23 Year Old Drug Market Intervention Coordinator Chanelle Hyde and Andy Spano
Embattled Mount Vernon Mayor Clinton Young
Issues of safety are of great concern to Mount Vernon residents. Violent crimes are at an all time high in Mount Vernon and the current administration does not seem to be concerned with the ever increasing murder rate in Mount Vernon. The summer of 2008 was the bloodiest summer in Mount Vernon’s history.
One murder in particular sparked outrage throughout the community that led to marches and several protests through the streets of Mount Vernon. 19 Year old Shamari Knox was gunned down on the South Side of Mount Vernon. Knox was a popular figure in the Mount Vernon and many of Mount Vernon’s young people were deeply saddened by the loss of his life.
A new organization was formed from this tragedy. Mother’s of Mount Vernon (M.O.M.) was founded by Knox’s cousin 23 year old Chanelle Hyde. Her organization began to make strides and was beginning to catch the attention of various City officials, including Mayor Young, MVPD Commissioner David Chong, Westchester County Executive Andy Spano, and Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore. Ms. Hyde had staged public rallies and demanded that Mayor’s Young’s administration get a handle on the violence that was tearing Mount Vernon apart. She also demanded that jobs be created for the youth and for a technical high school to be opened so that the youth of Mount Vernon can obtain the necessary job skills to compete in today’s workforce.
Although many residents saw Ms. Hyde’s actions as positive, many residents also took offense and were not happy with Ms. Hyde’s actions especially because she was not a mother. Residents also were upset that she was masquerading as a Mount Vernon resident when she was indeed a resident of New Rochelle.
Ms. Hyde was being used as a political pawn and it is unclear if she knew the perfidious intentions of the powers that be. This was a big election year and several top County seats were up for grabs, including Westchester County Executive and Westchester District Attorney. Elected Officials could not take the chance that Ms. Hyde’s movement would awaken a sleeping community and bring attention to the lack of sub-standard services being provided to Mount Vernon residents. Ms. Hyde was immediately rewarded for her silence in hopes that her organization would fade away and she would join their team in surpressing the truth to Mount Vernon residents.
Mount Vernon Exposed through a freedom of information request obtained Chanelle Hyde’s employment application and her salary information. It is alleged that Chief of Staff Yolanda Robinson told Ms. Hyde to come see her after she graduated from college and that she would take care of her. The Young administration is notorious for hiring personnel that reside outside of Mount Vernon city limits. Prior to Ms. Hyde being employed in Mount Vernon, she worked for full-time from June 2009-September 2009 as an intern and Government Operations Aide for Westchester County Executive Andy Spano. The powers that be wanted to make sure that Ms. Hyde was not able to influence Mount Vernon residents about the poor job the District Attorney was doing and the lack of action from the Young administration in solving these homicides. This was a highly contested race and Janet DiFiore could not afford to lose votes from Mount Vernon. As the saying goes “If you can’t beat them, join them.”
Mayor Clinton Young and his cronies wasted no time in securing a position for Ms. Hyde in Mount Vernon. On August 12, 2009 the City Council adopted an ordinance allowing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services. This grant at the expense of taxpayer, would allow Mayor Young to purchase the silence of Ms. Hyde by rewarding a temporary part time position in the amount of $65K. She would also be entitled to fringe benefits at an additional $19.5K. The starting salary for a Mount Vernon Police Officer that endures months of vigorous training is approximately $35K. Her new title would be Drug Market Intervention Coordinator. We at Mount Vernon Exposed could not obtain a list of Ms. Hyde’s job description. It is unclear if Ms. Hyde was trained for her new position. The grant that enabled Ms. Hyde runs from a period of 9/21/09-6/30/10. It could not be determined if this new position would be created on a permanent basis in the 2010 budget or if Mayor Young would be able to keep this position exempt and excluded from civil service testing requirements. Mount Vernon Exposed reached out to Ms. Hyde for an interview prior to this publication. She declined our request for an interview. We were unable to determine if Ms. Hyde is still active and vigilant in her efforts to combat violence in Mount Vernon or if she has saw that the grass is "greener" on the other side.