The ‘Fix Was In’ On Peekskill Shelter Move –Residents Organized To Oppose

No Shelters

Back in June, when we exposed the Peekskill homeless shelter’s plan to relocate to a residential area on Washington Street we never expected the events that have unfolded or the disturbing facts about the shelter that have been uncovered.

By the time you read this entire post you will not only realize why the shelter doesn’t belong in the residential area proposed but you’ll question whether the shelter should be allowed to continue under the present operators (CHHOP) at all!

The shelter operators must be regretting getting caught for much more than the move itself, because the dirty little secrets and activity that have been happening there for years is now known to the public. Incredibly, they have doubled down on the move and unleashed a despicable and deceptive plan to deflect from the facts with outright lies and personal attacks against those concerned about the plan.

Why be so deceitful about the move? The answer that always gets Democrats (Claxton, etc.) in trouble – MONEY. Make no mistake – this shelter issue is not about people, it is all about money. Homeless shelters and most of these privately run social services providers are cash cows for those who run them.

Stay with us as we explain everything…

The Original Plan

By now, it is obvious to everyone that the FIX WAS IN. The All-Democratic Party Mayor and Council in Peekskill gave the secret assurance that all approvals will be granted – so just move forward. We know this for various reasons; the director and board members of the shelter were secretly visiting with prominent business owners and community leaders to attempt to gain support for the planned move – this activity started months before InsidePEEK became aware of the plan. The saying, ‘loose lips sink ships’ applies here. These shelter representatives were actually telling people they had the support of the council for the move!

There is another reason we know the fix was in – serious money was invested even before the plan was exposed. The building owner required a $25,000 non-refundable down payment to secure the building and CHHOP was given until mid-September to increase the non-refundable payment to $45,000. On top of that, a complete (and expensive) set of renovation plans were completed in the early summer!


CHOP New Building

Plans for the renovation of the new building were completed months before the move became known to the public!


Why spend all this money without having the approvals in place? How did they get access to a building they did not own to get these plans accomplished? That’s easy – because they knew they had the promise of their council friends to give them the approvals from the city.

Wait, where did a homeless shelter get so much money for this move? Why are they spending 3X the value of the building? More later on the shelter finances and the ‘grants’ they are promised to get. Remember how ‘grants’ work with Peekskill Democrats? Just ask Drew Claxton (who is now the Peekskill Democratic Party Chairperson).

No wonder they hoped to get this done without the public finding out!

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/public-calls-for-claxton-to-resign/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/another-shoe-drops-in-claxton-corruption-case/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/claxton-thinks-she-can-ignore-the-law/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/claxton-saved-by-statute-of-limitations-for-now/

CHHOP’s New Plan

Given everything we mentioned so far, CHHOP operators knew they had to act fast – and get a professional public relations team on board. Enter the Democrat’s in-house fixer, Michael Morey. He didn’t want his name attached so he got some of his friends to help. Then he was the first to respond to CHHOP social media posts praising them, etc., – he gave himself away.

Time for ‘Plan B’ – Deny and Deflect. Phase 1 for the plan was to get all of their Democratic Party faithful and social media trolls to praise the shelter about what a great and important job they do. They knew that nobody concerned about the shelter move was against the existence of a homeless shelter or that they are needed to help people – it just shouldn’t be located in a residential area. People who don’t even live in Peekskill were helping them as they did during last year’s election. One even moved out of Peekskill to so her children didn’t have to go to Peekskill schools. Talk about hypocritical!

When the deflection didn’t work, CHHOP resorted to outright lies – and easily disprovable lies at that. They even went so far as to send one of their board members, a female priest, to be the ‘face’ of the shelter. Who doesn’t believe a priest? Such a clever plan to disseminate their lies and misrepresentations about the move (we thought priests were not supposed to lie or deceive). What they didn’t count on was the reaction of the neighborhood near the new location. The residents mobilized quickly and began countering the lies with facts and gained important early momentum. They even challenged the lies on a news12 broadcast and totally took control of the argument. Facts have a way of doing that to Democrats.

Thanks to meticulous research and discovery of previously buried information, the neighborhood began to share with everyone who would listen. They even attended (over 100 strong) two Common Council Meetings. More on those later.

Facts About the Washington Street Location

The operational word here is ZONING. We never thought we would learn so much about zoning and why it is so important. We always saw zoning laws as a form of government bureaucracy. We now have a new appreciation for zoning laws and why they are so important.

