Ethics in the City of Mount Vernon
By HEZI ARIS

eHezi Community 15 Comments

Former Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis

One of society’s biggest problems is the existence of double standards. With all the focus on ethics in Mount Vernon, I thought it appropriate to review the integrity of other campaign filings to see if they would come up with questionable ethical concerns. For starters, I looked at former Mayor Ernest Davis’ and City Council President Lisa Copeland’s recent submissions to the New York State Board of Elections.

Davis’ filings (under ID # C20279) show that he paid $25,724.81 in credit card charges, gave $11,466.45 to City Marshall Serapher Con-Halevi, routed $39,500 to the Democratic party boss Reggie Lafayette, sent $850 to the Internal Revenue Service (for himself?), and paid himself between $5,882.15 and $13,408.72. Why are his credit cards payments seemingly okay while others are held to another standard?

Mount Vernon City Council President Lisa A. Copeland.

Copeland’s filings (under ID # C30409) were incomplete, incoherent, and invisible because they do not exist for her 2015 race. One news outlet reported that she and Comptroller Deborah Reynolds (under ID # C86615) have not filed any activity with the State Board of Elections. How can this be, still?

We took a deeper dive into Copeland’s filings and found that she may not live in New York at all. According to anonymous sources and corroborated with her ethics filings on file with the City of Mount Vernon, Copeland omitted a significant amount of information related to her bankruptcies, foreclosures, and properties she owned or owns in Kentucky. Records reveal that she likely resides at 930 1st Street, Suite 1, Louisville KY, 40202 or she may be at 219 Widgeon CT, Suffolk, VA 23434. These addresses or residency issues do not appear on her ethics filing with the City of Mount Vernon. Also absent are judgments from Manhattan College in the amount of $5,372.00 and foreclosure actions.

is it conceivable that there is some provision in General Municipal Law that says none of these things are to be reported? If so, then why would these omissions lead to a criminal action in other cases? The concern is that a double standard appears to have been applied. This situation re-affirms fears that the system is rigged against everyday, ordinary Americans. The system is especially vengeful of people who change the status quo because hidden conflicts surface and the power structures are threatened.

With similar, if not more egregious ethical issues with other public figures in Mount Vernon, one can only conclude that we have a long way to go to achieve fairness in justice.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Of the three mentioned above, only Mayor Ernest Davis’ filings exist. Below is a list transactions of concern chronologically:

“Friends of Ernie Davis” Filings

C20279
Friends of Ernie Davis
526 South 10th Avenue
Mount Vernon NY 10550

On June 24, 2014, Ernest Davis paid Hudson Valley Bank $15 as a “Bank Fee.”

On July 18, 2014, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $109.32 as a “Reimbursement.”

On July 30, 2014, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $179.86 as a “Reimbursement.”

In his January 2015 election filing, there is a clear pattern that Ernie Davis took trips, paid for hotels, lavish dinners, and made a $5,000 donation to “Arts On Third” for an address listed at City Hall, yet no record exists.

On September 13, 2014, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $1,812.46 as a “Reimbursement.”

On September 13, 2014, Ernest Davis paid himself $358.91 as a “Reimbursement.”

On September 22, 2014, Ernest Davis paid himself $105.13 as a “Reimbursement.”

On October 26, 2014, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $201.69 as a “Reimbursement.”

On December 4, 2014, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $484.47 as a “Reimbursement.”

On December 24, 2014, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $309.26 as a “Reimbursement.”

On December 25, 2014, Ernest Davis paid American Express $634.08 as a “Reimbursement.”

On December 25, 2014, Ernest Davis paid himself $462.92 as a “Reimbursement.”

On December 29, 2014, Ernest Davis paid himself $488.84 as a “Reimbursement.”

On January 1, 2015, Ernest Davis paid American Express $105.68 as a “Reimbursement.”

On January 30, 2015, Ernest Davis paid American Express $4,448.74 as a “Reimbursement.”

On February 16, 2015, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $1,201.04 (Chk 1170) as a “Reimbursement.”

On February 16, 2015, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $1,201.04 (Chk 1168) as a “Reimbursement.”

On March 7, 2015, Ernest Davis paid himself $629.76 as a “Reimbursement.”

On March 8, 2015, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $1,201.04 (Chk 1170 “again”) as “Reimbursement.”

On March 30, 2015, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $763.60 (Chk 1175) as a “Reimbursement.”

On March 30, 2015, Ernest Davis paid himself $1,150.00 as a “Reimbursement” using City Hall address.

On April 2, 2015, Ernest Davis paid the Internal Revenue Service $850 as an “Other” “Donation for Memorial Field.”

