Over the past month community leaders and stakeholders have been demanding an investigation into the finances of the Mount Vernon Public Library. Allegations of missing money and former trustees blaming each other of stealing the money flooded social media.
After a thorough investigation, DA Rocah sent the following statement to Black Westchester
“Amid allegations of financial mismanagement, fraud and theft, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office initiated an investigation into the finances of the Mount Vernon Public Library (“Library”). The purpose of the investigation was to determine if any individual or entity associated with the Library engaged in criminal conduct, and if it was appropriate to bring criminal charges against any individual or entity.
“Our comprehensive investigation consisted of the review of voluminous financial records, Library records, documents and information obtained via grand jury subpoena, and certain information that was publicly available. We worked in cooperation with the Office of the New York State Comptroller, which provided invaluable resources and assistance.
“Our investigation revealed evidence of poor bookkeeping and other evidence of mismanagement related to the Library’s finances but did not uncover evidence to support the filing of any criminal charges. Specifically, we did not find evidence to support the contention that any money has been embezzled, misappropriated or otherwise stolen from the Library or that any individual or entity engaged in fraud or criminal misconduct. Having reached these conclusions, our investigation is now closed.”
While the DA didn’t uncover evidence to bring charges on any individuals or entity, she did say the investigation revealed evidence of poor bookkeeping and other evidence of mismanagement related to the library’s finances, which is what community groups like Save Mount Vernon have been claiming for over a year. The investigation may be over, but the problem of previous poor bookkeeping and mismanagement have not solved. We have a new Treasurer. New trustees appointed; a new Board President has been elected; we will see if they can clean up the library.
Stay tuned to more on this developing story!