First, there is NO As-of-Right Zoning in Peekskill for a homeless shelter to be located ANYWHERE within the city. A special vote by the common council will be required to allow the zoning process to move forward – this is where the FIX was In. They had the promise many months ago from the council for a positive vote.

Then there would be a series of ‘variances’ needed to be approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals. No problem there either, the board is populated by Democratic Party faithful. In fact, the husband of the CHHOP Vice-Chair Ruth Wells, James Knight, is Vice-Chair of the Zoning Board. Then there would be Planning Board approvals needed. Not a problem, guess who is Vice-Chair of the Planning Commission? – Yup, CHHOP Vice-Chair Ruth Wells! See what we mean? Talk about needing to drain the swamp! All the pieces are in place – every board or commission in the city is full of Democratic Party District leaders and party faithful. They can pass anything they wish and protect their own – anywhere, anytime.

Now, the lie they are putting out there is that the zoning is commercial, not residential. It is “perfect” for a homeless shelter because there is a bus stop right in front and the county social services office just down the street. While the building was basically used as a warehouse for decades it is surrounded by homes and neighborhoods. There is even an ‘easement’ through this property from the single-family home directly behind the proposed shelter – another sticky situation to overcome.

InsidePEEK has discovered that the Peekskill shelter is a shelter specific to ‘substance abusers’ and not generally local homeless. In fact, there are no Peekskill homeless, they are brought to the city from down county and become ‘Peekskill residents.’ They claim to have a few beds for veterans but they are seldom filled. They just want to get $200,000+ grant revenue. Just down the road in Montrose is the Veteran’s Administration (VA) campus that is a much better and appropriate location for the veterans.

What is not being mentioned by CHHOP is that there are two local bars less than a block away on Washington Street. There are three deli/convenience stores a couple blocks away that sell beer too. Is this a healthy or SMART location for substance abusers to live? We don’t think so. This situation would just be a bad accident waiting to happen. The police reports from the current shelter location further down in the post reinforce this.

As for whether the proposed location is in a residential neighborhood, just look at the satellite view below to see the 171 residential homes within 500 feet of the proposed shelter:

Shelter site satellite

This satellite image clearly shows the location of the new shelter surrounded by residences.

More Facts About the CHHOP Homeless Shelter

What may be the most important fact of all – the shelter DOES NOT HAVE TO MOVE in the first place. The big lie is that the present building on Water Street is being foreclosed on – IT IS NOT! CHHOP claims they are being forced to move – THEY ARE NOT! The present owner of the Water Street property, Phil Miller, has gone public to state that they do not have to move – he was counting on them to stay. They simply plan to use this opportunity to obtain millions of dollars of NY State grant funding to fill their coffers.

Phil Miller Post

As we stated above, hundreds of local residents attended the council meetings and spoke about their concerns and others offered previously unknown information about the shelter. One speaker, a local prominent real estate broker, informed the council that she was very familiar with the building being purchased by CHHOP for approximately $900,000. She spoke of the decaying state of the building and the poor condition of the building’s infrastructure. Her estimate that the building is only worth 1/3 the value being paid by CHHOP. Really? If that is so, why would CHHOP, a “non-profit,” want to pay such an astronomical amount for an inferior building? Something smells here.

Then there is what is probably the most disturbing revelation about the history of the shelter itself – the hundreds of police calls and violence, assaults and overdoses that happen there on a regular basis. As mentioned above, CHHOP houses substance abusers and even child molesters have been known to live there. It can be a violent place – even some of their previous residents publicly said so.


Police Calls2

Recent police calls at present shelter show danger of relocating to a residential area!

 

Police Calls1


Follow the Money

Like we said at the beginning of this post, homeless shelters are big business and big money – all taxpayer money.

Thanks to our readers we have obtained records exposing CHHOP’s finances. There are a few telling things when looking at the documentation we were provided. First, the amount of money the shelter receives for each bed is unbelievable!

The “Public Assistance” provided through the county Department of Social Services (DSS) is a lofty $3,573.00 a month per bed! That doesn’t include the $192.00 a month in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance or SNAP (formally known as Food Stamps). On top of that, each resident is provided “Medical Assistance.” Now we see why they want a bigger facility and double the amount of beds!


funding1

funding2


The most telling document is the 990 Federal Income Tax document required by 501 (c) (3) corporations. The most recent available to the public is the 2016 filing – and what a document it is!

For 2016, CHHOP brought in $1.2 million dollars! Most of that ($704,934) was from the DSS funding per bed. The other revenue of over $400,000 comes from a few ‘veteran’ residents and HUD permanent residents at the shelter. We told you this was about big business, not people.

