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Mount Vernon Mayor, City Comptroller At Odds Over Check For $70K Vehicle

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas Photo Credit: Contributed
Mount Vernon Comptroller Maureen Walker. Photo Credit: File

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - A temporary restraining order has reportedly been issued after Mount Vernon City Comptroller Maureen Walker allegedly canceled a check intended to pay for police vehicles.

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas said that on Friday, Westchester County Supreme Court Judge Charles Wood issued the restraining order directing J.P. Morgan Chase to issue payment for a police vehicle that was purchased by the Police Department before being “illegally canceled” by Walker.

Thomas said that this is the third restraining order issued by a court against Walker “for her continued obstructionism and interference with government functions.

In a letter in response to Thomas, Walker said that Mount Vernon Police Deputy Commissioner Joseph Spiezio "illegally and fraudulently removed the check from (Thomas') office and attempted to use it, not to purchase a police vehicle, but for a personal luxury SUV" at a cost of more than $70,000.

Walker said that since the check was presented directly to the dealership for $70,786 and flagged by the bank as fraudulent and thus they refused to honor it.

"I did not stop, nor did I cancel the check, as your false, misleading and malicious letter stated," she wrote to Thomas. "All checks sent to your office for signature must be returned to the Comptroller's Office to be uploaded before they are considered legitimate and can be distributed to vendors.

"If checks are dispensed directly from your office, the bank will identify them as fraudulent, as was the case with the check used by Mr. Spiezio," Walker added, stating that the police are currently investigating "several checks stolen from (Thomas') office almost two years ago." 

According to Thomas, the Mount Vernon Police Department requested the vehicle, the request was approved and a check was given to officials that was signed by both Walker and the mayor. Thomas said that the city was later informed by the dealer of the vehicle that the check had bounced.

“The most recent restraining order was necessary due to the Comptroller illegally canceling a check after it had been delivered to the vendor for police vehicles,” he said. “The Comptroller has yet to offer any explanation as to why the payment was stopped illegally and apparently without cause.” 

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