This letter is written in response to a letter written by two members of the Mount Vernon administration targeting me that appeared in the online edition of the Journal News on May 3, 2017. That letter contained material that was totally false and misleading. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to respond and set the records straight.
First, I must highlight that these two individuals serve at the pleasure of the mayor. It appears to be common knowledge that when you are directed to do something by the mayor, whether unethical or not, whether illegal or not, you must comply. A significant number of employees, including two Police Commissioners and several other senior members of the administration, who have apparently failed to follow this “golden rule” of blind compliance, found themselves no longer part of the administration. It is my belief that the two employees who wrote this letter have decided that it is safer to comply than to be out of work.
Now to address the spurious allegations made by Mr. Perone, the Deputy Commissioner of DPW and Mr. Teddy Beale, the Fire Commissioner. As invoices for the payment of suppliers have to be approved by commissioners prior to coming to the Department of Finance, we have to wait until we receive them. Mr. Perone has been known to maliciously hold on to invoices for extended periods of time and then complain about vendors not being paid. I have issued several warnings to him about this practice. On March 13, 2017, the mayor led a group of commissioners into my office to disrupt the operations of the Department of Finance. Mr. Perone was the most disruptive individual in that group. He behaved in a very disorderly manner, shouting and berating one of my senior employees. A formal complaint was made to the Police Department. This complaint is yet to be acted upon.
Finally, what I find most troubling is that it appears numerous individuals who contributed to a certain 2015 election campaign are now looking for reimbursement. The financial assets of the City of Mount Vernon are being targeted for the settlement of those outstanding debts. Maureen Walker is somehow the “keeper” of the financial key that prevents the abuse of taxpayers’ money. This is the suspected motive behind the mayor’s smear campaign. In an election year, we expect these attacks to continue and intensify. Stay tuned.
Maureen Walker, CPA
Comptroller of the City of Mount Vernon