A firefighter sues Rochester over a party, which the couple defends as ‘anti-liberal,’ not racist.
ROCHESTER, New York — A Rochester couple accused by a Black fireman of having a racist pool party mocking the Juneteenth celebration this summer claimed Tuesday that the gathering was intended to lampoon liberal politicians but was not discriminatory.
The couple, dentist Nicholas Nicosia and real estate agent Mary Znidarsic-Nicosia, claimed that their July 7 party was misrepresented, but Znidarsic-Nicosia admitted to maintaining a racist Twitter account.
According to a legal notice filed by firefighter Jerrod Jones, the Nicosias’ celebration included a satirical depiction of the Juneteenth festival, which commemorates the abolition of slavery in the nineteenth century, with Juneteenth flags draped over buckets of fried chicken.
Jones, a 14-year firefighter, claims his captain pushed him and two coworkers to attend the party while on duty. He filed a claim against the city of Rochester and the fire department, seeking at least $3 million in mental anguish and $1 million in compensatory damages.
The department suspended and later retired fire captain Jeffrey Krywy.
At a news conference with their attorney, Corey Hogan, the Nicosias stated that the party was anti-liberal, not anti-Juneteenth. Hogan displayed an invitation to the party, which characterized it as a “liberal shattering splish splash pool party.”
According to Znidarsic-Nicosia, the fried chicken was not intended to be a racial stereotype, but rather an easy eating option.
Znidarsic- Nicosia admitted to having an anonymous Twitter account and posting racist photos and messages, but he denied being racist. “Under that character, I made overtly racist statements,” she admitted. “That’s how Twitter culture works.” It allows you to pretend to be someone you’re not.”
Nicosia stated that the claims of racism had caused him to lose patients at his dental office. “We were tried and convicted on social media in a fabricated narrative,” he explained.