Argument after meeting ‘unfortunate,’ not criminal

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand has long known the contentious nature of city politics, and a reported disturbance following a recent special meeting of the city council was typical to some.

“It was unfortunate, but antagonizing,” Lamarand said. “Individuals trying to stir the pot.”

Resident Paul Battistone attended a special meeting of the city council on Thursday, March 26 to consider the leasing of heavy equipment as proposed by Department of Public Works Executive Director Rocky Alazazi. After the meeting concluded, Battistone claimed that Alazazi swore at him, made comments and a verbal threat before leaving the room with other officials.

“Words were exchanged after a contentious special meeting,” Lamarand said. “Probably an inappropriate response.”

On Friday morning Battistone reported the encounter to the police, and claimed that the city official threatened him.

Accounts of the meeting indicate that loud comments were made by Battistone, who has been vocal in his opposition to Lamarand for several years.

Police Chief Mary Sclabassi said that, as filed, the account was determined not to be a criminal or police matter and that the matter was referred to Lamarand, who spoke with Alazazi.

“Rocky went over and provided [the police] with his account of the situation,” Lamarand said. “It’s been dealt with.”

(James Mitchell can be reached at