U P D A T E of F E B R U A R Y 9, 2020
FEBRUARY 9, 2020 — Yonkers Tribune / Mount Vernon Tribune has learned through reliable sources that Mount Vernon City Council President Lisa Copeland, pressured by an online petition circulating, as noted in yesterday’s telling, herein / below, was compelled to convene the City Councilmembership. The purpose of which was to garner a majority vote of the city council membership to force the resignation of Mount Vernon City Clerk George Brown and dismiss Mount Vernon Deputy City Clerk Lauren Carter.
Lisa Copeland called for a Special Meeting of the Mount Vernon City Council for Friday evening from 7:30pm. Although the other three members were not aware of it and did not vote for a dismissal. Despite the fact that all five members of the Mount Vernon City Council were noticed of the Special Meeting, two members, Delia Farquharson and Janice Duarte were not able to attend the late Friday evening Special Meeting having been noticed “last minute”. Even so, Mount Vernon City Council President Copeland was informed that Councilman Marcus Griffith and Councilman Derick Thompson could and would attend. With them attending, and Ms. Copeland knowing they would concur with her in dismissing Clerk Brown and Deputy Clerk Lauren Carter, Ms. Copeland convened the Special Meeting.
The Special Meeting was convened with the three noted councilmembers voting to dismiss Brown February 28th and Carter immediately.
To that end, George Brown was forced to resign sooner than he had intended. Before the City Council met he knew he was being pushed out so he decided to retire on the 28th of February. He wanted to retire was to that he would do toward the end of February. The City Councilmembership’s previous agreement for him retiring at the end of February will no longer be the acceptable time frame; instead, it will be immediately.
Ms. Lauren Carter is also to be dismissed and immediately at that, without even a two week advance notice.
The Mount Vernon Councilmembership of three noted in attendance above had the audacity to call for a Special Meeting in which the entire membership of 5 Mount Vernon Councilmembers, due to the last minute call for a Special Meeting could not attend. That alone speaks to the disinterest of the three who did attend of hearing supportive or non-support of the purpose of dismissing Mr. Brown and Ms. Carter. Why the rush for a Friday night Special Meeting? Couldn’t the question of dismissal await either Monday, February 10th or Tuesday, February 11th, the latter a regularly scheduled evening for such City Council meetings?
The takeaway is simple and succinct. Ms. Copeland was deceitful in asserting that a City Council Meeting had in the first instance been held. She lied. It did not, as attested in a letter herein replicated below. Secondly, the basis for claiming to dismiss personnel that the Mount Vernon City Charter requires to be formally conducted was a falsehood that never took place.
Thirdly, The fact that a Special Meeting was conducted on Friday evening validates that Lisa Copeland lied about the “original” meeting that took place because, had it been, there would be no need to call a Special Meeting other than to eclipse her lie.
Lastly, it is most troubling that the anticipated conduct of a newly elected administration, the Mount Vernon City Council has the temerity and audacity to believe Ms. Copeland’s conduct was ever appropriate, at first the lie, and secondly the cover-up that was a last-minute “fix” to bandage the “wound” of her demeanor and now, the demeanor of the three who attended the Special Meeting.
Mount Vernon deserves better. There is no way for Ms. Copeland to live down her lie. Her troubling conduct will likely be repeated in a similar fashion at some future date that will be replicated by her ignorance of the Mount Vernon City Charter, or perhaps it is her ineptitude, and even her ethical standards that are maligned and skewed. I humbly and respectfully suggest that these incidents have undermined the integrity of the Mount Vernon City Council as well as the newly ensconced Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard who has no influence on the conduct of the Mount Vernon City Council. Patterson-Howard is the Executive branch of whereas Copeland is at the helm of the Legislative Branch.
Mount Vernon cannot afford for its government to be undermined in any manner as it must focus on serving the public interest abiding by the the protocol delineated by the Mount Vernon City Charter, and by an ethical standard that aligns with the expectation of the electorate rather than the political game exposed herein. When will this debauchery end?