On April 4, 2015, Ernest Davis paid American Airlines 562.56 for a nondescript trip.

On April 24, 2015, Ernest Davis paid Reggie Lafayette $1,100 for a contribution to the Democratic Party.

On April 25, 2015, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $1,990.24 as a “Reimbursement.”

On May 19, 2015, Ernest Davis paid Reggie Lafayette $1,100 for a contribution to the Democratic Party.

On May 19, 2015, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $1,386.36 as a “Reimbursement.”

On May 19, 2015, Ernest Davis paid American Express $988.25 as a “Reimbursement.”

On May 22, 2015, Ernest Davis paid himself $305.39 as a “Reimbursement.”

On June 2, 2015, Ernest Davis paid himself $2,050 as a “Reimbursement.”

On June 25, 2015, Ernest Davis paid himself $331.20 as a “Reimbursement.”

On June 28, 2015, Ernest Davis paid Jahi Lafayette $1,000 as Professional Services.

On June 3, 2015, Ernest Davis received $1,500 from “Plumbing & Heating Inc.” using a City Hall address.

Throughout the campaign, Ernest Davis listed multiple names and various amounts listed for “Wages,” yet there is no confirmation that NYS or Federal Taxes were withheld or 1099’s issued.

 

On August 7, 2015, Ernest Davis paid $663.26 to Serapher Halevi as a “Reimbursement.”

On August 7, 2015, Ernest Davis paid $2,000 to Serapher Halevi as a “Consultant.”

On August 7, 2015, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $1,370.82 as a “Reimbursement.”

On August 11, 2015, Ernest Davis paid CHASE $2,845 as a “Reimbursement.”

On August 15, 2015, Ernest Davis paid $163.52 to Serapher Halevi as a “Reimbursement.”

On August 20, 2015, Ernest Davis paid $729.67 to Serapher Halevi as a “Reimbursement.”

On August 20, 2015, Ernest Davis paid $1,670 to Serapher Halevi as a “Consultant.”

On August 23, 2015, Ernest Davis paid Reggie Lafayette $24,000 as a contribution to the Democratic Party.

On August 28, 2015, Ernest Davis paid $1,670 to Serapher Halevi as “Wages.”

On September 5, 2015, Ernest Davis paid $2,500 to Reggie Lafayette for “Other.”

On September 9, 2015, Ernest Davis paid $2,900 to Serapher Halevi for “Other.”

On September 10, 2015, Ernest Davis paid $9,600 to Reggie Lafayette as a “Contribution.”

On September 10, 2015, Ernest Davis paid $1,200 to Reggie Lafayette as “Wages.”

On September 10, 2015, Ernest Davis paid $1,670 to Serapher Halevi as “Wages.”

On March 28, 2016, Ernest Davis paid Bank of America $4,376 and listed it as “Reimbursement.”

On April 20, 2016, Ernest Davis paid Capital One $57 and listed it as a “Bank Fee.”

On May 13, 2016 Ernest Davis paid Capital One $44 and listed it as a “Bank Fee.”

 

eHeziEthics in the City of Mount Vernon
By HEZI ARIS

Comments 15

  1. The Ship Has Sunk...

    A not so stellar credit report is more than capable of wiping out one’s hopes for purchasing a coop, renting an apartment, purchasing or leasing a car, or getting an entry level job. So, how is it anyone with a questionable credit history would be permitted to run for office?

    Although there are arguments for and a against whether politicians have a fiduciary responsibility, to those they are elected to represent, I am going to er on the side that they may have some semblance of such a responsibility to the public.

    That in mind, does it make any sense to permit individuals, who show a lack of personal financial responsibility, to have control over public funds and decision making.

    I am not going to get lost in the weeds on this, so I will present one fact. In the world of espionage, one of the easiest ways to infiltrate an organization, is to find someone with financial difficulties. That, combined with even the slightest lack of integrity, and it is over.

    Has there been one person in Mt. Vernon politics that was not exposed for a lack of integrity?

  2. How could you betray us,,

    How could Richard Thomas be so stupid…Ivy League educated and he fell into the same trap as all these other politicians

  3. Lisa

    Everyone knows Lisa has serious issues. The party supports her because she has been a loyal party soldier for decades, is knowledgeable and in the party clique. This story about her is of no surprise to anyone.

  4. Frankie Faust

    The timing of this in accordance to your relationship with Richard Thomas is questionable
    You have written an article that attempts to cause a stir against enemies of Richard Thomas
    yet your own coverage of Richard Thomas legal issues and charges brought unto to him by the highest legal authority in the State of New York is completely absent from your column. You journalistic integrity is in question, and now I’M ON YOUR ASS

    1. Agenda

      It’s obvious Thomas was pointed out to AG not because the council and certain people care but because they have an agenda of their own. Davis didnt not in you all treat him like King.

