Embattled Mount Vernon Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Spiezio is out of a job after he was busted driving in a city vehicle with a suspended license.
The Mount Vernon Police Department announced on Thursday, Feb. 7 that Police Commissioner Shawn Harris has asked for and accepted the retirement of Spiezio, effective immediately.
“As a commissioner of a law enforcement agency, it is my duty to ensure that the standards of conduct all members of the Mount Vernon Police Department are supposed to abide by are set higher than those standards assigned to the general public,” the department announced in a statement. “When those standards are violated, the department loses its effectiveness and credibility as an agency.
Spiezio was stopped on Webster Avenue at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, police said. He was driving a city-owned Chevrolet Suburban - which has been a point of contention amongst Mount Vernon officials - and using a siren to drive by other cars.
According to a police report, Spiezio identified himself as a police commissioner, but did not have any documentation or his driver’s license. A computer check of his ID found that Spiezio’s license had been suspended.
Spiezio, 59, was issued a ticket for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. A Mount Vernon police sergeant responded to the scene later in the morning to retrieve the city’s SUV. Spiezio is scheduled to appear in New Rochelle City Court on March 5 to respond to the charge.
“Operating a city-owned vehicle while your driving privileges are suspended is indefensible. Using emergency lights and sirens when not necessary or appropriate makes matters worse and creates a hazard to the public which cannot be mitigated," the department stated. “Mr. Spiezio’s actions have caused irreparable damage to the department’s integrity, morale and reputation. We are accountable to the people we serve. Therefore, Mr. Spiezio’s retirement is appropriate given the seriousness of his conduct and in the best interests of the Mount Vernon Police Department.”
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