The return also shows that CHHOP’s expenses are far less than their revenue – they had over $600,000 in cash in the bank as of 2016! No wonder they had the money on hand to pay the new building owner $45K to secure the building sale! On the average, they bank around $100K a year, so by 2018 they probably had close to $800K savings! Are not-for-profits supposed to make so much PROFIT? Do the agencies giving them all this grant money even look at this stuff? Oh, that’s right, we are seeing the Dem Party swamp they are fighting to protect. No wonder Drew Claxton and her husband are defending them publicly and attacking legitimately concerned residents. She should be the last person saying anything…about anybody.

According to one of our readers who sent us the 990 (who is a professional accountant) the documentation is rife with inconsistency and misleading information. Expenses are unclear and individual salaries are not listed.  We do not know how much the director makes for example. With nearly $400,00 in “salaries and wages” expended in 2016, the director’s salary is not itemized. There are also “Compensation of current officers, directors, trustees and key employees” at $70,000 – but it was disclosed publicly that a board member is an unpaid position. The key word there is “KEY employees.” That is probably a way to funnel additional funds to “KEY” people.

No wonder the CHHOP Board President recently resigned and wants nothing to do with the organization. We are told that he was concerned about the plans to move and the way the shelter has been run the last couple of years. He had enough. We don’t blame him.


CHOP 990


Only the Mayor and Common Council Can Make This Happen

We have outlined the main issues surrounding the proposed move of the homeless shelter to Washington Street in Peekskill. These facts are now in the public eye and also known to the city government that must vote to allow this to happen. If it was anyone else, a business or organization not controlled by the Democratic Party – they would have NO CHANCE.

CHHOP is run and controlled by the Peekskill Democrats. Their people make their living by working there, they provide jobs for their own there, they register residents and gain votes there. The Democratic Party leaders will tell the sitting council members what to do, how to vote and what to say – just as they always do.

But, there are a few flies in the ointment this time around…

There are competing petitions on whether the shelter should be allowed to relocate to Washington Street and those against are 10 times more in number than those who support the move.

Both Mayor Rainey and Democratic Socialist councilmember Agudelo SIGNED the petition IN FAVOR of the move! This is totally out of line. As the elected officials who will be deciding the issue, they should be objective about the vote. This should cause them to recuse themselves from the vote. It would be improper and unethical for them to vote.

One brave council member, Patty Riley, has made it clear she is not in favor of this move. From what we are told, Riley grew up in the very residential area surrounding the proposed shelter. She knows from personal experience how this relocation is not only wrong, but dangerous. There may be one or two others privately against but are finding themselves pressured by the party.

The surrounding neighborhoods are up in arms and organized to fight. This is not a political fight so the opposition is comprised of residents of all stripes, no matter what the category measured. They are growing by the day and will be mobilized in 2019 to vote out anyone who votes in favor of the zoning changes required for the move – and that is something that will concern the Democratic leaders. They know next year’s election is not far off and the long timeframe of the zoning process may overlap the election – the perfect storm.

CHHOP keeps finding ways to anger the residents. Their latest ‘move’ was to take residents’ comments out of context and send out a flyer falsely implying the residents who spoke against the shelter relocation are actually in support! When residents attended the September 12th Council Meeting and spoke against the shelter relocation, they ALL began their remarks as not being against the concept and existence of a shelter to help people but that it just doesn’t belong in a residential area. CHHOPs political handlers then used those quotes in a flyer designed to falsely show the shelter really has neighborhood support! They conveniently left out the part of the statement that clearly showed their opposition. Not only did they cherry pick the statements, they included the resident’s name in the flyer. This was very underhanded and backfired big time.

The residents against the relocation have hired a very experienced legal team to fight the move in court if need be. We are told they are experts in land use law and feel confident that too many laws and regulations will be ignored if the process goes forward. CHHOP and The Peekskill Democrats have a huge fight on their hands if they go forward.

What Needs to Happens Next?

The grassroots and organic unity of the neighborhoods against the shelter move must not slow down or ease up. Spread the word and spread the outreach throughout the city. Don’t think people who do not live in the immediate area will not be concerned. Many do not know that a homeless shelter even existed in Peekskill in the first place (we know this from many comments we received since our initial post about the shelter). They will be concerned for their children and the overall safety of the city. They will surely understand the hit that their property values will take – it will happen city-wide. The negative publicity has already had an effect. The Mayor showing public support for the shelter has people questioning the city’s direction and focus.