  5. Disgusted

    If this is true Davis should be in jail. It’s it legal or ethical for Reggie to accept payments. Corruption at its best. Seems like BOE isn’t doing a good just questioning campaign filings. Our political system is screwed up and corrupt.

  6. Spectator

    We all know your on the payroll for Richard Thomas just like you under the cheeks of Virginia Perez. Both democrats who are really republicans…

    1. Post
      Author
      eHezi

      You are hallucinating. I haven’t spoken to Virginia Perez since she won her RE-Election as Westchester Couny Legislature. You may be confusing me with Yonkers Insider’s Delfim Heusler. As for Moun5 Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas, I speak to him every Thursday morning from 10:30-11am on the Westchester On the Level broadcast. I am not on his payroll. you may not be comfortable with the contrarian perspective that is the antithesis of reporting in other medium. I suggest there is a double standard in the highly wound world of Mount Vernon because Mayor Thomas has challenged the status quo. It is that simple. Kindly, Hezi.

        1. Post
          Author
          eHezi

          I will tell you why I have denied you the capacity to make comments on the Yonkers Tribune Website.

          First off, you challenge my integrity as an investigative reporter suggesting, “If anything you printed was true the Feds certainly would be in Yonkers.” You may not know this, but they are. My reports have been on target. They are not lies as you suggest. You may simply not be in the know.

          then you have the gall to suggest that, the “All you do is regurgitate bogus information from people with an agenda. You’ve never once uncovered any kind of truth from your sources, those with an ax to grind.”

          Wrong again. Worse still you suggest that I “spew total untruths with absolutely no regard for those you attack.” Another attempt to undermine me, but I am unmoved by your tirade.

          Next you have the audacity to state, “Thankfully very few people actually read this rag.” Again you are wrong. The Journal News by their own telling advise that their print distribution among the three counties they report is at shy of 45,000 subscribers. their online subscribers are under 1,100 subscribers. Please compare those figures with the “rag” nobody reads. We serve 108,000 unique subscribers every month. We predominately serve Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Ossining, and Bronxville in Westchester County but are read throughout Westchester County and beyond. We also have a large readership in New York City, that is likely because many readers and listeners commune to and from New York City, so I would suggest close to Hale of our readers work in NYC and others read us from their homes and employ in Westchester County. Then, we are read in Albany and Washington, D.C. On top of that, we are read in France, England, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, and Sweden, as well as in Peru, Columbia, Brazil, Chile, Guyana, and Argentina. Canada and Mexico, too. India, Taiwan, China, and Australia. many in the Caribbean Islands, and a healthy amount of people in the Middle East from Morocco to Iran.

          Your back handed ethnic and religious note suggesting I “Also go back under the slimy rock from whence you came” suggests you may need to follow your own advise, while I stay committed to the City of Yonkers to share, analyze, and translate all that I have learned over many years to be worthy of those that read the Yonkers Tribune.

          I had know idea you had such hardship reading this “rag” and am beside myself in contemplating that you are so earnest to be permitted access so as t9 comment in the Yonkers Tribune. It seems off to me that you want in at a place you despise. I do not hold any animus toward you, but I do ‘t need to soil myself by the likes of people like you to demean the YT reader. That is over the top and inexcusable by any measure by my ethical standards.

          Then you write, “Hezi, you should apply for a job at CNN. Great publication without verification in your initial article. No better way to beat people’s reputations down than to smear them based on unverified leaks and biased reporting.” perhaps biased by your definition, but on target. You forget that in Yonkers any word or primacy that is out of line will cause you to lose your job. I din’t need any lectures from you. If you are so brilliant, perhaps you will attempt to build your own media outlet. in the 18 years I have been covering Yonkers, there have at least seven publications with backing from City Hall that have failed to get an audience. they are out of business. I am still here.

          I wish you the opportunity to participate among all the choices available to you. There is the Journal News, Yonkers Rising, Yonkers Insider, The Patch, Yonkers Voice, Yonkers Wire, Yonkers Hamlet, Pluma Libre, among others that escape me at this time. For your sake, I hope you are welcome into their world. Alas, your false persona cannot escape my being able to hear your voice in the three comments that you attempted to diminish the Yonkers Tribune subscriber and undermine my integrity.

          I wish you the wisdom to wise up. it seems you will only wise up if your animus, bigotry, and anger are released. Try it. if / when you get it together, I will welcome you back intomthe fold.

          kindly,

          Hezi

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