YONKERS (CBSNewYork) — A Parking Authority job in Westchester County has started an ugly fight, raising charges of patronage and nepotism.
It’s a struggle that is pitting an incoming mayor-elect against the outgoing mayor, reports CBS 2′s Lou Young.
Mayor Phil Amicone and his staff are leaving in a couple of weeks. His Deputy Mayor has appointed his chief of staff as the head of a municipal Parking Authority — a six-figure multi-year contract that begins only days before he leaves office.
Mike Spano, the incoming mayor, is crying foul.
“To put us in a position to have to pay that contract, maybe have to fire a couple more teachers and a few more firefighters and cops to pay for it, is just unconscionable, wrong and we’re going to see what we can do about it,” Spano told Young.
If not for the parking job, executive director Lisa Mrijaj would be out of a job at the end of the month, but Mayor-elect Spano called it patronage.
But Amicone said that Spano backed the appointment before attacking it.
Amicone told CBS 2, ”He fully supported it. He thought she would make a terrific executive director. He told me that personally, and then I called her in there and he congratulated her. What changed is he probably went back and his handlers decided this was a job they wanted instead because they sought it once before for his brother.”
Spano’s brother, John, applied for the position two years ago, but said that he isn’t interested in it now.
“ I’m not looking for the position. I’m retired. I’m not looking for a government job,” he said.
Which works out, because he doesn’t have one, and Mayor-elect Spano said he may want to eliminate the position altogether.
Mrijaj starts her post with the Parking Authority at the end of the month.
A spokesman in state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office told CBS 2 that they have received Mayor-elect Spano’s complaint and are reviewing it.
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