The Yonkers City Council will be burdened by a request from term-limited, lame-duck Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone this Tuesday, November 22, 2011. The Yonkers City Council has placed in its agenda the issue of whether to grant Mayor Amicone’s request of them that he be indemnified from the $393,338.00 judgment against him personally. The personal judgment has fallen upon the individual Phil Amicone rather than on Mayor Phil Amicone in the ruling that came to pass in the Federal District Court of the Honorable Cathy Seibel. After a jury verdict of his peers, Justice Seibel deemed it pertinent to emphasize that Phil Amicone is personally liable to make good on the debt. Judge Seibel was making it clear and evident to the court that Amicone’s personal conduct and those of his directives to others to curtail the First Amendment rights of The Westchester Guardian newspaper went beyond the parameters set for him and acknowledged to be the parameters by which he could govern when he first acceded to the Office of Mayor, yet by trashing the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution he opened himself up to personal liability. Had he confined his conduct and directives and demeanor within the parameters stipulated by the Yonkers City Charter and in full deference to the U.S. Constitution, the issue of whether he be indemnified of the judgment would be moot.
The first concern to which Yonkers Corporation Counsel has not opined is whether the Yonkers City Council membership have the purview over which to make a judgment of whether they may supersede a ruling, never challenged in a court of law, that would allow the Yonkers City Council to dismiss as irrelevant whether the federal court is correct in labeling Phil Amicone’s conduct to have fallen within or without the parameters set for him and defined for him when he accepted the Office of Mayor of Yonkers to abide by city, state, and federal laws and statutes. Were the Honorable Seibel’s decree postulated by the Amicone defense to be on shaky legal ground, Judge Seibel’s ruling could have been challenged to over-ride her judgment. That did not take place because Judge Seibel’s ruling was exemplary and its conclusion was based upon her impeccably following the law to its final and unquestionable conclusion. Her ruling was never challenged; and thereby permitting any thinking individual to recognize that Judge Seibel is correct and the defendant, Phil Amicone, is in the wrong. Were that not so, Yonkers Corporation Counsel would have returned to court for legal remedy by requesting her ruling be kicked to the curb. They had to recognize they were empty of any recourse and had to swallow another spoonful of humble pie; coughing and spitting the humiliating gruel.
The City of Yonkers defended Mayor Phil Amicone by engaging outside counsel to defend the Mayor of Yonkers. They lost. The cost to defend the mayor of Yonkers is said to exceed $1 million, not including the $393,338.00 final and agreed upon judgment against the individual known to all as Phil Amicone.
While it was proper and legal to come to the defense of Mayor Amicone at the beginning of his action against The Westchester Guardian newspaper, it is no longer legal, or required by statue, precedence or law to spend additional taxpayer money to indemnify the Mayor of Yonkers from the legal arm of the law when he exceeded his powers of mayor and thereby causing his mayoral mantle to disintegrate and make him personally vulnerable to the federal court. Had he been a good boy, played by the rules permitted by the United States Constitution, the New York State Constitution, and the Yonkers City Charter, he would not be in this mess.
He doesn’t want to pay; he wants someone else to pay. Yonkersites have often capitulated without a word to whatever he wants done, whether within the parameters set by the law or without. Yonkersites are easy prey. It is likely only Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick will oppose indemnifying Phil Amicone the $393,338.00 debt. Joining him will likely be Councilwoman Joan Gronowski (3rd District). Expect Council John Larkin (6th District) to help his friend out in his time of need despite the coffers of the City of Yonkers barren of any funds; only burdened with debt. Now Councilman Larkin will slap Yonkersites in the face by reaching into the taxpayers’ pockets and taking an additional $393,388.00 to satisfy the federal judgment against the individual Phil Amicone, not Phil Amicone the Mayor of Yonkers.
Does it seem logical that the City of Yonkers can indemnify an individual of their personal debt? The answer is, “No!” Yet here we are. Mr. Larkin will cast his vote to indemnify an individual the debt he owes despite the federal court ruling the judgment is against the individual and not the Mayor of Yonkers. Councilman Dennis Shepherd (4th District) will take the lead cast by fellow Councilman Larkin. Shepherd, whose name connotes leadership of a flock will instead become a sheep to the directives advised him by Yonkers City Council Minority Leader John Murtagh (5th District) who may or may not attend. He likes to drive to Boston rather than attend a meeting in Yonkers. He probably has more Twizzlers in his Mini Cooper than he has stashed at City Hall. Most importantly, he believes by driving northward bound, he will need no longer suffer those who are less than he; even if he is suffering delusions of grandeur, those are his visions and he has a right to them. Three cheers for John Murtagh for bottling it all in and never speaking his mind in constructive manner. At least he is capable of walking out on Yonkers citizens without a thought. Shame, shame.
Councilman Wilson Terrero may comprehend what is going on but he has said little on any issue other than to advise everyone that everything is wonderful in Yonkers, except when Councilwoman Gronowski exposes the reality and it is at those times, that he suffers an “Ah, ha!” moment yet is still incapable of expressing what he believes is that revelation. It may be prudent for Councilman Terrero to get a translator. He is not bi-lingual and is not functioning in the elected seat to which he has acceded because he cannot be representing those who do not speak Spanish because he does not understand English, Arabic, among a host of other languages. Learn English!
Next, we have learned that Yonkers Corporation Counsel is frightening Yonkers City Councilmembers into believing that they would be liable in the future if they do not settle now, no matter what is right or wrong. That is not nice.
The Executive Session held Tuesday, November 15, 2011, permitted those other than councilmembers, and legal counsel into an Executive Session. The Executive Session was thereby conducted illegally. There are also no records of what transpired therein. This is the transparency expected of Yonkersites to submit. Yonkersites were never offered another option.
Most importantly, it behooves Yonkers Mayor-elect Mike Spano to make his perspective known on this issue. Phil Amicone, the individual, is attempting to extort $393,338.00 from the coffers bequeathed to him as the next Mayor of Yonkers. Phil Amicone is attempting to steal the $393,338.00 in broad daylight. He has warned us he will. Why does the Democratic elected mayor-elect not admonish the Democrats to fall in line to deny Mayor Phil Amicone to steal taxpayer funds before our eyes.
Where is Yonkers City Democratic Party Chairwoman Symra Brandon on this issue? Where is Westchester County Democratic Chairman Kenneth Jenkins on this issue? Where is New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on this issue?
Every Democrat should stop Phil Amicone from being indemnified from his personal debt. Why is Yonkers being abandoned when the world is witnessing a gang rape by the elected street thugs who believe there isn’t one among us who will stop this travesty? Can we only moan and cry after this gang rape has ended and Phil Amicone departs unscathed and unconcerned that he has soiled the City of Yonkers once again?
Has official notice been afforded Yonkersites that the Committee of the Whole, the period that precedes the Yonkers City Council meeting by a half hour, that is, beginning at 7:30p.m., permits the public to voice their perspective on this theft of their money? Why have the public not been notified?
Mayor Amicone will hold a fundraiser on Monday, November 21st. Will he turn the money to the City of Yonkers? Unlikely, he believes he has a right to it. Legally he may, ethically, he doesn’t. The games Yonkers accepts to be played with their money… It is simply wrong. And the heartache is everyone knows it but there is not one person who will say, “Enough is enough. Stop this scam now!”