More Issues at Spring Valley Board Meeting

A video was released Thursday of a Tuesday board meeting with Spring Valley Mayor and Trustees in which Deputy Mayor and elected Trustee Anthony Leon erupted at Trustee Emilia White. In the beginning of the video Mayor Demeza Delhomme and Trustees White, Leon, Vilair Fonvil, and Asher Grossman were discussing the budget when Leon became openly angered at White because she reportedly referred to him as a trustee. Leon began banging his nameplate and shouting that he was being disrespected by not being called Deputy Mayor, a job to which he was appointed by Mayor Delhomme shortly shortly after the election. Further into the video Leon said to White, “Your are retarded with your big head.” White stated about the meeting’s events that she was scared and worried about Leon’s loss of control towards her and the other members and his use of the word shocked her because it seemed he didn’t respect people with disabilities. Legislator John Murphy, who is an activist for people with disabilities stated that a public apology needs to be given, comparing the use of the ‘R’ word to the ‘N’ word, both show disrespect toward others and should not be overlooked. Leon continuously stated that White is responsible for his actions at Tuesday night’s meeting by disrespecting him and stands by his use of the ‘R’ word because the board members were acting like “mentally disturbed” children he once worked with at Camp Venture because they are unable to comprehend things. Marissa Presley of Orange County, California, an advocate for preventing violence against women and an expert on the topic, stated to the Journal News after watching the video that Leon showed signs of abuse by blaming the victim of his verbal assault. After a recess called by the Mayor did little calm Leon down the Deputy Mayor left the meeting. According to Police Chief Paul Modica the District Attorney’s office is reviewing the video to decide further action.

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