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Highway chief accused of harassment

Aurora Highway Superintendent David M. Gunner had a run-in earlier this month with Harry V. Wahl, a local Republican operative, that has led to a harassment accusation against him.

The scene played out at about 12:30 p.m. Sept. 2 in front of Supervisor Jolene M. Jeffe and Councilwoman Susan A. Friess.

Gunner, 42, drove into the parking lot at 300 Gleed Ave., and pulled up to Wahl, who was speaking with Jeffe and Friess, according to a report filed with East Aurora police the next day.

Wahl, 38, told police that he, Jeffe and Friess all said hello to Gunner. But that's when things went downhill.

Wahl told police that Gunner then yelled an obscenity at him and made a gesture.

"[Gunner] then exited his vehicle and proceeded towards complainant, with his fists clenched," the report said. "[Wahl] retreated from [Gunner] and [Gunner] raised his right hand, with [Wahl] feeling that [Gunner] was going to strike him."

Wahl told police that Gunner continued coming at him and was interrupted when Friess "grabbed or pushed" Gunner's shoulder to stop his progress. Gunner then appeared to say something to Jeffe, got back in his truck and sped away, according to the report.

The case has been removed from the Town of Aurora and assigned to Hamburg Town Court, where court officials have yet to set a date for arraignment. Police have listed the allegation as second-degree harassment, a violation.

Gunner declined to comment except to say that Wahl "is a known political operative."

Gunner and Wahl, the Wales Town Republican chairman, have had previous political tanglings, though no one is saying what provoked the Sept. 2 incident.

"It's an allegation, that's all," Gunner said. "He has harassed me and my family in the past. To be honest with you, I'm not paying much attention to the [allegation]."

email:krobinson@buffnews.com

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