Many feel confident that the community can successfully fight this move. The people leading the fight are intelligent and are sticking to the facts and not making the opposition personal towards anyone. There is no political focus by any party when it comes to the opposition. Key research and outreach is being conducted that has brought information to light that was previously unknown.

CHHOP and the Democratic Party made a serious blunder. They should have approached the process honorably and honestly as everyone else is required to do. They should have backed down when the truth came out about not really having to move and the neighborhood concerns. Instead, they doubled down and began campaigns of misinformation, lies and trickery – all have been exposed and only served to escalate the opposition.

The questions we have been asking ourselves at InsidePEEK are: Why would these people go so far as to institute such extreme tactics to preserve this move to Washington Street? What are we missing? It would be easy to just find a more suitable location – or just stay where they are. People have told them they would help. The community doesn’t want or need this fight. There must be much more money involved than we even realize. Sooner or later we will find out.

Advertisements

Peekskill Mayor And Council’s Secret Plan to Spend $900,000 to Relocate Homeless Shelter Exposed

Homeless ShelterAfter a flood of emails pleading for our help we put aside the other investigations we are working on for this breaking story that has Peekskill residents up in arms, especially those living on the South end of the city. Why? Because the Mayor and City Council have secret plans to relocate the homeless shelter to Washington Street! Well, it was secret until now.

The Peekskill Jan Peek Homeless Shelter has been operating for close to 30 years on the end of North Water Street in a former manufacturing building. It is a Westchester County subsidized facility run by the organization called Caring for the Homeless of Peekskill or C.H.O.P. It is part of the county network of facilities and is meant for housing county homeless involved in drug and alcohol abuse. Despite the misleading name, it is not a facility for “Peekskill” residents so it really didn’t need to be located in Peekskill at the time. The owner of the building needed a tenant that could pay the rent on time so he could bide time until he could get the approvals needed to knock the structure down and build a multi-story high end condominium complex. InsidePEEK has learned that the owner tried multiple times to have his project move forward, only to be thwarted by such things as NYS environmental laws and lack of cooperation from Metro North Railroad and others. Finally realizing his big dream and huge payday was never going to happen, he recently sold the building to a Yeshiva from Rockland County who plans on creating a religious school at the location.

This causes a problem for the homeless shelter. After being thrown out by the new owner they need a new location. This is at the heart of the breaking story.

First, a few basic questions and answers: Q -Does the shelter need to stay in Peekskill? A – No. Q – Will the Westchester County funding continue if the shelter moves to say, Ossining, Croton, or Briarcliff for example? A – Yes. Q – If it is not in Peekskill will there be homeless people roaming around Peekskill? A – No, in fact it will eliminate homeless people presently roaming around since the facility will be somewhere else. They are forced out of the shelter during the day and roam around the downtown. Q – Does the City of Peekskill have any oversight, management agreement or responsibility to facilitate the shelter relocation? A – No, in fact, the City has no role in keeping the shelter in Peekskill and no responsibility in the relocation decision or process – unless….

Mayor and Council Give Behind the Scenes Support

InsidePEEK has learned that the shelter management has told some people quietly that the Mayor and Council have offered to help keep the shelter in Peekskill by using City of Peekskill funds to purchase a building for them! Yes, using taxpayer money to purchase a building and rent to the homeless shelter. Wait just a minute! Is that legal? Why hasn’t it ever been mentioned publicly? Wait, there is much more to the story…

Democratic Party and Other Connections

InsidePEEK has discovered that over the last decade, the homeless shelter (specifically C.H.O.P.) has become an extension of the Peekskill Democratic Party. Just like the school district, the party has gained full control of the board for the facility and has used it for jobs, fundraising and local influence for their candidates and friends. It is so important for them to keep the shelter in Peekskill that Mayor Noodle has a good female friend of his, who happens to be a real estate agent, quietly looking for a building for the City to buy. InsidePEEK was told by a few of our readers that this real estate agent was actually Noodle’s girlfriend. We can positively state that this claim is false. She is not his girlfriend but a very close personal friend nonetheless. Wait – she found him a building…

The Washington Street Location

The location she found is located on a very visible and busy part of Washington Street, 851 to be exact. It is a former warehouse and wholesale operation for model train enthusiasts and retailers. It has ceased operations and is looking to sell the building. And the price – $900,000! Yup, the Mayor has already agreed to pay full listing price. Close to $1 million dollars for a building to house a homeless shelter. Not to mention the exorbitant cost of renovation and creating a residential facility. Speaking of that…


