Monday, May 24, 2010


Officer Erin Holly, Officer Muendel, and K-9 Officer socializing over meal

Illegally parking in a fire lane or parking in a handicap parking space without the proper permit can get your car towed and/or can result in a hefty fine.  But, for some of Mount Vernon’s finest, these same violations that they write dozens of tickets for do not seem to apply to them. 

On Thursday, May 20th, 2010, Mount Vernon Exposed™® received a tip that 3 Mount Vernon Police Officers were casually socializing and enjoying a hearty meal at McDonald’s and at the same time, their vehicles were illegally parked in McDonald’s parking causing mass confusion.  When Mount Vernon Exposed™® arrived on the scene, the sight was beyond comprehension. 

Two Mount Vernon police vehicles were parked in the fire lane, obstructing traffic and another police cruiser was illegally parked in a handicap parking space.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® videotaped the illegally parked police cruisers and then went inside to get an explanation from the Mount Vernon police officer’s that were on the scene. 

Mount Vernon Exposed™® then noticed three Mount Vernon Police officer’s enjoying a hearty meal and having a casual conversation upon approaching their table.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® Publisher Samuel L. Rivers then said to the officers, “Do you know that you are illegally parked outside?”  Police Officer Muendel then said that the officers had a hot call.  Officer Muendel then stated that he was on his dinner break and that he was finished and now was up and going.  However, Officer Muendel never stated if this “hot call” he was on was at McDonald’s or at another location.

Officer Muendel was joined by two other Mount Vernon Police Officer’s, Officer Erin Holly and a K-9 officer.  Officer Holly was munching on what appeared to be a McChicken sandwich and the K-9 officer appeared to just have received his order because he was still unpacking it from the bag when Mount Vernon Exposed™® arrived on the scene.

Officer Muendel was very polite and realized that he had quite possibly parked his car incorrectly in the parking lot.  He then went to go park it correctly.  Officer Holly could care less if she was breaking the law.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® publisher Samuel L. Rivers then informed the officer’s that if a private citizen parked illegally and exhibited the same disregard for the law as displayed by these officers, the private citizen would be ticketed without hesitation. 

Officer Holly disagreed.  She stated it was a private lot and therefore a ticket could not be issued.  She also stated that she was getting calls left and right.  In Officer Holly’s language, that meant she was entitled to park however and wherever she chose, and she was entitled to her McChicken sandwich even if that wasn’t her regularly scheduled dinner break.  The K-9 officer remained silent the entire time and did not speak to Mount Vernon Exposed™®.

Officer Holly became arrogant and belligerent when she was questioned about her high handed behavior.  She responded “Can I enjoy my meal?” She did not care that cars, yes taxpayers that pay her salary, were being inconvenienced and traffic was backing up onto Fulton Avenue.  The savory juices from the McChicken sandwich were satisfying to her mouth and she refused to be disturbed.

Samuel L. Rivers then left and telephoned the Mount Vernon Police Department and spoke with Sgt. Godshall and informed him of the illegally parked vehicles at McDonald’s.  Sgt. Godshall then said he would look into the matter.

If these three officers were indeed scheduled to have dinner at the same time and at the same place, then the Mount Vernon Police department manual needs to be looked at.  Not only is this poor planning, this is a major safety issue.  In Seattle a few months ago, a gunman killed four police officers that were having the morning coffee.  All four officers were sitting together when the gunman opened fire. 

Mount Vernon Exposed™® Publisher Samuel L. Rivers then recognized Officer Holly from another run-in he had with her just a few weeks prior, where she demonstrated the exact same arrogance and unprofessionalism that she displayed in McDonald’s.

Corrupt DPW Commissioner Terrence Horton called the police to the DPW Yard on numerous occasions on Mount Vernon Exposed™® Publisher Samuel L. Rivers.  One of the officers that responded was Officer Holly.  Officer Holly was asked by Samuel L. Rivers if she had a copy of the City Charter and/or City ordinances in her vehicles to resolve the dispute if Terrence Horton had the legal authority to remove Samuel L. Rivers from the premises.  Officer Holly responded, “Do not ask me what I have in my car?”
It was then evident that Officer Holly did not receive adequate training in the police academy, was unhappy with her job or a combination of the two. 

