[Editor’s Note: The Mount Vernon Inquirer recently ran an article titled ‘Contractor Wallace being sued by the City of Mount Vernon’,
Councilman Wallace sent a letter to the editor of the MV Inquirer to rebut the article, not pleased with Editor Joe Parisi’s edited version of his letter, he reached out to BW with the same letter to be published unedited in its entirety.
Below you can see Councilman Wallace original, unedited letter below.]
After reading the inquirer article posted in your recent addition titled “Contractor Wallace being sued by the City of Mount Vernon” I could not help but to point out my disappointment on how an article like this can be printed without any facts to back up the story. My call to the editor gave me more clarity on the situation leading to the printing of this article as the editor stated he didn’t write the story; it was written and sent over from the Mayor’s office. “I assumed the story was credible because it came from the Mayor’s office and I can’t believe they would put out something that wasn’t true?” stated the editor. So, I am writing this response to repudiate the ongoing defamation and assassination attempts fabricated by Maria Donovan, Lawrence A. Porcari, Joseph F. Spiezio and Mayor Richard Thomas.
The truth is as followed;
- I am not being sued by the city of Mount Vernon; I am the one forced to sue the city for not paying for the work completed on the EOC at the third street firehouse more that 2 years ago.
- Ernie Richardson was never interviewed by anyone and his statement was written and falsified by Maria Donovan and Mayor Richard Thomas.
- No records have ever been falsified by me, or anyone at my company. I’ve requested the mayor to produce those falsified records and he has not.
- All present and former employees have been paid properly and no one was ever cheated. The 3 former employees who have filed false claims using Joseph F. Spiezio’s attorney’s Smith Buss & Jacobs, LLC were fired for criminal activities two years ago and the fourth person never even worked for my company. For more information about the lawyers log on to http://opendatany.com/corporation.php?id=3856168.
- The answer to the litigation from the city of Mount Vernon states the work was “defective and non-compliant”, which is not true. The building commissioner, a third-party independent architectural firm who drew the plans and the Department of Homeland Security walked through, inspected, approved and signed off on all work that was done. If Mayor Thomas is telling the truth, then all parties that signed off lied and Mayor Thomas should call for a full investigation of each entity including the Department of Homeland Security, which I am enthusiastically looking forward to.
I have reached out to Mayor Thomas over a dozen times to resolve this issue, and have been met with nothing more than an increased dosage of felonious and slanderous attacks targeted at destroying my name and wasting thousands of taxpayers’ dollars. As I stated before, if the amount of effort was focused on lifting up our city rather than tearing down each other I believe amazing things can happen for the people who elected us to govern this city. Unfortunately, instead of putting all my time into the betterment of our city I am continuously forced to spend time addressing these baseless attacks and childish games. However, I was raised by parents who passed on values and one being “if you are challenged in public, you must answer in public whether you are right or wrong and set the record straight” so I have done just that. The statements from Mayor Thomas’s office are 100% fictitious, ugly and mean and need to cease immediately so we can focus on moving our city forward. Once again, I am extending an olive branch in an attempt to place the facts on the table or move on with the work the people have elected us to do. Honesty and integrity is what I stand for and refuse to allow lies to overwhelm or become me. I continue to pray for the moment when you may see it the same way.
Councilman Andre Wallace
In the MV Inquirer story there was a quote from then Acting Fire Commissioner Ernest Richardson;
Acting Fire Commissioner Ernie Richardson said, “The Mount Vernon Fire Department has known for a long time that the conditions in the emergency operations center are a disaster and we have demanded that contractor Andre Wallace fix the situation. The lights don’t work, the elevator doesn’t turn on, the roof leaks, there’s exposed wires everywhere. Even to this day, there’s scaffolding in the back that the contractor refuses to pick up.”
We reached out to Richardson, who denied having said or written the words in the Inquirer, “Ask Joe Parisi if he ever spoke to me, since he has me quoted,” Richardson informs BW. “Those are not my words!”
We reached out to Joe Parisi for clarification and he informed us he published what the Mayor’s office gave him. “I spoke with Ernie Richardson since the posting of the article and told him, this is what the Mayor’s office sent me,” Parisi explains via phone to BW. “I wrote exactly what the Mayor’s office sent me, it was from the Mayor of Mount Vernon, why would I have a reason to question it or think anything but it was the truth, it came directly from the Mayor?”
We reached out to Mayor Richard Thomas and his spokesperson Maria Donovan and as with our last three request for a comment, quote or statement, they never returned our calls or emailed us a reply as they had always done in the past.
BW obtained a copy of a letter Councilman Wallace sent to Mount Vernon Corporation Council Lawrence Porcari, Esq., Thursday, requesting copies of any and all documentation that the City of Mount Vernon is suing Contractor Wallace (see below).
After reading letter we obtained, we reached out to Councilman Wallace who informed us, he is not being sued and has not been served. “I am not being sued but I am the one suing the city for the money owed me.”
To get to the bottom of the matter BW could find no evidence in the court system that Wallace is being sued by the city as the Inquirer article suggest. All we could find is that the Mayor’s office put in an answer to Councilman Wallace’s lawsuit.
To add insult to injury, rather than Joe Parisi apologizing to Councilman Wallace or publicly acknowledging he didn’t do his research before posting what he received from the mayor’s office on his website and publishing it in the September issue of his paper, Parisi sent Councilman Wallace an email Friday evening, complaining Wallace didn’t thank him.
“I was expecting at least a thank you from you,” Parisi wrote in email to Wallace. “But I’m used to that – no problem.”
Only In Mount Vernon!!!
BW will continue to follow this developing story!