Real Estate Listing Wash St


Issues with the Purchase and Relocation

Once the City purchases the building taxes are stopped. Any building owned by a municipality is exempt from paying taxes. According to the real estate listing, that is $33,387 a year subtracted from city revenue, not to mention the increase in debt the city will have to pay. Oh, and the City Council will also have to vote to change the zoning to allow such a facility in that zone. How was all this going to happen without anyone finding out? InsidePEEK has learned that the Mayor wants the transaction to occur in December – after the 2019 Budget is adopted. Why? Is he looking to hide the finances for this purchase somewhere in the budget and not bring attention to this plan until after it is completed? Very sneaky to say the least. InsidePEEK has also learned that the current owner of 851 Washington Street is not happy about waiting until December. Understandably, they want the deal done so they can move on.

Final Thoughts

Luckily, the Democratic Party plan has been discovered, hopefully in time to stop it. It is obvious the Peekskill Democratic Party does not care about the south end of the city. They already lied to the area residents once before when former Mayor Foster and the Democratic Council promised the Centennial Firehouse would remain in operation once the new fire station opened. That will not happen. The firehouse will no longer be in operation, putting the residents on the south end at risk. It is also the area of Peekskill not within the Peekskill School District. It resides in the Hendrick Hudson district. The Mayor, council and the entire Democratic Party have been very open and clear that they only care about the Peekskill School District, they couldn’t care less how the reduction in taxes affects homeowners there. They also have no concern about how the dozens of drug and alcohol patients they plan on housing on Washington Street will affect the quality of life and safety in that area. Not to mention the drop in home values.

Maybe it is time to relocate the shelter outside of Peekskill. That would give a much better opportunity to find the right building and location. InsidePEEK realizes homeless shelters are needed but Peekskill already contains an inordinate amount of social service programs and facilities. Losing one of them is not necessarily a bad thing.

Socialist Peekskill Council Member Refuses To Say Pledge, Against God. Unethical Behavior Rampant Under New Administration

No Pledge.jpg

We warned the citizens of Peekskill but too many didn’t pay attention or maybe just didn’t care. Now they wish they did!

Last fall, the local election held Peekskill’s future in the balance. The city could move ahead on the positive path it was finally taking, or, it could be drastically reversed. InsidePEEK exposed the Democratic (Progressive) Party’s true intentions and the unethical and fraudulent actions of the party’s sitting council members. Those running for office on their slate would only make things worse and create an unchecked and unchallenged ‘Gang of 7.’ That is exactly what happened and the people of Peekskill are upset. Sorry Peekskill, no do-overs.

We waited for the right time to begin to expose the actions of the new council. As always, InsidePEEK only brings forward collaborated facts and truth about issues. We couldn’t wait any longer since the latest issue is proudly admitted by the perpetrator involved.

Newly elected Councilwoman Vanessa Agudelo – yes, the one we warned everyone about, refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/peekskill-dem-party-slate-beware/

Agudelo, who we knew as a devoted Anti-Israel activist, has publicly admitted to being a Socialist. Yes, a Socialist! And a proud member of the Westchester Democratic Socialists!

Agudelo-Socialists.jpg

She even gave a public statement about why she refuses to say the pledge:

She claims that “refraining from saying the Pledge of Allegiance is not because I don’t respect the values this country stands for, it is because of our country’s failure to truly uphold them.” She goes on, “There is also this level of unquestionable loyalty and mindless conformity in reciting the pledge on such a consistent basis that makes me personally feel uncomfortable.” WHAT?! Uncomfortable?!

She also doesn’t like the phrase “Under God,” calling it a “political ploy.” Really?! I wonder how her hundreds of peeps at Assumption Church feel about that? She apparently used her connections to the church through the Latino community to register people (some undocumented) to turn the election in her team’s favor. In fact, a member of her family works in the administrative office for the church and used her influence as well. Does that person also think saying the pledge and saying the words “Under God” is wrong?

We know most of Peekskill, and especially area veterans, are not happy.

Read more about it here:

https://www.theexaminernews.com/peekskill-councilwoman-under-fire-for-refusing-to-say-the-pledge/

This is scary stuff. Even scarier and more disturbing than we ever imagined.

Many are disappointed that Mayor Noodle is supporting Agudelo. He thinks that anyone who is critical of her is “disrespectful and unethical.” What?! This goes a long way in explaining how twisted the Peekskill Democrats are when it comes to ethics. The violations continue to pile up and the borderline criminal activity continues.

