the paper. However, I take great exception when you question my department. When you say, and I want to quote because some things sting a little and hurt. With promptly and demanding a full-scale investigation, Cosimo Capozzi, and re-working of the building department, I think when you look at the department we can ask ourselves, how we can do better, so on and so forth. You also accuse me, now these are all quotes that there is a company Cosimo Capozzi Flattop, concrete driving company and the newest permit requirement is the permit for flat top. That one seemed a real head scratcher. And you go on to say that it is your understanding that I do not own the business, at least not on paper. I guess I am trying to figure out a couple things. One, as a council, do you have any issues with how I run my department? The way we should we issue permits? The way I personally conduct myself with the public? Because there have been accusations that I somehow mistreat people and that there are contractors and developers who refuse to come to North Tonawanda because of me.

Eric Zadzilka, 3rd Ward Alderman:  My question is, if you were mistreating Mr. Tylec, why was it not reported right away to the Mayor?

Cosimo Capozzi, North Tonawanda Building Inspector:  I do not know.

Austin Tylec, Alderman:   We do not have an ethics committee. I mean, who am I supposed to go to? I am supposed to be the ethical voice.

Donna Braun, Alderman:   The Mayor is Cosmo’s boss, so you would go to the Mayor.

Cosimo Capozzi, North Tonawanda Building Inspector:  You accused me of lying to you. You accused me of mistreating you.

Austin Tylec, Alderman:  Where am I stating that I am lying to you? Oh, about the boiler… go for it. Mayor I have a question? Has anyone ever complained to you about Cosmo?

Mayor Art Pappas, North Tonawanda:  People complain about anything and everything. I do not know what you did with him because you never came to me. I do not document what does not come to me.

Austin Tylec, Alderman:  I was trying to figure out how we can move forward from my house. Does everyone go to the Mayor?

Cosimo Capozzi, North Tonawanda Building Inspector:  We are past your permits, I said that before. Let’s be real you initiated this, and you implied that somebody ratted you out. You know who ratted you out? My plumbing inspector.

Austin Tylec, Alderman:  That is not what I heard, from someone in your department. Someone else in your department told me otherwise.

Cosimo Capozzi, North Tonawanda Building Inspector:   Who could have told you otherwise? Most of my staff told you that you need permits. The only reason you got to me was because my entire staff told you that you needed permits. I got involved as a 5th person. There is one thing that people know about me and that is that I document, document, document. You want emails? They are all right here. Don’t bring up [the permit] again because I refuse to talk about it. We are over that period. There should never have been a need for this news story. Why did you do running to the news?

Austin Tylec, Alderman:  I did not go running to the news at all. It sounds like someone is trying to have each of us against the other.

Cosimo Capozzi, North Tonawanda Building Inspector:  Have you ever considered the fact that if a newspaper calls you and it is an unpleasant situation, than you say nothing? I gave you the benefit of the doubt. You are a 26-year-old who thinks he knows it all, yet you stab me in the back. You stab my department in the back. There is a story out there now that gives the impression that I swore at you. That I lied to you and make things up. You need to talk less and listen more.

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