EMBATTLED MOUNT VERNON CITY COUNCILMAN STEVEN HORTON
Mount Vernon City Councilman Steven Horton has been busy working hard for New Rochelle taxpayers. In fact, he has been so busy Horton has helped bring in about $7Million in federal funds for The New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority. In November 2009, a complaint was filed against Councilman Steven Horton with the United States Office of Special Counsel for violating the Hatch Act.
The Hatch Act restricts the political activity of individuals principally employed by state or local executive agencies and who work in connection with programs financed in whole or in part by federal loans or grants. From 1999 to 2008 The New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority received $5,932,045 in Federal funds. Mount Vernon Exposed™® filed a freedom of information request with The Department of Housing and Urban Development to gain access to the data.
On February 2nd, 2010 Councilman Horton held a press conference announcing that The New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority received an additional $1 Million of Federal funds to renovate 50 Sickles, 111 Lockwood Avenue and 345-361 Main Street, buildings controlled by The New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority.
Councilman Horton and his alleged violation of federal law pose a conflict of interest. Did Councilman Horton purposely sabotage federal funds earmarked for The City of Mount Vernon so that The City of New Rochelle would benefit? How much money did Councilman Horton bring into the City of Mount Vernon during his tenure as Councilman? These questions and dozens of others are on the minds of Mount Vernon taxpayers. It appears that Councilman Steve Horton’s first love is his high paying full time job as the Executive Director of The New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority. It is in the best in of Mount Vernon taxpayers that Steve Horton resigns effective immediately as Councilman in The City of Mount Vernon. Steve Horton should relocate to New Rochelle and run for elective office in New Rochelle if that is his desire to enrich him and others.
The fate of Councilman Steve Horton is now in the hands of The United States Office of Special Counsel. If Councilman Horton is found to be covered (in violation of) The Hatch Act, the United States Office of Special Counsel may seek disciplinary action before the Merit Systems Protection Board.
If the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”) finds that an employee violated the Hatch Act and that the violation warrants dismissal from employment, the employing agency must either remove the employee or forfeit a portion of its federal assistance equal to two years salary of the employee. If within eighteen months of his removal, the employee becomes employed by a state or local agency within the same state, then that agency, or the agency from which the employee was removed, may lose some of its federal funding.