Instigated by Yonkers City Council President Incumbent Liam McLaughlin’s Frustration Over Lack of Support from Associates and Friends
The Journal News’ Tax Watch Columnist David McKay Wilson “Uncovering” of a Two-Percent Fund Asserts Yonkers Fire Department Has Been Misspending for Decades
Assertion Begs the Question Why this Concern Has Taken 105 Years to Uncover
Who Is to Blame?
Connecting the Dots
The Journal News Columnist David McKay Wilson’s assertion that the International Association of Fire Fighters (I.A.F.F.) – Local 628 “has spent more than $10 million in state taxpayer funds over the past five decades in violation of state law” puts to question many issues of concern. Most fundamentally is why such an alleged travesty, seemingly coupled by a lack of fiscal awareness, political connivance, or even total incompetence has languished unresolved and unabated. Why has legal conduct by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, his office, as well as his predecessors evidently been deficient and delinquent in their responsibilities. Once recognized, why has this alleged fraud not been divulged? The article suggesting that Mayor Mike Spano has been concerned over this “impropriety” for years does not seem on target. If it were the travesty it was purported to be, why was this issue not relegated to the top of the list needing to be mitigated on behalf of the local taxpayer, and as a precedent on behalf of New York State?
It would be absurd for Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano to take responsibility for the lack of fiscal oversight; likewise it seems just as absurd for the Office of the Mayor to suggest after his “knowing” that he is the champion of this fiscal debacle. Why had Mayor Mike Spano promoted the engagement of Nick DeSantis, the auditor for the Office of the Mayor, to become the auditor for the Yonkers Board of Education Department if Mayor Spano was indeed aware of the travesty years earlier? More importantly, why is Nick DeSantis and his firm even permitted to work on behalf of the City of Yonkers when they have never spoken of this issue as auditors under Mayor Mike Spano or his predecessors, Phil Amicone, and John Spencer. Is this circumstance an oversight or a conspiracy? No matter the definition of this conduct, there is a problem with fiscal, “so-called” forensic capacity by the people delegated and charged to comply with changing protocol, standards, and law so as to serve the public interest. Who is in charge? is it Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli? Is it Yonkers Finance Commissioner John Liszewski? Is it Nick DeSantis, CPA, Partner in the firm of PKF O’Connor Davies LLP? Or is it Barry McGoey, I.A.F.F. – Local 628 President? Or is this heretofore “little known” malignment of legislative intent that dates to 1912 an alleged travesty tangentially bridging the fiscal sensibilities of the present by the upcoming contentious political concerns?
Yonkers Tribune refers to the malcontented incumbent who until this telling seemed to be balanced and prudent regarding his options for reelection bid for another four years in office. In fact, that very “fact” was brought forward to me in no uncertain terms by someone I regard a “friend” though the people we each respectively associated with in the past were at differing points along the political divide. Neither of us seems to have any intent to undermine the other in that regard, likely because the “friendship” is more important than the political differences that impress or are discarded in different times of our lives, as with everyone.
So what went wrong? In this particular case, as people in the know who have informed us advise, Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin, the Republican incumbent seeking another four-year term in office, is smarting because in the many years he has served as a member of the Yonkers City Council, as a Councilman, Minority Leader, Majority Leader, and most recently as President, over a 13 ½ year incumbency, many of those McLaughlin had befriended will not ascribe their names or beseech the people they may have influence over, and they are collectively huge in numbers and influence, have caused McLaughlin to lose his composure.
Mentally incapacititated and disheveled by the loss of “friends” McLaughlin had previously thought he could count upon, this “little known” crisis, as written in The Journal News, fomenting since 1912, exposes a travesty of its findings. The effort exposes a stench that reeks of politically motivated effort with an agenda intended to diminish the prospects of those running for elected office, especially those whispered in hushed tones to be aligned with and/or supported by I.A.F.F. – Local 628 President Barry McGoey, Esq.
Insiders in the know have yet to home in on the facilitator of this circumstance. yet all agree that the catalyst was a blow out verbal assault that transpired after McGoey was asked by McLaughlin for his endorsement and McGoey advised he could not in good conscience comply with McLaughlin’s request. McLaughlin’s response was incendiary. McGoey would not capitulate. They are known to have stayed friends despite the meandering political vicissitudes over many decades.
So much for McLaughlin maintaining a cool and calibrated demeanori. It seems McLaughlin would be prudent to stay very much removed from the public arena if he desires even a glimmer of success in the November 2017 election effort.that was his initial game plan. WE now knowwhat went wrong.
Yonkers Tribune has been advised that McLaughlin’s numbers are judged to be a tad over 50 percent and that Michael Khader, remained an “unknown” to whomever took a recent poll. That alone reveals the lack of credibility of the “so-called” poll. McLaughlin makes it into the poll with a Republican line endorsement and is judged at 50 plus percent. Juxtaposed to those Numbers I speak the advisement that not even one percent recognition exist for the challenger Mike Khader. Khader has won the endorsement of the Democratic, Independence, Working Families, Women’s Equality, and Reform parties lines that eluded the findings in the poll noted without attribution to the pollster. On top of that, many major labor union endorsements. How could such a poll not recognize he exists; evidently we learn the definition of “fake” polling.
David McKay Wilson’s article continues by drawing the conclusion: “The money was doled out to Yonkers Fire Department employees for gym memberships, co-payments for medical care and health insurance deductibles. It also was used to sponsor dinner dances, softball tournaments, and evenings to honor retirees or those in the department for 20 to 25 years.” The engaging and dramatic opening assertion in The Journal News is that “Yonkers Firefighters Local 628 also took a healthy cut of the funds to administer the unlawful spending, receiving 15 percent of $559,000 spent in 2015.”
Were the assertions legitimate in any manner, why has litigious action not been engaged by any protagonist since 1912, since the last 50 years, since NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli took office, since John Leszewki became Yonkers Finance Commission, since Nick DeSantis was engaged to audit the Yonkers City Budget, among others with purview over the financial health of the city coffers, and among all the bean counters who have a hand in the conduct of the City of Yonkers
So why the drama?
Bring on the legal eagles and for once let those who preside over law make their ruling.
In the meanwhile, rest easy. Fear not, there is nothing to fear. No fire, no smoke, only hot air!