Officer Holly has a reputation for being arrogant and unprofessional.  A few weeks prior to the DPW incident, Officer Holly was involved in an incident with Gary Fuller, Chairman of the City of Mount Vernon Board of Ethics.  Officer Holly was dispatched to a scene that involved a city taxi that was attempting to overcharge Mr. Fuller.  The Mount Vernon Police Department has jurisdiction over the Mount Vernon Police Department. 

Officer Holly and her partner (Shield #2106) told Mr. Fuller that they would sic their dog on Mr. Fuller if he did not leave the taxi.  Mr. Fuller had refused to leave the taxi because the taxi driver was attempting to charge him more than the legal fare.  Officer Holly also refused repeated requests to call a supervisor to the scene. 

Officer Holly, without regard for taxpayers, then decided to waste valuable resources and called an ambulance to the scene.  Officer Holly and her partner had declared that Mr. Fuller was an “emotionally disturbed person.”   Officer Holly and her arrogance and blatant disregard for the law and the taxpayers of Mount Vernon will not be tolerated.  It is unfathomable to think that Mount Vernon taxpayers must pay these arrogant and abusive officers such as Officer Holly, and at the same time be subjected to their high handed behavior and harassment.  However, we must not blame Officer Holly for her reckless actions and unprofessionalism.  Officer Holly has only been on the force for a few years.  We must hold those accountable that trained her and taught her how to behave and act this way.  

Monday, May 17, 2010



Mount Vernon Exposed™® has learned of another complaint filed against Judge Helen M. Blackwood with the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.  The latest complaint, for a total of three, accuses Judge Blackwood of improper political campaign contributions during the heated campaign for Mount Vernon City Court Judge.  Judge Blackwood may have set a new world record for ethics violations by a sitting Judge in a relatively short period of time. 

Judge Blackwood’s latest ethics violation takes us into the shadowy and creepy world of the Democratic Party in Westchester County where backroom deals, sexual favors, and envelopes filled with cash are standard operating procedure for securing a spot on the ballot.  The truth is many voters do not know the process of how Judges are selected to countywide positions in Westchester County. While many voters think they are voting for a Judge when they go to the polls, the candidates that are being voted upon have been lurking around the Democratic clubhouses for months, and in some cases years, waiting for the chance to become part of Westchester County’s Kangaroo Court.  Think again if you think you are voting for the best and brightest in Westchester County.

Judge Helen Blackwood was appointed to the Mount Vernon City Court in April 2009 by embattled Mayor Clinton I. Young.  Judge Blackwood faced a bitter primary from two challengers; Nichelle A. Johnson, ESQ; and Tamika Coverdale, ESQ; Judge Blackwood narrowly escaped defeat by a little over   100 votes. 
Judge Blackwood’s victory however, can be directly linked to her violation of Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge Part 100; Judicial Conduct; specifically, 
§ 100.5 A judge or candidate for elective judicial office shall refrain from inappropriate political activity.

(A)   Incumbent Judges and Others Running for Public Election to Judicial Office.
(1)    Neither a sitting judge nor a candidate for public election to judicial office shall directly or indirectly engage in any political activity except (i) as otherwise authorized by this section or by law, (ii) to vote and to identify himself or herself as a member of a political party, and (iii) on behalf of measures to improve the law, the legal system or the administration of justice. Prohibited political activity shall include:
(h) soliciting funds for, paying an assessment to, or making a contribution to a political    organization or candidate

According to the NYS Board of Elections, Judge Helen M. Blackwood made a contribution of $10,000 on September 2, 2009 to the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee for her share of primary costs for the 2009 election, however her running mate Marcus A. Griffith, candidate for City Comptroller, only made a contribution of $7,250.00 to the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee. 

