The Hezitorial dated September 12, 2010, spoke to “The Catalyst Behind the Charter Revision Commission’s Referendum May Be an Impending Indictment of Mayor Amicone [By Hezi Aris] was scoffed at by many readers. That is the way it is in Yonkers; demean, ridicule, do whatever it takes to deflect attention from the issue(s) at hand. At the writing of The Hezitorial, the incredulity of the excessive use of power wielded by the Executive Branch of power, that is, Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone, through his minions, that is Yonkers Corporation Counsel staff, to allegedly prod the Charter Revision Commission to sidestep protocol to benefit Mayor Amicone’s succession plans to have Yonkers Deputy Mayor William “Bill” Regan be his future appointed designee became evident despite Yonkers Inspector General Dan Schorr’s inability to find, much less be given the opportunity to discern the missing email that would have proven the issue. Yes, the email requested by various individuals of Corporation Counsel asking mayoral staff to make notice of a meeting the day after it taking place never surfaced. Even the Freedom of Information Law (F.O.I.L.) requests have been eviscerated and morphed beyond their intention by the maniacal hubris of an allegedly untouchable City Hall run amuck.
Adding icing to the cake baked by the editor, that’s me, is the latest revelation. Yes, you heard it here first, though many Yonkersites are already in the know, Yonkers Public School Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio will be stepping down within days of Mayor Amicone’s abdication from the Office of Mayor of Yonkers. The boys don’t care about the city or its children; that was both a ruse and a ploy. Like two peas in a pod, the respective jobs to which these Peter Pans were elevated proved to much for both. But more than that, it relates to Yonkersites’ demand for transparency in government, specifically where and how taxpayer funds are spent.
To that end, former Yonkers Inspector General Phil Zisman began the process of delving into over the 50 percent of annual funds disbursed by Albany, through the City of Yonkers, to the Yonkers Board of Education (BoE). Over 50 percent of the funds received are allocated to benefit the Yonkers BoE. The investigation was typically Yonkers. City Hall called for a circling of the wagons to make the process more difficult for I.G. Zisman; he had come into disfavor. City Hall claimed to promote purview of the Yonkers BoE, but did nothing to enable the process for I.G. Zisman who afforded none in the public privy to his request for transparency. The Yonkers BoE fought him tooth and nail, going so far as to sue the Yonkers Inspector General over the right of his office to have purview of the financial status of the Yonkers BoE. Mind you, every member of the Yonkers Board of education trustees are appointed by the Mayor of Yonkers. Mayor Amicone’s ploy that there is a limit to his sway over the Yonkers BoE Trustees has become a stale and deceitful lie. Even so, the fight was won by Zisman’s argument before the court. The Yonkers BoE spent over a million dollars to deny the Inspector General access to their financial books. The Yonkers BoE claimed their books were audited. Were the audit credible, the Yonkers BoE should have had no difficulty in allowing the Yonkers Inspector General to conduct an audit of the financial books.
It was after the Yonkers City Council vetted present Yonkers Inspector General Dan Schorr’s credentials, winning a plurality of votes, that a ruling giving the Inspector General purview over the Yonkers BoE was acclaimed by the court.
While this was going on, two members of the Yonkers Boe Trustees, Marlin Wiggins, CPA, and Debra Martinez stepped down without affording Yonkersites a rationale to their exit. The editor has learned that Mr Wiggins’ decision was postulated over his concern that he might lose his Certified Public Accounting (CPA) status were he to continue being made aware of the alleged misconduct undertaken by the Yonkers BoE for which he admonished the BoE but could not state his position publicly.
Before their stepping down, Yonkers Board of Education President Bernadette Dunne, vying for a fourth term in office, was denied her wishes by her friend and Mayor Phil Amicone. Mrs Dunne oversaw all that went on within the Yonkers BoE. She presided over the transfer of taxpayer funds received from the City of Yonkers (CoY) to the Yonkers BoE. She knew how much was received and how and where it was allocated from the inside, including, and in particular the Yonkers BoE Welfare and Pension Fund. But Mayor Amicone needed to rid himself of his friend. Her Achilles Heel is her personal pride. To question her demeanor is to be flooded with all the sordid stories she could tell. Mayor Amicone knew that and cast her to the curb, not to be heard from since. She may be aimlessly walking the halls of Manhattan College not knowing where to have her classes held, and no longer getting teachers to conduct the courses for which she got paid by the efforts of of others who went unpaid. Nice gig, but no longer. Ouch.
Then another snag. The Yonkers BoE has now made it clear that despite the ruling of the court regarding the Yonkers Inspector General having purview over the Yonkers BoE, he does not have access to the Yonkers BoE Welfare and Pension Fund; the assertion being that it is a separate entity. Yonkers Corporation Counsel Mark Blanchard advised a few weeks ago that his office will have concluded bringing forward the legal challenge to that premise by mid December. A nice ploy, no longer bought hook, line, and sinker by Yonkersites. It seems Mayor Amicone, Inspector General Schorr, and Yonkers Corporation Counsel Blanchard are all in cahoots to await time running out to get this issue resolved. Mid December within days will bring us the Joys of Christmas, the New Year celebrations, and the vacation days many take during the first two weeks of January. Conveniently, the issue will not go before the court until at the earliest mid January 2011. Judging by the length of the so-called resolution is the next legal skirmish, earning a ruling over having or not having purview over the Yonkers BoE Welfare and Pension Fund will take CoY from half a year or more to obtain conclusion. Perfect. This will allow the plot to unravel as it was originally told it would.
Mayor Amicone will abdicate as divulged months ago herein. He will do so to protect his pension. Bernard Pierorazio will do the same despite working under a contract worth over $265,000 per annum. Why would they each step down when each could earn so much more, you say? Mayor Amicone earns $165,000 annually. If either was to be indicted prior to receiving their pension, they could lose it. Mayor Amicone deserves to depart CoY destitute for bringing Yonkers into its present decay with no prospects for success under his aegis. Superintendent Pierorazio likewise for his inability to translate a methodology to educate a student population that is relegated to be less than they could have been.
So what did they do? What are they afraid of? Yonkersites know! But let’s protect the boys. This just couldn’t be, could it? No need to believe the editor; allow father time to make the chess board moves they have designated for themselves. They are all so deep into this quagmire and plot they can no longer extricate themselves from the script they have written.
Now you know the rest of the story. It is good for Yonkersites to be on the same page.
So when will they step down?
Bernard Pierorazio’s move is an indictment of Mayor Amicone. No loyalty there or is his behavior indicative of a weak backbone?