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A political ally of Mayor Byron W. Brown appeared Wednesday in Niagara Square to criticize mayoral opponent Bernard Tolbert following a Buffalo News article outlining lawsuits accusing Tolbert of condoning sexual harassment and discrimination while he was a security official with the National Basketball Association.

University Council Member Bonnie E. Russell held the noontime news conference to denounce Tolbert.

“I am appalled by mayoral candidate Bernie Tolbert’s shockingly offensive alleged behavior towards women, which clearly reflects that he is unfit for public office,” said Russell, the Council’s only female member.

Tolbert has denied the allegations of a former co-worker who is suing him and the NBA.