WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) — Luke Leszyk announced that he is stepping down as the Mayor of Watkins Glen Thursday afternoon, citing the distractions created by “harassment and false accusations” from some in the community.

The announcement was made in a resignation letter published by Leszyk on July 7, 2022. In the letter, Leszyk states that he is resigning effective immediately due to “harassment and false accusations”, and states that he “can no longer efficiently lead the village with all the distractions”.

The Deputy Mayor, Louis Perazzini will be the acting Mayor, according to the announcement.

The resignation follows a tumultuous Board of Trustees meeting on July 5, during which community members addressed sexual harassment and assault allegations against Leszyk.

One such accusation stems from early 2021, when Danielle Matthews and her husband, ex-Watkins Glen Police Sergeant in Charge Brandon Matthews, filed a notice of claim against Leszyk for alleged sexual harassment and abuse of power. The notice alleged that Leszyk threatened Brandon Matthews’ job in the police department by demanding sexual favors from Danielle Matthews

Leszyk’s full statement is attached below.