MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It’s a messy start to the year at City Hall in Mount Vernon.
The latest issue involves the city’s deputy police commissioner, who is now on administrative leave for allegedly driving his city vehicle with a suspended license, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday.
It’s another day, another headache in Mount Vernon.
“Crazy, really crazy, but this is Mount Vernon for you,” resident Preston Williams said.
Two city commissioners have been caught in the space of a few weeks driving city-owned vehicles with suspended licenses.
Last month, Buildings Commissioner Daniel Jones was arrested for DUI and charged for driving with a suspended license.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Spiezio was ticketed in nearby New Rochelle after police there said he also had a suspended license.
Mount Vernon residents say Mayor Richard Thomas needs to get tough.
“I would make sure everybody has their license correct before they even get into a car,” Williams said.
New Rochelle cops say Spiezio was stopped on Webster Avenue after he sounded his police horn in an apparent effort to beat traffic.
“It’s disturbing, yes. We’ve known that this person has used the lights all over the place just to get through traffic,” City Councilman Marcus Griffith said.
CBS2’s Aiello spoke to Spiezio on Monday afternoon. He’s a waste company owner and ally of the mayor who serves for a dollar a year plus a car.
Spiezio said this is a “trivial” matter. His Florida driver’s license was suspended for an unpaid ticket. His legal residency in the Sunshine State is an issue for the council.
“He should not have a badge. He should not have sirens on his car. He should not have a city vehicle,” City Council President Andre Wallace said.
Mayor Thomas put Spiezio on administrative leave pending the outcome of the case. Thomas, himself, is under indictment for alleged campaign finance crimes.
There’s a mayoral election this fall.
Two weeks ago, Mayor Thomas irritated school officials. His unannounced visit to Mount Vernon High School with a rap star sparked a small melee, and a trophy case was damaged.