The longevity payments the mayor received for the past five years represent a fraud – according to former councilor and attorney Fred Capone.
The mayor knew exactly what he was doing taking $40,000 a year from the city instead of the required $2,500 as provided by the city ordinance, which was and is crystal clear.
The mayor did not take the payment this year because it is likely his lawyers told him not to.
The general belief?
He was receiving illegal $40,000 payments based on a scheme likely created by the city’s CFO and city solicitor, approved by them, supported publicly by them and now not supported by them because they’ve been found out and the city council has taken the payment away from the mayor.
Taking the payment away from the mayor does not settle the issue — not by a long shot.
When an individual “steals” $40,000 a year when he is only due $2,500, this is referred to as a “theft.”
That’s what Attorney Capone calls it.
We agree with his reasoning.
He is a lawyer. We are not lawyers. The mayor is not a lawyer.
What the mayor told the city council last week intending to put the controversy to rest did just the opposite.
His appearance and self-serving statement trying to evade responsibility for taking $40,000 a year that was not his on the advice of his city solicitor and CFO is plainly rubbish.
His speech to the council last week was rubbish. He owes the money he took.
He owes $180,000. He should be made to pay it back.
That is the legal and right thing to do.
Even if he pays it back, he remains guilty of taking money that was not his.
Capone says it’s a crime.
We completely understand the city council taking a pass on such an important and egregious action by the mayor and his underlings to provide him $40,000 a year that was not his to collect. To sit in silence as the mayor delivered his remarks last week is to implicate the city council in this crime.
We know the city council will not take any action.
We know and understand the CFO and the city solicitor will do nothing to right the wrong they perpetuated.
We know and believe the mayor understands what he’s done. The mayor knows it was illegal to collect that yearly payment. The only reason he has stopped taking it is because it is and was an illegal payment. The city council understands this. The mayor understands this.
Law enforcement should act accordingly.
The mayor should be taken to court.
Let a judge decide the matter.
The mayor’s speech last week blaming the council for the overpayment done as a matter of interpretation rings pretty hollow with residents who have their wits and common sense about them.
We believe Capone’s assertion that the payments accepted by the mayor was a fraud and a theft.
Capone knows what he’s talking about.