YONKERS, NY – February 1, 2012 – Politics On the Hudson advised in a posting yesterday, January 31, 2012, that they were in receipt of a press release from former Yonkers City Council Minority leader John Murtagh announcing his joining the White Plains Law firm of Gaines, Gruner, Ponzini & Novick as a senior counsel. Our writing the following day reveals the rest of the story.
The article does not give notice to the Yonkers Board of Contract and Supply (BOCS) Meeting that took place in the last days of then Mayor Phil Amicone’s administration, specifically on December 28, 2011, at 10:30 am, held at the Mayor’s Reception Room, situated on the second floor. It was on that day that Gaines, Ponzini & Novick, LLP received funding in which the firm allegedly stipulates to provide legal representation as directed by Yonkers Corporation Counsel. The award was for $50,000.00; the contract number: 020-020-5642-0478. The decision was approved 4-0. Chuck Lesnick, president of the Yonkers City Council abstained.
The members that attended the December 28, 2012 meeting of the BOCS were Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone, City Council President Chuck Lesnick, Commissioner of Finance and Management Services Carl Maniscalco, Acting City Engineer Paul Summerfield, City Council Majority Leader Patricia McDow.
Others in attendance were Purchasing DirectorTom Collich, Deputy mayor Bill Regan, and 1st Deputy Corporation Counsel Ed Dunphy.
The voting members were then Mayor Phil Amicone, Chuck Lesnick, Patricia McDow, Carl Maniscalco, and Paul Summerfield.
Four members voted in favor of the contract, none opposed, and Chuck Lesnick abstained. Yet the BOCS record stipulates the vote was 4-0. A more appropriate and formal standard would be recorded as
4-0-1. Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick abstained because Corporation Counsel would not or could not give a rationale for awarding the contract. Reference: http://www.yonkersny.gov/Index.aspx?page=1313
Murtagh waged an unsuccessful bid for Mayor of Yonkers against candidates Carlo Calvi and Mike Spano. Mike Spano’s campaign effort was victorious.
Murtagh is given attribution for writing the following in his press release, “I look forward now to helping clients not only based upon my legal background but by having spent nearly a decade on the other side of the table. My years in office have given me another perspective which, I believe, will help me advise clients living, working and doing business here in Westchester.”
Such a deal!
LEGAL NOTICE: It is illegal to spend city assets for any purpose where no services are being rendered in return. The attorney for the city must articulate the reason for the contract, otherwise it is a gift. Inspector General Dan Schorr, where are you?