The Mount Vernon City Council Meeting That Never Convened Hezitorial
MOUNT VERNON, NY — February 8, 2020 — On January 28, 2020, Mount Vernon Deputy Clerk Lauren Carter was called into Mount Vernon Clerk George Brown’s office by City Councilman Marcus A. Griffith and Human Resource Commissioner Nina Crispino. Ms. Carter was that day informed that January 2, 2020, would be her last day. Upon being advised Ms. Carter asked if a City Council meeting was conducted at which a majority vote, a minimum of 3 of the 5 City Councilmembership approved that decision. She was personally advised by Councilmember Marcus A. Griffith that he had attended the council meeting with Mount Vernon City Council President Lisa Copeland, among the other councilmembers who met and had in the majority voted she be relieved of her responsibilities.
Further inquiry revealed that Councilmembers Delia Farquharson, Janice Duarte, and Derrick Thomson had not attended a “said” city council meeting to which they were not advised was to convene, that they did not attend such a meeting as they were not ever formally advised a city council meeting was to convene.
The Mount Vernon City Council is comprised of five members in total, the president and four councilmembers. Since the Mount Vernon City Charter requires a majority vote to dismiss Deputy City Clerk Lauren Carter, that is, a minimum of 3 votes cast for dismissal out of a total of the maximum 5 members convening. With three councilmembers asserting they were not even aware of such a meeting, it becomes an impossibility that President Lisa Copeland’s telling that a majority vote was cast to dismiss Ms. Carter cannot be credible because her telling has simply not been corroborated by three Mount Vernon City Councilmembers who did not any such meeting as allegedly espoused by President Lisa Copeland.
Read the following text that speaks to the issue as per Mount Vernon City Councilmember Delia M. Farquharson:
ONE ROOSEVELT SQUARE, ROOM 104
MOUNT VERNON, NY 10550
(914) 665-2352 · FAX (914) 668-6044
DELIA M. FARQUHARSON CITY COUNCILWOMAN
CHAIR, STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY AND CODES
CO-CHAIR, STANDING COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATION AND PUBLIC WORKS
January 28, 2020
I was informed this afternoon that the Deputy City Clerk Lauren Carter was dismissed by City Council
member Marcus Griffith. I was not aware, and I disagree with this decision.
I subsequently conferred with two other council members who told me that they too were ignorant of this decision, and they did not agree with the decision at this time.
A competent deputy city clerk with nine years of experience in the office is not being afforded the opportunity to elevate to the office of clerk, as has been granted to many deputies before her. This is being done to make way for political favors, and a political appointment in the office of the city clerk. What is also curious is that the budget proposes wage increases for the position of the Deputy Clerk and City Clerk.
The office of the City Clerk performs an important function in the city and must be staffed competently to support the work of the city council members.
Delia M. Farquharson, LCSW
City of Mount Vernon, New York
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Deputy Clerk Lauren Carter has yet to receive an official notice of dismissal from the Mount Vernon City Council. Ms. Carter continues to attend to her office every mid-week day but is restricted from carrying out all her responsibilities.
Mount Vernon Clerk George Brown has stated his intention to retire by the end of February.
Lisa Copeland had on her Facebook page posted that the City Council had indeed dismissed Ms. Carter. The Facebook posting to that effect had however been deleted shortly thereafter. Which questions the integrity of Ms. Copeland’s initial posting, yet thereafter removed.
The disparity of conduct by Mount Vernon City Council President Copeland is juxtaposed by three Mount Vernon City Councilmembers who refute the assertion that a City Council meeting took place and that a majority was present as the majority of City Council members were not even informed of such a meeting. The issue has become the catalyst that has fomented distrust of Ms. Copeland’s telling and a petition demanding the Mount Vernon City Council abide by and adhere to the protocol delineated by the City Charter and is publicly announced. An online petition demanding a public vote is available online. People may cast their online vote without divulging their name.