Nicholas Nicosia is suing Rachel Barnhart, a New York City attorney, over racist party allegations

A Rochester dentist has filed a defamation lawsuit against a local lawmaker and attorney who have accused him and his wife of hosting a racist Juneteenth party, which a black firefighter allegedly attended at the behest of his boss.

Nicholas Nicosia alleges in the lawsuit filed Tuesday that Nathan McMurray, an attorney representing firefighter Jerrod Jones, and Monroe County Assemblyman Rachel Barnhart destroyed his dental office and ruined his family’s life because his legal team made a “hoax.” about hate crimes”.

Nicosia said the allegations even led to someone writing an anonymous letter to his office suggesting he kill himself, the lawsuit says.

The small party that Nicosia and his wife threw last July came under the spotlight when Jones accused his captain of taking him and several other firefighters on duty to the gathering, which had racist elements, according to a lawsuit by the 14-year-old department vet against the fire department.

Jones said he saw a display of Juneteenth flags hanging over buckets of fried chicken to mock the holiday.

A woman also allegedly posed as Barnhart and performed a sexually suggestive dance while photos of Democratic politicians were affixed to poles in the yard.

Nicholas and Mary Nicosia
Nicholas and Mary Nicosia.

But Nicosia denied the allegations in legal documents, saying two buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken were served with other dishes and never flew the Juneteenth flag.

There was no attempt to ridicule black Americans, mock the holiday, or sexualize Barnhart, and the signs bearing photos of the politicians could not be confused with outreaches, Nicosia’s lawsuit says.

Jerrod Jones, a black firefighter, said he was forced to attend the party.
Jerrod Jones, a black firefighter, said he was forced to attend the party.

Nicosia, a registered Democrat, was surprised when Jones’ firefighter Jeffrey Krywy brought a small group of firefighters to the party organized by his conservative wife.

During the social event, Jones never seemed uncomfortable during the 40 minutes that the group stayed, the lawsuit states.

Krywy retired shortly after the controversial party became known.

“I am speaking out now because I can no longer remain silent on this devastating campaign of slander against me by an opportunistic attorney and elected official,” Nicosia said of his attorney in a statement to The Post.

“I’m taking that stand as well so hopefully no one else has to endure the hell I’ve been through,” he said.

Jones is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, but McMurray is because he “immediately launched a campaign of public slander and false testimony that went well beyond his client’s petition,” Nicosia’s legal department said.

A decoration from the party.
A decoration from the party.

McMurray even publicly named Nicosia and his company, leading to an “avalanche of hate mail and harassment,” the lawsuit says.

Meanwhile, in an Aug. 12, 2022 tweet, Barnhart posted, according to the lawsuit, “It’s really easy to cancel the Nicosias.”

Lawmakers are accused of falsely claiming at the time that the party had “reduced”.[ed] “I exposed myself to a sex object … it was intentional,” the lawsuit states.

Rachel Barnhart, Monroe County Assemblyman
Rachel Barnhart, Monroe County Assemblyman.
Rachel Barnhart/Twitter

“Barnhart (who did not attend the party) was mocked at the party for her political views,” the lawsuit reads. “But she wasn’t derided as a ‘sex object.'”

In the lawsuit, Nicosia claims what happened first reported from The Daily Mail that he lost 36% of his business and several employees in August 2022 and has not yet recovered.

“Given the malicious and malicious libel campaign that was directed against my client and his company, he tried to wait and hope that it would stop,” Nicosia’s attorney, Mike Allen, told The Post. “He hoped that the truth would prevail over the lies spread about him. That never happened.”

Attorney Nathan McMurray.
Attorney Nathan McMurray.
Nate McMurray/Twitter

Nicosia’s wife Mary Nicosia held a press conference last year where she denied the party was racist but admitted to having tweeted racistly in the past.

Barnhart declined comment on the lawsuit against her in a text message to The Post.

McMurray told the Daily Mail his first reaction was to laugh at the lawsuit “if it weren’t so painfully desperate.”

“You have to prove all of this in court,” he said. “They put themselves in the eye of the storm and we’re glad to have them there for my client’s needs.”


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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