Vienna Supervisor P. Michael Piper last week called town Councilman Richard Collins a "pervert" following the Sept. 5 town meeting. Piper was walking past a group of residents gathered outside town hall when he made the comments, which were overheard by North Bay fireman Rick Leos, Councilwoman Nicole Pilcher and Town Clerk Nicol L. Baker.
"This town is horrible," Piper said. "We've got a witch and a pervert on the board."
"I wanted to know who the pervert is, and he wouldn't answer me," Leos said afterward.
Pilcher is very public about being a witch.
"I don't even want to talk about Mr. Collins," Piper said when asked about his statement.
Collins had earlier left his place at the podium and taken a seat in the audience during the board meeting when Piper refused to recognize him. Collins wanted to ask a question while Piper had already recognized county Legislator Norman Leach.
"It's very unprofessional for a board member to walk out like that to do what he did, trying to interrupt Norman Leach while he was trying to explain the bridge situation," Piper said.
Leach was reporting on efforts to get the Cove Road bridge replaced.
Piper allegedly tried to attack Collins, 69, during an executive session portion of the May 2 town council meeting. According to those in the room at the time, Piper leaned over Pilcher to get at Collins. Both Collins and Pilcher fled the conference room, a scene witnessed by Eagle Newspapers staff and many residents still in the hall.
Pilcher then pressed charges. Piper is scheduled to face that charge, second-degree harassment with physical contact, in Vernon Town Court Sept. 19. The case was transferred to Vernon by Vienna Town Judge Shirley Herder.
"I don't think anyone in their right mind would say things like that out in public," said Collins, refusing to comment further on Piper's comment.