THE HEZITORIAL: Yonkers Industrial Development Agency Robs Westchester County to Pay… Do the Math! By HEZI ARIS

eHezi Archives 29 Comments


MEA CULPA – Monday, September 23, 2013 @ 7:45 p.m.:

Nick Spano was relieved of serving as the lobbyist for Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway last year.Even so, James Cavanaugh a consultant to the City of Yonkers is a member of Nick Spano's lobbying firm. Mr Cavanaugh is also married to the Yonkers Planning Commissioner.


<<< Yonkers Mayor and Yonkers IDA Chair Mike Spano.

Conflict – The Nick Spano Connection Continues. >>>

Yonkers Industrial Development Agency (YIDA) on August 13, 2013, announced the
City of Yonkers is to receive $3.673 million from Empire City Casino at Yonkers
Raceway as part of a refinancing package approved by the YIDA on Tuesday. (This, even though Yonkers was already
entitled to $523,000 of this amount for previously agreed upon sales tax
reimbursements, so the net benefit to Yonkers now amounts to $3.150
million.  Sound good right?  If you are Yonkers, but if you are a
non-Yonkers taxpayer in Westchester, you just got screwed.  If the
refinancing package had not been orchestrated through the YIDA, Empire City
Casino would have been required to pay a mortgage recording tax of 1.8% of the
amount refinanced or $5,850,000.  Of that total figure the County of
Westchester would have received 1.3% of the amount financed and Yonkers would have
only received $1,625,000 or 0.5% of the amount refinanced.  So in the end,
the YIDA saved Empire City Casino $2,200,000
Empire City Casino _logoand cost the County of Westchester
$4,225,000.  Yonkers got an extra $1,525,000 by screwing the County of
Westchester and Empire City Casino hit the jackpot with an extra $2,200,000.)

to take advantage of current low interest rates, Empire City is refinancing its
$325 million overall debt, including its most recent $40 million expansion,
which includes a modern 35,000 square-foot gaming floor and two new
restaurants, Dan Rooney’s Café and Bar and Pinch. The expansion created 100
construction jobs and 200 permanent casino jobs.  (Working with the Yonkers IDA
and YIDA Chair Mayor Mike Spano Empire City Casino got to take advantage of the
taxpayers of Westchester by depriving them of $4,225,000 and instead diverted
an additional $1,525,000 to the City of Yonkers at the expense of Westchester’s
other taxpayers.  An added payout of $2,200,000 was won by Empire City for
their creative manipulation of the gambling wheels in Yonkers.) 

the plan approved by the YIDA, Empire City Casino will pay $523,000 in
previously agreed upon sales tax reimbursements (but that has nothing to do with this YIDA incentive effort, but we
include it here to make the deal appear to be even more costly to Empire City
and to confuse the public), $3 million in additional payments to be paid
to the City’s general fund over two years (this was an added bonus for Empire City because if they weren’t able to
manipulate the cards in Yonkers City Hall they would have had to pay their
total Westchester / Yonkers taxes of $5,850,000) at the time the mortgages would
have been recorded in the Westchester County Clerk’s Office), $500,000
to the YIDA for economic development efforts (to be used for God knows what and no one will ever be able to find out
, and up to $150,000 in materials or cash for improvements to
the Coyne Park Senior and Community Center located near the Casino (because this will make it look like Empire
City Casino is a good neighbor and really cares about the homeowners and
property owners near their burgeoning facility)

“This is
a great deal for Yonkers taxpayers,” said Mayor Spano, who chairs the YIDA. “The
City is actually getting more money than if we had done nothing at all.” (“…And anytime I can save one of my brother
Nick’s consulting firm’s clients millions of dollars and then successfully pass
it off as a good deal for Yonkers is a win-win for me.”)