Both candidates filed reports with the NYS Board of Elections indicating that their respective committee spent money on signs, campaign mailings, literature, etc.  Due to the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee blatantly violating NYS campaign finance laws, it cannot be determined where or who Judge Blackwood’s of Marcus Griffith’s money went to.

Allegations of Extortion and Bribery

We have all heard stories of Clarence Norman, the disgraced Chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party sent to prison for selling judgeships and candidacy’s across Kings County.  It appears that this shake ‘em down mentality has found its way across the Whitestone Bridge and into Westchester County.

All three candidates for Mount Vernon City Court interviewed with a screening committee handpicked by Mayor Clinton I. Young a member of the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee Executive Committee, and also the person that appointed Judge Blackwood to the bench.  Some of the persons involved in the screening process were; Arnold Keith, ESQ; Jennifer Coker-Wiggins; and Edward Dowdy. 

Arnold Keith, ESQ, was recently appointed Commissioner of the Mount Vernon Civil Service Commission by Mayor Clinton I. Young Jr.  Jennifer Coker-Wiggins was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Human Resources by Mayor Clinton I. Young Jr.  Edward Dowdy is an extremely close personal friend of Mayor Clinton I. Young Jr.

At these meetings, the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee Executive Committee and/or Screening Committee informed the candidates that in order to get the nomination of the Democratic Party it was expected that each candidate contribute a minimum of $25,000 to the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee.  Democratic enrollment outnumbers Republican enrollment in the City of Mount Vernon 7 to 1.  The winner of the Democratic Primary essentially cruises to victory in the November general election. 

Judge Blackwood and others who were involved in the ‘screening process’ conspired to disenfranchise the other candidates for public office by expecting that each one contribute $25,000 to the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee.  In actuality, the expected amount was not $25,000 but that amount was fabricated to discourage other candidates from participating in the election.  In the end, only Judge Helen M. Blackwood made a contribution to the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee.

Judge Blackwood’s ethics violation should be of concern to all Democratic voters in Westchester County.  Recently, Mount Vernon Exposed™® has interviewed several Democratic candidates elected to office in Westchester County.  These elections reveal widespread corruption in Westchester County Democratic politics.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® has learned that extortion and bribery are customary, and those not willing to participate cannot play.  In other words, you must pay to play. 

Westchester County Democrats have even come up with a scientific formula to justify their criminal enterprise.  For example, all NYS Supreme Court, Westchester County Court, and Westchester Family Court justices earn $136,700 annually.  NYS Supreme Court judges are elected to 14 year terms and County Court judges serve 10 year terms.  Westchester County Party bosses and local committee chairs expect a kickback of 10% of the judge’s salary over a ten year period.  The money most likely will be in the form of cash because judges are forbidden from making contributions to political organizations.

Here is an example of how much money is at stake here: $136,700 x 10 years = $1,367,000 x 10% = kickback of $136,700 to be divided up amongst the Democratic Party bosses.  The jackpot is slightly larger for Supreme Court Justices.  $136,700 x 14 years = $1,913,800 x 10% = kickback of $191,380 to be divided up amongst the Democratic Party bosses.

One can speculate that Judge Blackwood has made her down payment on her judgeship.  However, Judge Blackwood did not follow protocol by giving an envelope of cash, instead she opted to give a check and the reason the lid has been blown wide open on corruption within the Democratic Party in Westchester County.

With all of the seasoned politicos consulting with Judge Blackwood, how could she make such a foolish mistake? It has been reported to Mount Vernon Exposed™® that Judge Blackwood’s campaign manager was Gary Stracuzzi, Rye Town Democratic Chair.  Stracuzzi also drinks from the public till via his high paying job at the Westchester County Board of Elections.  If one wants to find Stracuzzi, one just can simply drive past the Westchester County Board of Elections to see Mr. Stracuzzi outside smoking on the finest cigars that the world has to offer courtesy of Westchester County taxpayers.  Mr. Stracuzzi was recently seen leaving lunch with Kathy Davidson, Supervising Judge for Family Court, 9th Judicial District, an indication that his tentacles have extended into Westchester County Family Court.

