RYE, N.Y. - Rye TV employee Andrew Dapolite has accused City Manager Scott Pickup of lying to both the public and members of the City Council regarding a secretly recorded Jan. 25th public workshop between the council and members of the city's Fire Department.
As reported on Thursday in the Rye Sound Shore Review, Dapolite, in a thorough, nine-page letter to the City Council that was made available to the media, has formally requested that the council investigate the actions of both Pickup and Rye TV public access coordinator Nicole Levitsky.
According to Dapolite, Levitsky, under the direction of Pickup, secretly recorded the workshop, lied to both members of the public and the council about the existence of the recording, and, once the recording was released, manipulated the tape so that the volume was inaudible.
When publicly asked by Council member Joe Sack why the meeting was not recorded, Pickup originally cited a lack of personnel.
"We just didn’t have it taped this evening," Pickup said at the regular meeting of the City Council. "We just didn’t have the ability."
In his letter Dapolite states that he specifically viewed Levitsky recording the meeting at the beginning of the workshop. Dapolite also said that Levitsky explicitly instructed him to lie to both members of the public, volunteer firefighters, and, specifically, Sack.
"Ms. Levitsky instructed me to respond to inquires (of the workshop) by stating 'Rye TV did not record the meeting,'" Dapolite said. "She told me specifically not to tell Councilman Joe Sack, who was absent from the meeting, that a videotape recording existed."
Dapolite then reached out to Sack, who, after a private meeting with Pickup, managed to get the workshop released to the public nine days after it had been recorded. Dapolite then stated that he began to receive a number of complaints that the recording was inaudible. Upon further investigation, Dapolite discovered that the recording had been manipulated to decrease the volume.
"The audio levels for the Fireman’s Workshop were lowered to -7 decibels off the baseline of zero," Dapolite wrote. "This could only be achieved through operator/editor intervention, Ms. Levitsky’s."
After confronting Levitsky, Dapolite stated that he discovered Pickup had been aware of the recording from the beginning, and did not want the recording released. Dapolite also stated that Levitsky attempted to justify asking him to lie and cover up for Pickup.
Additionally Dapolite has accused Pickup of intentionally preventing the recording of a future off-site meeting of the City Council.
Pickup did not respond Saturday to an e-mail seeking comment.