Spano said he wants to encourage Empire City to move forward with Phase II of
its long-term expansion plan.

refinancing, Empire City is going to be in a better position for future
expansions, which will bring more jobs and expand the City’s tax base.”  (“And it will allow my brother Nick’s consulting firm to get even more
fees from Empire City so we can come up with more ‘win-win deals’ for me and

the agreement, the YIDA is providing Empire City with a mortgage recording tax
exemption. In return, Empire City will pay the City of Yonkers (“but NOT the County of Westchester – shh !!! Hush.” ) a sum significantly higher
than what Yonkers would have received from the mortgage recording tax. (“but
a lot less, in fact $2,200,000 less than they would have had to pay if they did
not concoct this exciting YIDA deal and glorious press release.”)

the agreement through the YIDA, Empire City would have paid the Yonkers $1.575
million in mortgage tax payments plus the $523,000 in previously-agreed upon
sales tax reimbursements, for a total of $2.098 million (“But in addition, they also would have had
to pay the County of Westchester about $4,225,000.”)
the net additional payment to the City of Yonkers is $1.575 million. (“And the net shafting of Westchester County
is $4,225,000.”)

City continues to invest in Yonkers,” said Tim Rooney, Jr., general counsel at
Empire City. “As the city’s largest private employer with nearly 1,400
employees representing 14 unions, we understand the need for economic
development and are committed to making the investments necessary to ensure
viability and job growth. The continued support of Mayor Spano and the Yonkers
IDA will ensure that remains possible.”  (“And these sweet deals saving me and my poor family millions of dollars
will also mean additional fees to Nick’s consulting firm.”)

Spano said every additional dollar the City takes in will help ease the burden
on taxpayers as the City continues to face long-term budget deficits. “Next
year the City faces a projected $86 million deficit,” said Mayor Mike Spano.

$1.575 million won’t solve all our problems, it will certainly go a long way
toward helping to plug future budget gaps and easing the burden on
already-stressed taxpayers.”

Spano said he was particularly pleased the deal included money to renovate the
Coyne Park Senior and Community Center.

$150,000 for Coyne Park is only a small part of the overall payment, but by
specifically setting it aside for Coyne Park we ensure that the needed
renovations get done in a timely manner and that the money won’t get used for
anything else,” said Mayor Mike Spano.

Shepherd, Councilman, 4th District said, “As the councilman in the
area, I would like to thank Empire City for their cooperation with the City to
help revitalize Coyne Park and to maintain the high quality of life in the
southeast corridor of Yonkers.”

Yonkersites now
fully comprehend the “new” math and can appreciate the connecting dots. At
issue now is what Westchesterites have to say about this “robbing Peter to pay
Paul” scam.

The conflicted
conduct noted above demands the attention and scrutiny of Yonkers Inspector
General Kitley Covill, Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, New
York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, New York State Comptroller
Thomas DiNapoli, and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in order to make New York
State Governor Andrew Cuomo fully aware of what is happening under his watch.


eHeziTHE HEZITORIAL: Yonkers Industrial Development Agency Robs Westchester County to Pay… Do the Math! By HEZI ARIS

Comments 29

  1. there is a few witnesses that already gave statements everyone knows already what happened only a matter of time till the hammer drops, D.O.J. already has it on the radar cant hide it or sweep it, your boy is done and the more you keep acting like a jerk off defending him the more everyone seems how desperate you are. Game over the joker lost……………

  2. It is a fact that you and your pals wrote anonymous letters full of lies and sent them to IAD and the media in hopes of jamming some people up. It didn’t work. The investigation will soon be closed. Nice try.

  3. Nick is no longer a lobbyist for Empire City. We’re supposed to believe that? He was a paid lobbyist for Empire City for years and now he’s not? What did they do, transfer his account to one of their other closely held corporations? Maybe he’s getting paid from the Rooney Foundation? Maybe he’s getting paid from the Racetrack and not directly from Empire City? Maybe he’s getting paid from the football team? Maybe he’s getting paid from one of the dozen or so other corporations and foundations run or controlled by the Rooney family? And what about his business partner Cavanaugh? I guess he’s not getting paid a monthly “consulting” retainer either? Do the Spano’s actually think that the people are so stupid that they won’t see through all their crap? Well I can tell you that the US Attorney is not stupid and his office is following the money trail and in the end we will all know exactly what money was paid and to who it was paid. Bottom line – Mike Spano is corrupt.

  4. Listen just drive around East Yonkers & all see all the jerks who have elect Liam signs on their lawns & then you will understand why Yonkers will never change for the better.