As we continue to explore this dark, creepy, shadowy world of corruption in Democratic politics in Westchester County also known as District 9, the findings will be unfathomable. In case you are wondering, YES your vote has been compromised. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Embattled Mount Vernon Democratic Committee Chairman Devereaux Cannick

Racist Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee 2nd Vice Chairman Ronald Detres

The Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee continues to be a lawless regime only interested in advancing the agenda of only a few evil men and Woman City, County, and Statewide.  The recent article by The Journal News about the Mount Vernon Dem’s spending money despite a freeze ordered by the state in December 2008 only validates what is being said about the incompetent leadership in the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee.  The incompetence in Mount Vernon will certainly have a domino effect on every Democratic City, County, and Statewide election this November.

Mount Vernon District Leaders that have spoken with Mount Vernon Exposed™® in recent days have long suspected that the current party bosses were misappropriating funds. ”Everything was a secret”, says one district leader.  “Where is the money?  That is my hard earned money that they are messing around with”, she added. 

But the Mount Vernon Dem's trouble doesn’t end there.  Under the leadership of Devereaux Cannick it has been reported that Verizon has suspended phone service to Dem headquarters on more than one occasion and rent was never paid in a timely fashion.  The Mount Vernon Dem’s, one of the only Democratic organizations in the State of New York with a permanent, stationary, headquarters was more than 10 months behind in rent before Mayor Clinton Young stepped in to save the day. 

According to reports filed with the NYS Board of Elections, Mayor Young gave the troubled organization $14,200 to catch up on past due rent obligations and hold off eviction proceedings. $8,000 of the $14,200 was listed on Mayor Young’s financial disclosure as “party dues” even though no other individual or district leader made a contribution labeled as such.  District leaders have voiced concerns over Mayor Young giving such large contributions to the Mount Vernon Dem’s.  “No one gives up something without expecting anything in return”, says Samuel L. Rivers a Democratic District Leader who also questions the low property assessment for the building that houses the Mount Vernon Dem’s.   The corrupt leadership in the Mount Vernon Dem’s and the City of Mount Vernon are costing Mount Vernon taxpayers at least $40,000 annually in lost property tax revenue.

Mr. Cannick should have known better.  Either he was unaware, too trusting of his subordinates, didn’t care or just outright incompetent.  As a practicing attorney, neither answer is acceptable to the voters of Mount Vernon.  Mr. Cannick has managed to take an organization that was the top Democratic Party in the State of New York, and overnight, turn it into the laughingstock of the State of New York.  With the continued infighting and backdoor shenanigans in Mount Vernon, the Northern Democrats have joined forces and now have some say in electing candidates to countywide offices.  At least for now. 

Mr. Cannick could have avoided the negative press and the appearance of impropriety by utilizing the wisdom of 1st Vice Chair Reginald Lafayette and the legendary David Ford.  The stubbornness of the racist 2nd Vice Chair Ron Detres and his partner in crime, Michael Justino apparently was an obstacle for Mr. Cannick.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® has learned that Ronald Detres and Michael Justino have been having secret meetings at their homes preparing for the June 8th date for gathering petitions for the re-organization of the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee.  Their goal is to have Black district leaders that currently reside on the North side of Mount Vernon run in districts on the Southside of Mount Vernon. 

Mr. Detres has been using these racially divisive tactics for over a decade.  “Mr. Detres and Mr. Justino’s racially divisive tactic is one that will not be recognized and will be challenged head on”, says Samuel Rivers a Mount Vernon Democratic District Leader.  “It is because of people like Ron Detres and Michael Justino that Mount Vernon will not prosper.  Until these racist cowards are out of power, minorities and other political parties in Mount Vernon will continue to suffer at the hands of these evil men”, he said.

