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Council establishes sexual harassment training

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Buffalo Common Council members approved mandatory sexual harassment training for themselves and their staffs and mandatory training for new council members. The training could be in effect soon since there's a vacancy in the University District.  Member will begin  interviewing applicants for that seat this afternoon.

Both training courses were sponsored by Common Council President Darius Pridgen who has pushed for this before and will now have the training in Council rules. Pridgen says he was burned when as a new member he accidentally weakened the Council.

"It gave more power to the mayor and actually gave away some of the power from the Council when it came to placing people in empty Council seats. I still feel that there should be a time limit on how long a district is left open," Pridgen said.

While the new sexual harassment training comes in the wake of the mess over former State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, Pridgen says he's been pushing for training because he knows how complicated it is. He is a former investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where he was constantly training in an ever-changing field.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.