There’s apparently a lot of tension in the air this holiday season in Yonkers, New York. Recently, word came out about an investigation by the city’s inspector general focusing on allegations of an overpayment of pension benefits to almost 60 disabled firefighters. The price tag is around $2.2 million.
Shortly after that news there was a fist fight between Yonkers Fire Commissioner John Darcy and Lt. Michael O’Connor at a December 11 Christmas party attended by Yonkers FD folks. According to news reports, confirmed by a spokesman for the mayor, the lieutenant’s injuries required a trip to the hospital. Information has been slowly leaking out about the fight with the most recent story published yesterday (Monday).
Yonkers Tribune has learned that the Yonkers Police Department (YPD) is engaged in piecing together the scenario of circumstances and events that transpired in the eventual assault, at a Christmas party mostly attended by Yonkers Fire Officers, their spouses, and staff, held at The Fairways in Dunwoodie. A misguided knotted linen napkin thrown by Fire Lt. Michael O’Connor, hit the back of the head of Fire Commissioner John Darcy bringing about behavior that quickly escalated out of control.
Christina Gilmartin, Communications Director, City of Yonkers, Office of Mayor Mike Spano advised the following regarding the conduct of Yonkers Fire Commissioner and Lt. Michael O’Connor at last Friday’s Christmas party by email as follows late Tuesday, December15, 2015: “The Yonkers Police has determined there was no criminality involved in the incident between the two Yonkers Firefighters this past weekend, and it will now be referred to the human resources department to handle as a personnel matter.”
Darcy, who was seated, fell out of his chair and hit the floor. Some said that the fire commissioner pretended to be in pain.
When O’Connor went over to apologize, all hell broke loose. Darcy allegedly threw the first punch, and then began to pummel O’Connor.
The incident was reported by cable-TV’s News 12 and in much more colorful detail by the Yonkers Tribune blog. Neither outlet cited named sources.
However, Christina Gilmartin, a spokeswoman for Mayor Mike Spano, confirmed a rough outline of the brawl, which happened at 8:30 p.m.
“Basically what was reported to date was the truth,” she said.