Supervisor Under Fire Walks Out of Board Meeting

October 4, 2013 Updated Oct 4, 2013 at 8:20 AM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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October 4, 2013 Updated Oct 4, 2013 at 8:20 AM EDT


Niagara, NY (WKBW) - After an intense, drama-filled town board session in the Town of Niagara, the Town Supervisor storms out of a meeting.

The heated exchange comes less than 24 hours before Supervisor Steven Richards is set to be arraigned on public corruption charges. A grand jury indicted Richards earlier this week.

During the meeting, Richards blamed political opponents for the charges he faces.

"This is my third political hatchet job, and the last two did not fair well for those people," Richards said. "I'd rather sit in jail an innocent man, than be a coward and bullied down. I'm not going to let anybody bully me, I never have."

The Niagara Town Board had planned to discuss Richards' political future behind closed doors. However, after the media began asking questions, Richards insisted the discussion take place in public. "I'm here to tell the board that I'm not going anywhere," Richards stated about the future of his position.

Town Board Member Rob Clark told the Supervisor, "We were going to try to do this professionally, but you're making a circus out of it."

"You want me out of office? You put a bullet through my head," Richards responded.

Richards is set to be arraigned at 2:00 p.m. On Friday. The indictment against Supervisor Richards is currently sealed. Charges will be made public after the hearing.

Sources say the charges are related to an 18-month long public corruption investigation.

During the meeting, Richards says he does not even know the charges he faces.

Stay with Eyewitness News as this story continues to develop.