 Devereaux Cannick stated in the article published in the Journal News that the financial chaos in the Mount Vernon Democratic Committee will be rectified and that the MVDCC is sending a treasurer for training next week, however Devereux Cannick does not have the legal authority to appoint a treasurer.  The treasurer is elected by the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee as a whole.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® has been informed by several district leaders that legal challenges are expected against Cannick and company if he were to make such a reckless maneuver. 

The question on everyone’s mind is where is the money? Was it discreetly siphoned by party bosses or is it sitting in a bank not known to State officials where it belongs? Only time will tell if the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee will get its swagger back and become the powerful organization that it once was.  But one thing is for sure.  Mount Vernon will never bounce back with these incompetent leaders at the wheel.

Friday, May 14, 2010


The Crime Scene: Mount Vernon City Court

Embattled Mount Vernon City Court Judge Adam Seiden

Embattled Mount Vernon City Court Judge Helen Blackwood

When one appears before a Judge on a matter whether it is criminal or civil, one expects the Judge to have a complete and thorough understanding of the law and to apply the law with without bias and prejudice.  The last thing a person would expect from a sitting Judge is for that Judge to be in direct violation of the same laws they are responsible for upholding. 

This is such the case in the City of Mount Vernon court, where incompetence reigns supreme and is praised by Mount Vernon’s power brokers. There is one thing in common about the judges that currently sit on the bench in Mount Vernon; they are all guilty of committing ethics violations.  Some of these violations may get some of these judges thrown off of the bench, while other violations may land others in the slammer where they belong. 

Mount Vernon Exposed™® begins its mini-series “Inside Mount Vernon’s Kangaroo Court”. Since Mount Vernon’s own Judge William “Billy” Edwards became Acting Family and County Court Judge and was transferred to White Plains, the Mount Vernon Court System has become a dysfunctional institution.

Judge Mark Gross, appointed by Mayor Ernest Davis is 2006 decided, without legal authorization, that he would assume the self anointed title of “Supervising Judge” after the Honorable Brenda Dowery Rodriguez retired from the bench in 2009.  No such title has existed before Judge Gross’s self anointment.  In fact, Mount Vernon always had a Chief Judge that under normal circumstances went to the longest serving elected Judge in the City of Mount Vernon.  At the time Gross was appointed to the bench, the Chief Judge was Judge Rodriguez.  At the time of Judge Rodriguez’s retirement, the longest serving elected Judge in the City of Mount Vernon was Judge William Edwards.
Judge Edwards was already serving in his capacity as Acting Family and County Court Judge when Judge Rodriguez retired from the bench.  With Judge Edwards absence from Mount Vernon City Court, Judge Gross decided that he would create a new title for himself to give himself a sense of power.  However his reckless and selfish actions have been met with controversy.  Several sources have told Mount Vernon Exposed™®, that Judge Gross treats African- American 18-B attorneys much different from their Caucasian counterparts.   Mount Vernon Exposed™® has also heard of situations that Judge Gross routinely and quite possibly on purpose, tampers with the pay of 18-B by decreasing the billable hours due to each attorney and not signing the vouchers in a timely manner. 

Also known as "18-B", after the section of the statute which created it, the Assigned Counsel Plan provides free legal representation to indigent criminal defendants in the New York Supreme Court Criminal Division, and to both juvenile and adult respondents in the New York Family Courts.

An "18-B" attorney can be assigned only to eligible defendants/respondents by a Supreme Court Justice or Family Court judge. You must apply for an "18-B" attorney at your initial court appearance, and you must meet financial eligibility guidelines. Generally speaking, if you are unemployed, you qualify for free legal representation in any case to which 18-B applies.

