(9:35 PM) Lakewood Mayor Calls Spending Accusations ‘Absurd,’ Demands Apology

Lakewood Village Mayor Cara Birrittieri called accusations that she directed the Chautauqua Lake Alliance to conduct water tests in Lakewood waters "absurd." She demanded an apology from trustees Ellen Barnes and Randall Holcomb, and suggested the letter describing what would have been considered an "unlawful expenditure" for the alleged mayoral spending be withdrawn. P-J photo by Eric Zavinski

LAKEWOOD — Whoever directed the Chautauqua Lake Association to conduct water tests off the village shores in Chautauqua Lake remains a mystery as Mayor Cara Birrittieri responded to claims that she incurred the $853.40 charge.

“We do not make accusations based on assumptions,” Birrittieri said in her report at a Village Board meeting Monday.

The alleged spending was brought to light two weeks ago in a letter to the village clerk by trustees Ellen Barnes and Randall Holcomb after Barnes said CLA Executive Director Douglas Conroe said Birrittieri ordered the tests.

Birrittieri expressed her confusion as to why Conroe would say that, and Conroe declined to comment when reached by The Post-Journal after the trustees’ meeting.

Village residents audibly scoffed when Birrittieri said, “It wasn’t me.” The mayor, who had decided not to answer questions regarding the tests in the two weeks since the last village board meeting and elected not to comment after Monday’s meeting, was steadfast in denying she had any involvement with the CLA regarding the June 12 tests.

See tomorrow’s edition of The Post-Journal for complete coverage.