Village of West Haverstraw accused of discrimination over open village trustee seat

The claim is made by a man who says he has battled discrimination all his life. Wilbur Aldridge has spent much of his life focusing on civil rights issues, and now he's working on behalf of his own.

News 12 Staff

Sep 29, 2022, 9:48 PM

Updated 597 days ago

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The Village of West Haverstraw is being accused of discrimination.
The claim is made by a man who says he has battled discrimination all his life. Wilbur Aldridge has spent much of his life focusing on civil rights issues, and now he's working on behalf of his own.
Aldridge, the NAACP regional director for the area, filed a discrimination complaint with the state's Division of Human Rights this week against the village, a place he's lived for years.
He claims officials discriminated him based on age, race and ethnicity when he says he was told by the mayor that they chose a young Hispanic woman who spoke Spanish instead of him to fill an open seat on the village Board of Trustees. It's a decision he supports but adds there's already someone on the board who is Hispanic.
"The complaint itself as a whole, it upsets myself and the village board," says Village of West Haverstraw Mayor Robert D'Amelio.  "None of us are of that fashion and that can't be anything further from the truth."
The mayor added that he and the village board interviewed five people and stand by their unanimous decision made earlier this month.
According to the Human Rights Division website, they will investigate the matter and with most cases being completed in 180 days.

News 12 reached out to the Division of Human Rights for comment but have not yet heard back.


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