Sunday, March 27, 2011


Frank Fraley
What do former New York Senator Pedro Espada and Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce President Frank Fraley have in common?  Both men have been arrested by federal agents; both men are in charge of non-profit organizations, both men have served in government, and both men are facing accusations of looting non profits for personal gain.  

Mount Vernon Exposed™® recently revealed information about a corruption scandal involving Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce President Frank Fraley and City of Mount Vernon Assessor Anthony DeBellis.  It was revealed that these two men are allegedly involved in a massive pay-to-play scheme that has to do with lowering the assessments of real property in the City of Mount Vernon.  Mr. Fraley owns a company called Noah Consulting that he advertises via direct mail to specifically targeted residents allegedly supplied by Assessor Anthony DeBellis.  Mr. Fraley also purchases massive ad space in several of the local newspapers in Mount Vernon.  

After Mount Vernon Exposed™® ran the story exposing Frank Fraley’s past as a convicted Federal felon, we received dozens of calls from Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce members.  Chamber of Commerce members were outraged that news of Frank Fraley’s criminal background was intentionally withheld from chamber members.  It was told to Mount Vernon Exposed that Mr. Fraley objected to a background check when he became president of the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce.  A background check would have revealed Fraley’s past federal felony conviction.  Chamber members would also have had the opportunity to weigh in and decide if they wanted a convicted felon as their leader.  Chamber members expressed to Mount Vernon Exposed™® that former Planning Commissioner and Chamber of Commerce President Gerrie Post was asked to step down when she was arrested and wasn’t even yet convicted of committing any crimes. 

It appears that Mr. Fraley may have had a relapse back into the life of crime.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® received information from Chamber of Commerce members that Fraley is misappropriating Chamber of Commerce monies.  It was also learned by Mount Vernon Exposed™® that a formal complaint was filed with the I.R.S. and the New York State Attorney General’s office about Fraley’s alleged misconduct.  Both investigative bodies were asked to conduct an audit of the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce. Chamber members also feel that Fraley misrepresented his credentials to the Chamber of Commerce.  Fraley allegedly represented to chamber members that he received a M.B.A. from New York University.  Upon the initiation of an investigation, it was determined that Fraley did not graduate from NYU with an M.B.A, but only received a certificate from N.Y.U. 

The allegations against Fraley and Nina Brown, Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce were explosive and outright criminal in nature.  Fraley and Nina Brown were accused by Chamber of Commerce members of intentionally suppressing chamber financial data.  Chamber members revealed that they had not received a financial statement of Chamber of Commerce activity in almost two years.  It was also stated that financial information was requested from Fraley and Brown, but both have refused repeated requests for information from Chamber of Commerce members.  

Chamber members were also taken back by the arrogance of Fraley.  It is alleged that Fraley did not pay for his ticket to the annual Chamber of Commerce gala in 2009 and 2010.  Ticket prices for the annual gala are $175.00.  Fraley’s highhanded behavior did not end there.  Fraley also stands accused of using Chamber of Commerce funds as his personal piggybank.  Fraley expensed an iPhone to the Chamber of Commerce without any explanation whatsoever.  Sources have confirmed that Fraley does have an iPhone with him at all times that he uses as his personal cell phone.  

Fraley is also accused of spending $12K on various organizations without approval from the Chamber of Commerce.  One of these organizations was for golf.  Fraley is an avid golf player and can be seen frequenting various golf courses around Westchester County with his partner in crime, City Assessor Anthony DeBellis.  Fraley also plays with other City officials and has been a high ranking committee member of Mayor Young’s golf outing for the past 3 years.  Fraley also served on Mayor Young’s transition team alongside DPW Supervisor Rudy Persaud who was recently arrested and charged with felony perjury.  Mayor Young sure does have a thing for criminals. 

The financial stability of the Chamber of Commerce was also questioned by chamber members.  Chamber members expressed concern that Fraley’s greed will lead to the demise of the Chamber of Commerce.  The Mount Vernon City Council recently approved the sale of 66 Mount Vernon Avenue, a city owned property, to the Chamber of Commerce for approximately $11K.  However, Chamber of Commerce members told Mount Vernon Exposed™® that the Chamber of Commerce does not have any money and cannot afford the purchase of 66 Mount Vernon Avenue.

It appears that ulterior motives and hidden agendas was the real driving force behind the Mount Vernon City Council approving the sale of this property.  It was learned by Mount Vernon Exposed™® that Fraley allegedly retained a lobbyist, Arnold Lindhardt, of White Plains to help facilitate the sale of the property.  Chamber members said that Fraley felt that the lobbyist could influence City Council members.  If Fraley did indeed retain Lindhardt as his lobbyist to facilitate the sale of the property, there was a major conflict of interest.  

Lindhardt, who owns the company Strategic Services, is also retained by the City of Mount Vernon as its lobbyist.  Was the City Council that naive that they couldn’t see this conflict of interest?  Or do we have a bunch of ignoramus’ running the City of Mount Vernon?  Sources have told Mount Vernon Exposed™® that Lindhardt, who does political consulting as well, will be involved in the campaign of Councilwoman Diane Munro Morris and Councilman Steve Horton.  This is your tax dollars hard at work.  Pay-to-play is the only way of doing business with the City of Mount Vernon.  

Mount Vernon Exposed™® questioned chamber members as to how Fraley could get away with the alleged looting if a system of checks and balances was in place.  Chamber members could not recall who was authorized to sign checks on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce.  It appears that Fraley has again taken advantage of someone asleep at the wheel.  It has been reported that a petition to remove Frank Fraley as President of the Chamber of Commerce is being circulated to chamber members.  

In December 2009, sources told Mount Vernon Exposed™® that Fraley wrote a letter to a Federal judge in the Eastern District of New York seeking to have his felony criminal record expunged.  Fraley was apparently clearing the way so he could run for Mayor.  Those dreams were short lived. According to the source, Fraley stated in his letter to the judge, that he wanted his record expunged because he was seeking employment.  Fraley indicted that he was appointed to serve as a member of Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino’s transition team, specifically, the Committee of Human Resources.  Fraley was also seeking employment with the Mount Vernon School District as the Chief of Operations.  Sources also told Mount Vernon Exposed™® that Fraley also applied for employment with the Wartburg Home in Mount Vernon.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® has learned that all three employers did a background check on Fraley and denied him employment due to his past felony conviction.  

Fraley solicited various community leaders, clergy, and City officials to write letters of support to the Judge in favor of having his past felony conviction expunged.  Dr. Welton L. Sawyer was one of the few of the individuals Fraley tapped for favors.  

Mr. Fraley was Chief of Staff to Mayor Ernest D. Davis from 2003-2006.  Sources have told Mount Vernon Exposed that Mayor Davis did not have any knowledge of Fraley’s past felony conviction.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® filed a Freedom of Information Request (F.O.I.L) with the City of Mount Vernon for Fraley’s employment application.  City Officials did not respond.  Mount Vernon Exposed™® has made numerous attempts to reach Fraley to discuss the allegations presented herein.  Fraley did not respond. 

Frank Fraley Arrest Docket

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