InsidePEEK has been inundated with requests to follow up on previous posts and report on the dysfunction in City Hall and stagnation brought by a council replete with inexperienced, uneducated, immature and unfocused members. There is no leadership, just dysfunction.

There are plenty of examples from the four short months of the new administration.

In the near future InsidePEEK will bring you the facts on:

The All-Democratic Council hiring their Political Campaign Manager to create a Deputy City Clerk position. A position she is not experienced to hold and doesn’t deserve while skipping over a very experienced African-American assistant clerk who has been working there 20+ years and who should have been given the job – without any objection from their political friends at the NAACP.

The final outcome of the Michael Morey New Year’s Eve assault case. He tried to mask what he did by filing charges against the person who struck him. Guess what? He lost in court. The facts of what happened that night will shock you.

Mayor Noodle using taxpayer funds to pay City employees overtime on a Saturday to set up his political fundraiser in the Dramatic Hall across the street from City Hall. He even had them carry the official City of Peekskill podium to the hall to use for the political fundraiser. See what we mean by unethical and borderline criminal behavior?

The outrageous number of cases in city court that have to be transferred to other courts because both Peekskill judges are closely tied to the Democratic Party. People are afraid of not getting a fair trial or hearing. We don’t blame them. We warned people about that when these judges were appointed.

Will the City require the Paramount to pay their $30,000 water bill or will they ignore it like all the other expenses the city covers for them?

The time Mary Foster refused to leave a City Council Executive Session. The City Manager stood his ground and Mayor Noodle finally had to ask her to leave.

We would like to thank our loyal readers who continue to bring us the issues they are concerned about, helping us to shine a light on the activities of local government officials.

Keep the information coming and stay tuned…

Peekskill Democratic Party’s Underhanded Attempts To Stop Primary Exposed In NY Supreme Court

PU Wins

We don’t mean to brag but we love it when we are proven right. In fact, we haven’t been proven wrong yet. That’s because we only report on the truth and support our stories with evidence. To be fair we have to admit that when it comes to the Democratic Party in Peekskill, it is too easy. Just take the latest City Council Primary brouhaha for example.

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/18/corruption-by-peekskill-dems-to-prevent-primary-exposed/

In our last post, we exposed the corrupt process used by the Peekskill Democrats to select their candidates but, more importantly, we showed how the county party works to underhandedly extinguish any challengers to the party choices by using their operatives planted in the county Board of Elections. We even exposed that former Peekskill Democratic Party Chairman TJ Rogers works at the BOE and was involved in the attempt to disqualify the petitions submitted by the Peekskill United candidates for council, Luis Segarra and Robert Sullivan. The methods Rogers used under direction of Morey and Rigger were so far-fetched and outright false that the Peekskill United team had no choice but to challenge the corrupt ruling in court. Make that 3 different courts in fact!

NYS Supreme Court

First stop was in the White Plains Courthouse and more Democratic Party control. After a hearing that required multiple recesses, the Democratic Party Judge ruled that the petitions in question remain invalid. Why? Well, you won’t believe it.

At the heart of the argument were 60 signatures obtained by a college student intern working to help the Peekskill United candidates. As a registered Democrat, she worked diligently to gather those signatures and she felt good about being involved in the electoral process. Well, the Democratic Party didn’t see it that way. A young and energetic college student working for the Peekskill United team? And a registered Democrat to boot? No way! The Democrats needed to find a way to stop those 60 signatures from being valid. If declared valid, the minimum required signature threshold would be met and a Primary would take place.

The Peekskill Democrats, through their campaign Chairman Matt Clausen and the BOE Democratic Commissioner claimed the college student in question was actually not a registered voter in NY, therefore the signatures she gathered were not valid. If that were true they would have been correct in their claim. Except, she WAS and IS a registered voter in NY and the Peekskill United legal team provided original documents on file with the NYS Board of Elections that proved it. Uh oh, now what?

After a two day recess the court met again. Here is the strategy the Democrats came up with over those two days of recess – claim the person didn’t actually sign her name properly on the BOE paperwork. What? The PU team had no choice but to put the person on the stand and ask her under oath if that was her signature and of course she said it was – because it was. The judge then claimed that one of the letters in her last name looked like an ‘E’ but should be an ‘O’ to be her proper name. She explained, under oath, that that just happens to be the way she signs her name. It may resemble an E to some but it is the way she writes the O in her name – and has done it that way all her life. Well, the judge wasn’t accepting that and even said, out loud, in court – “you better learn how to spell your name.” He then promptly declared the petitions invalid. What?! Yup.

