Comptroller Walker: Mt. Vernon police instructed not to respond to my subpoenas by Corporation Counsel
On Wednesday, October 12, four police officers that, while on duty, apparently drove the mayor’s wife on personal errands using police automobiles, failed to show up to answer subpoenas issued by my office. The City’s Corporation Counsel advised these police officers not to cooperate with my office in a situation where it appears that taxpayers’ money was used for personal gain. Attached is his October 5th response to the subpoenas served.
As the Comptroller of the City of Mount Vernon, I am endowed with subpoena powers under section # 91A of the City Charter which states: “ Whenever the Comptroller shall deem it necessary he shall have the power to administer an oath and require the testimony of any official or employee relating to the accounts of any department and every officer and employee of the city shall upon request of the Comptroller appear before him for examination and answer any questions relative to such departmental accounts.” The subpoenas are related to the payroll and expense accounts of the Mount Vernon Police Department
The use of taxpayers’ money for personal gain (which appears to be the case in this situation) is never okay and my office will vigorously pursue this matter further despite the Corporation Counsel’s attempt to willfully and unlawfully obstruct this investigation.
In 2006, then State Comptroller Alan Hevesi pleaded guilty to using a state owned automobile and a state employee to drive his wife Carol on personal errands without reimbursing the state for the costs involved. This situation involving the wife of the mayor appears to be somewhat similar to the case involving the then State Comptroller Alan Hevesi and his wife.
RESPONSE FROM CORPORATION COUNSEL: