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CASE REPORTS THREAT OVER PLUMBING BID

Clarence Supervisor Anne L. Case Tuesday said she reported a threatening phone call last week to state police and federal authorities.

She said the call resulted in her decision to vote against awarding a plumbing contract to a low bidder later that day.

"I voted 'no' because I refuse to give in to attempts at intimidation, and I'm hoping to make that crystal clear by making this incident public," she said.

Mrs. Case, a Democrat elected to a two-year term in November 1993, said she received the call at home about 5:10 p.m. last Wednesday, a short time before a Town Board meeting.

The caller, a man, "indicated that certain businesses had been conducting business in and with the town for a long period of time and that these businesses would continue to do so, or my safety and well-being would be jeopardized," she said.

She said the caller mentioned the names of two businesses, one a plumbing company and the other a general contractor.

"He also suggested that maybe I should quit while I was ahead," she said, an apparent reference to Mrs. Case's pending announcement of whether she will run for re-election this fall.

"I hung up on him when I heard what I considered to be threats," she said.

Mrs. Case said that at that evening's board meeting she was somewhat startled to hear the name of the plumbing business the caller had mentioned come up during town business.

"I had no idea that this item would be before the board for decision," she said.

The business had submitted the lowest of three bids on some plumbing work the town is doing.

Mrs. Case surprised her colleagues by voting against the $4,875 contract that was awarded by a 4-1 vote.

Mrs. Case said, ordinarily, she might have dismissed the threatening call as the work of a crank.

"It's a political year after all," she said.

But she said the call and the contract award were too close together in time to dismiss.

Harold K. Frey, owner of H. K. Frey & Sons Inc., the company that was awarded the contract last Wednesday, said he was "shocked to hear anybody say something like this. I can't believe anybody would use my name."

Frey, who serves on the town Planning and Plumbing boards, notified officials several months ago that he would be bidding on town work and filed the disclosure form required by state law.

"She's my boss," Frey said of the supervisor. "We're very good friends in the Town Hall and out. We're on the other side of the fence politically, but I have to work with her and I have no problem with that. I've done work with the town for 25 years and I've done business with both parties."

Frey said Mrs. Case discussed the call with him "and we had a very nice talk about it. I don't blame her for voting no in those kinds of circumstances. It was wrong. I will be very upset with whoever did it if I find out who it is."

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