White Plains – Jeffrey D. Buss of Smith, Buss & Jacobs LLP, attorney for Lawrence A. Porcari, Esq., Joseph Spiezio III, Ralph Uzzi, Maria Donovan, Esq., and La-Teea Going, Esq., known as the Residency 5 along with Richard Thomas as Mayor, listed as nominal plaintiff filed a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI), Friday afternoon in Westchester Supreme Court (see document below).
The RJI is in response to the City Council passing an ordinance, Wednesday, December 14th at City Council Meeting, authorizing and directing the Office of the Comptroller to cease payment of salary and benefits to the vacant offices of DPW Commissioner Ralph Uzzi (who lives in Saddlebrook, New Jersey), Corporation Counsel Lawrence A. Porcari (who live in Yonkers), Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Spiezio III (who lives in Florida), Special Assistant to the Mayor Maria Donovan, Esq., (who lives in Queens), 3rd Assistant Corporation Cousel La-Teea Going, Esq., and others, who are in violation of the City Charter’s Residency Requirements.
Mayor Thomas vetoed the ordinance Friday, December 23rd, detailing his objections to the residency ordinance and the significant legal ramifications associated with such an act. The City Council voted unanimously to overturn the mayor’s veto and proceeded with the ordinance to vacate the offices effective immediately, end of the work day Thursday, December 29th. Comptroller Maureen Walker sent the Residency 5 each a letter letting them know their pay was as of Friday, December 30th. The Residency 5 received their last paycheck Friday, January 6th.
Mayor Thomas vowed to do whatever he can to fight the actions of the council. At the time it was unclear what actions the mayor would take next or what cards he had left to play since on Thursday, July 7th, Justice Robert A. Neary denied Mayor Richard Thomas‘ request to stop the City Council from removing from office commissioners who do not meet the City Charter’s residency requirements.
The filing of the RJI is the latest move in the ongoing saga. The Hon. Terry Jane Ruderman signed RJI, Friday. The next court date is Monday, January 9th at 9a.m. before the Hon. Joan B. Lefkowitz. BW was informed the date might be changed due to a schedule conflict of plaintiff’s attorney.
Mayor Richard Thomas and his spokesperson Maria Donovan did not respond to our request for comment. Stay Tuned to BW for more on this developing story!