YONKERS, NY — January 13, 2013 — It has to the attention of the Yonkers Tribune by sources that do not wish attribution that the
Supreme Court of the State of New York County of Westchester had filed and
entered on October 31, 2012 its Decision and Order (Index No. 2932-12) in the
matter of the Application of the Petitioner, The Yonkers Parking Authority
(YPA), for a judgment against the Respondents, The City of Yonkers; Michael
Spano, in his capacity as Mayor; John Liszewski, in his capacity as
Comptroller; and Edward Dunphy, then in his capacity as Corporation Counsel. At
issue was the Yonkers Parking Authority demand that the City of Yonkers (CoY),
et al, be compelled to disburse funds to the YPA for funds necessary for it to
hire legal counsel to represent its rights and interests vis-à-vis its effort
to maintain its separate and distinct entity from the CoY. YPA advised the
court its demeanor as a private authority created in 1964 through the New York
State Public Authorities Law which codifies its separateness and distinct entity from
Further still, YPA advised the court CoY is required to keep
separate bank accounts and not commingle funds for the YPA and CoY. When the
YPA submitted a payment request to CoY for payment to YPA’s retainer fee to
Lyons McGovern for legal services, CoY refused to release the funds for the
“retainer check”. YPA claimed they need to hire legal counsel outside of using
Yonkers Corporation Counsel with respect to an effort on the part of Yonekrs
Mayor Mike Spano, supported by the Yonkers City Council, and elected officials,
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembymember Shelley Mayer, among others, to
merging the YPA into the Yonkers Parking Violation Bureau (YPVB) for the claimed
purpose of consolidation of effort in order to reduce costs.
CoY challenged the right of the YPA to mount the lawsuit
since the YPA Board of directors did not approve the lawsuit, that it is “ultra
vires”, that is, in Latin “beyond powers”, in other words, beyond the powers /
authority of corporate officers to take the action at issue.
The court decided the YPA could not re-argue the issue
before it because “this court did not address the issue of whether the YPA had
the right to engage outside counsel without Board approval or if this was an
“ultra vires” act”.
It seems the court uncovered that “only a request for the
lumpsum of $15,000 was submitted and intended to be a retainer fee for the law
firm Lyons McGovern, for unspecified purposes, and not for actual services
The court ruled that in the futre, “the law firmmay submit
actual bills to the city which may then be audited by the comptroller of the
The court also learned that the YPA requested payment for
the instant litigation which totaled more than $30,000, when the initial motion
was only to enforce payment of the $15,000 retainer”.
The court dismissed the YPA petition against CoY, et al.
The court found it “ironic, if not stupefying” that the fact
that the bill is now over $30,000 for the Lyon McGovern…”.
The final assessment by the court was clear and succinct,
that is, “It does not seem to this Court that an order should be signed
instructing the municipality of Yonkers to pay any law firm the YPA chooses to
employ, with no cap, and no authority to do so.”
At issue now is how the YPA, a deficit ridden “private
authority” will pay the debt of $45,000 for which they are responsible.
Not a peep from the YPA. Not even a press release. In fact,
not even an admission to their conduct individually and collectively.
The entire YPA must be dissolved in order to rid the city of
their individual and collective incompetence or purposeful conduct. There are
no excuses for which any of this telling is worthy of they salaries.
Yonkers Inspector General Kitley
Covill will be salvaing over this issue.