Appellate Division of the NY State Supreme Court

The Peekskill United team had no choice but to appeal to the NYS Supreme Court Appellate Division. The ruling in Westchester Court was just too ridiculous to let stand. It was not right and it wasn’t fair to their intern who worked so hard for them. It also wasn’t fair to the 500 Democratic registered voters in Peekskill who signed the PU petitions, and it certainly wasn’t fair to ALL the Democratic voters in Peekskill.

BOE Appellate

Westchester BOE Letter to “take no position” in the appeal.

It was off to Brooklyn for the Appellate hearing on August 22nd. This time the matter would be heard by a court of 5 judges. It was also far removed from the corrupt Westchester County Democratic Machine. In fact, the Westchester BOE had no choice but to come clean and submit a statement saying the BOE “takes no position on this appeal.” Well, of course they didn’t. They didn’t want to get embarrassed and further exposed for their underhanded ways.

It didn’t take very long for the 5 judges to unanimously overturn the Westchester Court’s decision, declare the petitions valid, and allow the Primary to take place. It showed how the entire challenge by the Peekskill Democrats was a joke and a sham. So, now it was time to plan for the Primary, right? Wait just a minute.

Appellate Post1.jpg

AppellatePost2

READ FULL APPELLATE DECISION AND ORDER

NYS Court of Appeals

We told you there were 3 courts involved in this. We didn’t realize this was occurring until recently – both sides remained quiet about it. This one took place in Albany on August 30th.

In one last Hail Mary attempt the Peekskill Democrats thought it worth a try to appeal the Appellate Court’s ruling. Mind you, it was a unanimous 5-0 decision that was very clear on the record of evidence it wouldn’t be overturned. But, the Dems just had to try. Funny how they didn’t make a fuss in the press over it as they normally do. No prior warning or claims that they’d be vindicated in Appeals Court. They had their tails between their legs already from getting shut down at the Appellate level so why risk further embarrassment and exposure? It was free so why not – that’s what one of our readers who is close to the Peekskill Dems sent to us in a message. They didn’t care about dragging Clausen’s name around in the mud. He is just a figurehead for the campaign and expendable anyway. Plus, the NYS Dems have lawyers on the payroll that do this sort of thing to keep local political committees happy and beholden to them. The problem with this type of system is that the lawyers involved are not very good and do not commit much time to cases – especially sure losers like this one.

The Court of Appeals works differently than the first two – there actually has to be some merit to the argument for the court to hear the case. To help sift through the frivolous cases and save the judges valuable time so they can focus on serious cases there is a preliminary step to obtain “leave” to proceed to the full court. On the day of the hearing the Peekskill case’s first step was in the Morning Preliminary Review, if deemed with merit, it would proceed to the full court in the afternoon. If not, the process stops and the case goes no further. Well, guess how the Peekskill Democrat’s case fared? Yup, it was thrown out within minutes. Goodbye, stop wasting our time. Good luck with the Primary.

Enter Mike Morey, Darrin Rigger and the Peekskill Democratic Party Spin Machine. They are totally unhinged over the turn of events regarding the Democratic Primary that will take place on September 12th. Time to combine damage control with skewing the facts of what took place and make it look like the Peekskill United candidates are the bad guys. Yes, really… that is what they are attempting to do. Just go on social media and you will see some outrageous claims by the party faithful. They all have the same talking points and they are sticking by them. They just happen to be foolish and so nonsensical that most people are laughing at them.

The serious issue at hand is the Primary itself. It is definitely happening and it is important. The Democratic Party is nervous because they know their candidates are weak and outright unqualified to serve. The Peekskill United candidates are highly qualified and very committed to the City. We have seen some recent posts by the PU campaign that highlight Segarra and Sullivan and are very helpful to get to know them – go see them for yourself. The Peekskill Democratic candidates are nowhere to be found. From the information we have gathered so far, they have very questionable issues associated with them that will surely become public soon enough. They are laying low so they can avoid scrutiny before the Primary.

It is obvious the Peekskill Democrats are approaching the Primary in a stealth way. They mean to get people to vote for their candidates by convincing the registered Dems that the PU candidates are not really Dems. Yes, we know. There couldn’t be a Primary if they weren’t registered Democrats but the Peekskill Dem Party never lets fact or truth get in their way.

