SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The key to whether Spring Valley’s mayor will be released from jail Tuesday morning is, well, a key.
Mayor Demeza Delhomme has been jailed since Friday on a contempt-of-court charge stemming from a dispute involving a children’s day camp.
The camp’s youth director had gotten into a conflict with the mayor and was suspended on undisclosed disciplinary charges. That meant camp couldn’t be held as planned, village attorney Jerrold Miles said.
Last week, state Supreme Court Justice Gerald Loehr ordered the camp open instead at the village’s Louis Kurtz Civic Center. Three village trustees who voted July 2 to open the camp took legal action when the mayor ignored their decision.
About 20 children had signed up for the 14-year-old program, and Delhomme had assured Loehr he would open the civic center for the camp. But when two trustees said some office doors at the center remained locked Friday, Delhomme was arrested.
On Monday, when the judge ordered Delhomme to remain locked up for a fourth night, his frustrated attorney pulled a set of keys from his pocket and slid them in front of lawyer Dennis Lynch, who represents the village trustees, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
If the keys work, the mayor will be released Tuesday, Silverman reported.
“We have the keys,” Lynch said. “Let’s hope they work, and let’s hope the doors are going to be open tomorrow.”
Miles said the civic center was open Monday morning, but no one from the camp knew.
The root of the saga remains a mystery.
The Journal News reported that the mayor has had a contentious relationship with several of the village trustees. A majority of three have formed a bloc vote to run the village, bypassing the mayor and his deputy, who at times has also fought with Delhomme.
Miles insisted a weekend in jail has softened the mayor.
“He is a man that wants to move on,” Miles said.
Lynch, however, was skeptical.
“Yogi Berra’s comment — ‘deja vu all over again,'” he said. “We’ve heard that before. Let’s see what he actually does.”
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