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Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson accused of cheating taxpayers out of building permit fees

“There’s no story to tell. The procedure is you tell a contractor what you want and its their responsibility to take care of proper permits to be filed, not the homeowners. ” – Senator Ruth Hassell Thompson

“It was a job, she paid me, I did it, what’s the big deal? What you going to do research and find out I didn’t file a permit or two, big deal, I go to jail for 5 days, be home, even murderers get less time than that now (laughing),” Robert Debenedictis the contractor.

Community Activists Samuel L. Rivers held a press conferences Wednesday morning after obtaining official documents from the City of Mount Vernon that indicate Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson changed her roof without getting approval of Dept. Of Building and Architectural Review Board.
According to city records, Sen. Thompson should still have a slate roof at her residence located at 280 Langdon Ave, Mt. Vernon, NY.

Truthfully I didn’t see much of a story here until Donna Drayton, the Executive Assistant to the senator was rude, condescending, combative and defensive when we called the senator’s office for a comment. It wasn’t until several calls in, including one from publisher and co-founder, Damon K Jones, did we finally get the Senator’s response.

WebBio Hassell-ThompsonHS“Well.. There is no story to tell! The procedure is you tell a contractor what you want and it is their responsibility to take care of the proper permits to be filed not the homeowners…” states Sen. Thompson. “Yes you know what it is? It’s because I’m up for election that’s the spin they’re trying to use! It’s really the only angle they can use.. Channel 12 called me and said questions are being asked if my house falls under the preservation category.. It’s an older house it has no special designation .. It’s old.. The only designation is, this house is our home.”

The Senator declined an invitation to appear on People Before Politics radio, until after the election.

Since the Senator said it was the contractors responsibility we reached out to Robert Debenedictis, “Well what do you want to know what’s the big deal? First of all this was in 2010, She needed it repaired and she paid., I know what this is this is a one man show from “Osama Bin Rivers The Terrorist” (laughs).”
“The nerve of this guy he’s a terrorist who uses scare tactics, but I don’t scare easily!! (Sam Rivers) went after the senator first and then anyone else who’s affiliated with her so he came after me! He can’t do nothing to me I don’t scare easy!” Mr. Debenedictis continued. “It was a job she paid me I did it!! What’s the big deal? What you gonna do research and find out I didn’t file a permit or two big deal I go to jail 5 days be home even murderers get less time than that now (laughs)”

Although we have found no evidence that she resides in a historical district, there appears to be much more to the story. Neither the Senator or Mr. Debenedictis, produced any cancelled checks or the contract when asked. Black Westchester will stay on it and bring you any further developments.

Additionally reporting and research by Priscilla Echi

Below is the paperwork provided by Samuel Rivers

280 Langdon Ave MLS Listing

280 LAngdon Avenue Property Card-2

280 LAngdon Avenue Property Card-1

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About AJ Woodson (2262 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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