Yonkers towing report sparks calls for ethics probe

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Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone wrote a letter today to the Yonkers Ethics Board and Inspector General Dan Schorr asking them to look at the relationship between City Council President Chuck Lesnick and Transit Auto Towing.

The request comes one day after Schorr released a report critical of the city’s oversight of companies it contracts to tow and impound vehicles.

Amicone asks the Ethics Board and Schorr to look at “a number of disturbing occurrences” that “more than just suggest an appearance of impropriety.”

Amicone writes that those occurrences include Lesnick’s failure to list the company as an in-kind contributor on his campaign disclosure filings. Amicone explains that the company lent Lesnick a truck that was decorated with Lesnick campaign materials in 2009 when Lesnick was reelected.

The company is currently suing the city over being denied a tow contract in 2010 and they hired Lesnick’s former law firm and current landlord as their attorneys, Amicone writes.

Amicone’s letter also comes a day after Lesnick released his press statement on Schorr’s report. Lesnick criticized Amicone’s administration for its lax oversight of the tow companies.

Here is a link to The Journal News story about Schorr’s report.

Here is a copy of Amicone’s letter and Lesnick’s press statement from yesterday about Schorr’s report.<a title=”View Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone’s letter to Ethics Board regarding City Council President Chuck Lesnick on Scribd” href=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/50891226/Yonkers-Mayor-Phil-Amicone-s-letter-to-Ethics-Board-regarding-City-Council-President-Chuck-Lesnick” style=”margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block; text-decoration: underline;”>Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone’s letter to Ethics Board regarding City Council President Chuck Lesnick</a> <object id=”doc_79741″ name=”doc_79741″ height=”600″ width=”100%” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” data=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf” style=”outline:none;” >            <param name=”movie” value=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf”>             <param name=”wmode” value=”opaque”>             <param name=”bgcolor” value=”#ffffff”>             <param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”>             <param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always”>             <param name=”FlashVars” value=”document_id=50891226&access_key=key-dvbx27d2rwzr24y8lrw&page=1&viewMode=slideshow”>             <embed id=”doc_79741″ name=”doc_79741″ src=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=50891226&access_key=key-dvbx27d2rwzr24y8lrw&page=1&viewMode=slideshow” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” height=”600″ width=”100%” wmode=”opaque” bgcolor=”#ffffff”></embed>         </object>

COUNCIL PRESIDENT LESNICK STATEMENT ON IG REPORT ON
YONKERS VEHICLE TOWS AND IMPOUNDS
March 15, 2011: Yonkers, NY –
“Time and time again, we hear from various authorities that the City has a bad track
record with respect to accurate record keeping and control measures. Whether it is a
past IG report on the misuse of the city’s gasoline supply, the state Comptroller’s report
on the IDA or this report, it is clear that the City must do a better job in maintaining
transparency.”
“That is one reason why when the proposal for the new towing contracts came up
before BOCS (Board of Contract & Supply), I voted against it as the Council was not
provided with the criteria the selection committee used nor their written evaluations.
While this IG report validates those concerns, it does not go far enough to examine
possible conflicts between the administration and the winning vendors and the process
by which the City circumvented state law with respect to appropriate licenses.”

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