Peekskill, NY — Peekskill Common Council members have requested an investigation into the use of taxpayer dollars to promote a political event executed by Mayor Frank Catalina on Friday, September 8th. The Peekskill Post reported that a city employee issued a media advisory for a campaign event. It is against the law for public taxpayer funds to be used to engage in political and campaign activity.
In their request, the common council called for the City’s Corporation Counsel to preserve all correspondence between the mayor and staff related to the event, as well as correspondence between city staff and the media from taxpayer-funded email addresses and computers.
“We are asking for a full, public investigation by the Corporation Counsel and the City Manager. We are also reaching out to the District Attorney’s office to determine what laws have been broken and to launch their own investigation,” said Councilwoman Vivian McKenzie.
“The mayor is crossing the line. He knows full well he cannot use city employees working on our taxpayers’ dime to arrange or promote his election campaign. It’s arrogant and it’s wrong,” said Councilwoman Talbot.
“It’s the ultimate act of chutzpah for the mayor, who supported the lawsuit of his running mate that raised taxes on homeowners, to then turn around and use those tax dollars to promote a political event,” said Deputy Mayor Drew Claxton. “It’s our expectation that the city manager and corporation counsel will immediately launch this investigation on behalf of the taxpayers in a thorough and nonpartisan manner.”
The event, that was videotaped by the City’s videographer and distributed, confirmed that political banners were draped over the Youth Bureau Banner, the official city podium was used and a reception with food and drink was held in City Hall.
Catalina who is running for re-election will face Democratic mayoral challenger Councilman Andre Rainey who hopes to unseat him on November 7th.