The attorneys who provide 18-B representation are private practitioners. The State of New York reimburses them at a low rate and the Courts must assign more cases than the shrinking Panel can reasonably handle.
Judge Gross’s antics were eventually reported to Judge Alan D. Scheinkman, Administrative Judge for the 9th judicial district.  Sources have told Mount Vernon Exposed™® that a few weeks ago Judge Scheinkman came down to Mount Vernon City Court and reprimanded Judge Gross about his self anointed title.  Judge Scheinkman also explained to Judge Gross that the position of “Supervising Judge” does not exist in the City of Mount Vernon. 

Many taxpayers even argue the issue as to why Judge Gross was even appointed to the bench in the first place.  Judge Gross’ ethics violations and abuse of taxpayer dollars began long before he even became a Judge in the City of Mount Vernon. 

Judge Gross was counsel for the Mount Vernon Board of Water Supply from July 1990 through January 2006.  His annual salary was $10,000 and remained at that level until he resigned.  During this time he contributed 3% toward his pension.  However, there is something wrong with this picture.  Judge Gross was never a full time City of Mount Vernon employee.  Instead of getting a retainer for $10,000, Judge Gross opted to be added to the City of Mount Vernon payroll at the least amount possible that is required to receive health benefits and pension credits in the NYS retirement system.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® has learned that a formal complaint was sent to NYS Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and NYS Comptroller Thomas Dinapoli requesting an investigation into Judge Gross’ perfidious activities.
Mount Vernon Democratic Committee Chairman Devereaux Cannick and also a partner of the law firm Aiello and Cannick was also improperly listed as an employee of the Mount Vernon School System.  As a result of the investigation conducted by NYS Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the law firm of Aiello and Cannick was ordered to repay $75,000 to NYS and forfeit all credits to the pension system. 
The next character that is part of the Kangaroo Court in Mount Vernon is Judge Adam Seiden.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® has learned that a complaint was recently filed with the NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Judge Seiden has engaged in conduct that is in violation of opinions issued by the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Professional Ethics and the New York State Court system's Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics.

In 1992, the above mentioned bar association directed that part-time judges should not appear before zoning and planning boards in municipalities where they serve.

Judge Seiden has represented numerous applicants before the City of Mount Vernon Planning and Zoning Boards. 

Some of the properties that Seiden has represented applicants before the planning and zoning boards are: 520 E. 3rd Street; 24-26 E. Devonia Avenue, and 440 Franklin Avenue.  There are many more.

At the time Judge Seiden appeared before the zoning board, the applicant, Ralph Tedesco, was Commissioner of buildings for the City of Mount Vernon.  The applicant of 440 Franklin Avenue, Terrence Horton, is currently the Commissioner of Public Works for the City of Mount Vernon. 

Judge Seiden was successful for all of the above mentioned applicants that appeared before the zoning and planning boards.  However, the City of Mount Vernon and the applicant for 520 E. 3rd Street are facing legal challenges in New York State Supreme Court from a neighboring business who contends that the project was rushed through without appropriate review from city officials.
Sources have told Mount Vernon Exposed™® that Judge Seiden acts as if the world revolves around him when it comes to his court calendar.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® has learned of one instance when Judge Seiden allegedly delayed his court calendar, without notifying court personnel, because he had a previously scheduled real estate closing the same morning.
The last and newest member to the Kangaroo Court is Judge Helen Blackwood.  With less than a year on the bench, Judge Blackwood has managed to surpass her superiors when it comes to questionable behavior and ethics violations.  Judge Blackwood was appointed to the bench in April 2009, by embattled Mayor Clinton I. Young Jr.  Blackwood narrowly cruised to victory in the September 2009 Democratic primary by just over 100 votes. 
Judge Blackwood has also joined her colleagues being on the receiving end of complaints filed with the NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct.  Judge Blackwood was accused of violating several statues of Part 100 of the Chief Judge Administrative Judge Rules concerning Judicial Conduct. 

The incompetence displayed by the judges that make up Mount Vernon’s Kangaroo Court can be directly attributed to the leaders that appointed the Judges to the bench and the Democratic leaders who nominated these creepy individuals to public office.