Niagara Falls DPW director's video draws criticism

Apr. 2—NIAGARA FALLS — The head of the Niagara Falls Department of Public Works, who also serves as a bishop at a local church, is drawing criticism for comments he made about homosexuals in a video posted to Facebook last month.

In the video, DPW Director Anthony Feagin warns of an "exposure" that he said is coming to the "House of God" that will "expose all the homosexuals, all the liars and everyone who would be contrary to His word."

In the video, Feagin also predicts 2024 will be a "year of exposure" for "those who continue to hide," lie and continue to cover up the "homosexual acts" of "husbands, pastors, teachers, prophets, evangelists, apostles, bishops, archbishops, chief apostles and even the Pope."

Feagin encourages viewers to "get their house in order," suggesting that when the "exposure" comes it's going to "shake the very foundation underneath your feet."

Multiple sources verified the authenticity of the video for this newspaper and confirmed Feagin is the person who created it.

Feagin declined to comment when reached by telephone Tuesday evening.

City Council Chairman Jim Perry said he was aware of the video and its contents and said he discussed possible disciplinary measures with Mayor Robert Restaino, who appointed Feagin to the DPW director's post earlier this year. As of Tuesday, Perry said, Feagin remained in the city post.

Perry also said he and fellow Councilman Brian Archie were working on a resolution that they hoped to have added to the agenda for Wednesday's city council meeting. A copy of the resolution was not available as of press time; however, Perry said the language would articulate the position that the comments made in the video are not acceptable and that racism and bigotry are not American values and cannot be tolerated.

"We're just going to put a resolution in on it," Perry said. "As public figures, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard. We'll let the resolution speak for itself."

"We don't have any authority over discipline, but we had to say something," Perry added.

Jim Briggs, president of the Niagara-Orleans Labor Council, which represents unionized employees in the city's DPW, said he did not personally view the video but was made aware of its contents by city workers.

If Feagin said in the video what he's been told he said, Briggs said "it's wrong."

"When a department head or when a superior or one of my union members picks on a protected class of people, whether it is based on color, or who they live with and who they love, we're not happy with it," Briggs said. "We stand for people being treated equally."

Briggs said he sent an email to representatives of the Restaino administration, questioning whether they intend to take disciplinary action in the matter. As of Tuesday afternoon, Briggs said, he had not received a response.

"Hopefully, somebody addresses it," Briggs said.