  5. I wonder where Rob Astorino stands on this deal. Seems like Yonkers is making it harder for Rob to keep the County taxes low. If every municipality in Westchester had an IDA to abuse for the benefit of the super wealthy then Westchester would really be in trouble. Astorino should come out strongly against this and for the other taxpayers in Westchester

  6. As a Westchester taxpayer and former Yonkers resident, I can only ask; “what did we expect when we elected a Spano as city mayor?” The family has been about self aggrandizement for years and it only get worse and worse. Everybody knows what is going on; the do nothing goomies paid 100k plus jobs; the countless relatives with public jobs many other young people would kill for and the big money fed to the jailed one by a mayoral brother who would do whatever Nicky asked him to do…. And us taxpayers pay the price…..where are the feds??????

  7. What a government agency,fucking the taxpayer and making the rich, richer? Nothing new here,it’s called democracy USA. As for Yonkers it’s a dump with way overpaid public servants and tax breaks for the rich, Democracy USA.
    And why did ASStorino allow this because he’s also a purveyor of the rich.

  8. Mike Spano and all of his buried bones will soon be exposed. There’s enough dirt on Mike and his bones to fill in the Hollows. Mike Sapno has double crossed too many people and they are all going to come together with one purpose in mind and that is to expose Mike Spano and his corrupt administration. One-termer for sure Good riddance.

  9. Wasn’t uncle Nick the great deal maker for Empire City that locked in a set $20 mill to Yonkers with NO upside benefit to Yonkers. What a deal for the Rooneys! This year alone, Yonkers lost $39 mill, if the deal would’ve been revenue based. But, just blame the city workers and keep installing traffic cameras to fix your mistakes, all while the Spanos receive Rooney-benefits on the down low…sports tickets, trips, etc. The feds are watching!

  10. Shame on the Mayor and Shame on the Raceway. I thought that this money was going to fix the field at Coyne park. We the voters will remember

  11. There is nothing illegal going on here, just bad management. The IDA is designed to fail. No checks , no balances. Tom DiNapoli said it, but did nothing about it. His next move may have to be the de-certification of the Yonkers budget because of the unknown factors of IDA. It is meant to be a win win, but just too much room for shenanigans in the system as it stands. I think Sullivan County actually called back some IDA programs because the takers failed to meet their end of the bargain. Plus some of the board members had an interest in the system.

  12. What does Rob Astorino have to say about this crime? Mike Spano robbed the county of Westchester out of over $4,000,000. The Astorino administration should march right into court and have this theft overturned by the courts. How dare Mike Spano take money out of the county of Westchester. It’s time to speak up Mr Astorino. We’re listening.

  13. i just really dont get!!!! yonkers has had the waterfront developed,The casino developed,ridgehill developed,costco,home depot,etc etc…. why is this city still broke and our taxes go up???? Mike spano will be a one term mayor.

  14. I just dont get it what is taking the department of justice so long to finish investigating the on going corruption that mike took over from amiclowne????

  15. “While $1.575 million won’t solve all our problems, it will certainly go a long way toward helping to plug future budget gaps and easing the burden on already-stressed taxpayers.”
    What I really mean to say: I can create more fictional no show jobs for my friends and family members as so they never have to work a day in their lives again……Mike Spano

  16. Why am I not surprised?
    Folks, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what this sick family (The Spano’s) will keep doing to Yonkers and Westchester over the next few years!
    Just look at the cast of characters.
    The Felon Nick Spano with his side kicks Al DelBello and Al Pirro (from the same law firm.) These clowns have been manipulating things for the last 2-decades.
    Mike the moron Spano with the Yonkers GOP and Democrat parties in his pocket, it fronting Liam Red Head (who works in the same law firm as DelBello!)
    Spencer and Martinelli …I don’t have enough time to get into these two dirt bags.
    Take to the streets people!
    Help put a stop to these criminals.
    I don’t care how you vote for; just don’t form for that wretch Liam! A vote for this PRICK is just another “YES” for the Spano clan to rape and pillage this city more!

  17. WHAT??? Are you kidding us??? Empire City robbed Westchester County and was aided and abetted by the City of Yonkers. Yonkers’ take from the heist looks like its over $1.5 million. And the Rooney gang walked away with a cool $2 million. As a Westchester taxpayer I just got robbed. Should I call 911 ? Or should I call my lawyer? This mad ESA has got to stop. Westxhester can’t afford Mile Spano and the Yonkers IDA.

Leave a Reply

This comment will be displayed anonymously. Your name and email address will not be published.

Comments that are off topic will be removed. If you want a topic to be covered, email me at:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.