We will not make a prediction on who will win the Primary. It is just too difficult to gage. There is already a Primary taking place for Democratic County Executive so there are other factors in play. What we CAN do is give out warnings. First warning is to the Peekskill United team – watch out for the inevitable cheating. The Peekskill Dems are notorious for it. There will be felons voting, those who don’t live in Peekskill anymore voting, those taking other’s identities voting and noncitizens voting. Poll workers will be telling voters who to vote for. They will even sit down with them and help them fill out their ballots. The Party controlled local trolley will shuttle people around – some even to more than one polling place. It has happened every election in Peekskill.

Our final warning is to the City of Peekskill Democratic voters who are not connected to the party machine. Do the right thing for the city, yourself, and your family and vote for Segarra and Sullivan on September 12th.

Corruption By Peekskill Dems To Prevent Primary Exposed

No Primary

One thing about the Democratic Party political machine, especially the one in Peekskill, is that they do not like to be challenged. They like being in control and selecting the candidates they want to run for office – those who will obey their orders and do what they are told. So, when the two Democratic registered candidates on the Peekskill United slate filed petitions to run as Democrats, the Peekskill Democratic Party knew they could not let that happen. They could not let Luis Segarra or Robert Sullivan create a primary – their inferior, hand-picked Dem Party candidates would likely lose. So, they set to work to have the challengers’ petitions disqualified through the Board of Elections ‘objection to petitions’ process.

Another focus of the Peekskill Democratic Party has been to bring national politics to the local level. Their personal attacks, unethical, and criminal behavior have been epic in recent years but now they have taken a page directly out of the DNC playbook. Working closely with the party leadership in the Board of Elections and the Westchester County Democratic Party Chairman, and with help from a Dem-friendly county judge, they are pulling the same inside fix that was directed at Bernie Sanders last year. Just like the DNC, the Peekskill Dems are stacking the deck against any and all challengers registered within the party.

The facts: the Democratic Commissioner of the Board of Elections and the Westchester Democratic Party Chairman are the same person. The county judge hearing the case grew up alongside that chairman in Mount Vernon. Oh, and Peekskill Democratic Party operative and Mike Morey protégé, Tj Rogers, works in the Board of Elections and helped ‘review’ this petition challenge! Get the picture?

It just so happens that two of the candidates from the Peekskill United slate running for common council are registered Democrats. A refreshing and interesting development, right? A political campaign based on uniting people locally and not beholden to a political machine? Not as far as the Peekskill Democrats are concerned. Why? Aren’t they for everyone working together across party lines for the betterment of their community? Actually, no, they are not interested in any such thing.

A previous post at InsidePEEK explained that the two Peekskill United candidates wished to give the registered Democratic voters a choice in the election. It is their right as Americans to do that and it is something that should be applauded – regular citizens wanting to get involved in their community. It’s called a ‘Primary’ and they happen all the time. It’s part of the democratic process but not in Peekskill Democratic Party politics – and nobody better try! Just ask Peekskill United candidates Luis Segarra and Robert Sullivan.

Primary Wiki

Once the Peekskill Democrats discovered that Segarra and Sullivan were circulating petitions to challenge the candidates hand-picked by the party, they panicked. The Peekskill Democratic Party put into motion a plan that comes naturally to them – a process of cheating, lying and manipulating the public – and, as we explained, they have a lot of help.

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/peekskill-democrats-to-have-a-real-choice-with-september-primary/

By the way, Segarra and Sullivan were not the only ones looking to create a Democratic Primary. Yup, there were two others unhappy about the ‘chosen’ slate. Mike Kane, a Democratic District Leader and someone who has run for office in the past was completely looked over – and he wasn’t happy about it. We mentioned in a previous post that we were informed he was visibly upset at a council meeting this Spring and we surmised it was because of inner-party squabbles. Come to find out, he discovered he would not be selected to run for the council. He immediately announced he was seeking a Primary. He collected signatures and even obtained the endorsement of the Working Families Party, so he was going to be on the ballot no matter what. Then, a funny thing happened on the road to the Board of Elections – Kane’s petitions were never handed in. On top of that, he “declined” the Working Families Endorsement. So, what happened? Word is Morey and Rigger got directly involved to stop him – and made him a promise to take care of him in the future. We will have to wait and see what that turns out to be. Kane is a die-hard party hack so it wasn’t easy to back him down. The other person attempting a Primary was a resident of Bohlmann Towers who didn’t get very far with her petitions before she was stopped.

Once the threat from inside the party was extinguished, Morey and Rigger had to find a way to stop Segarra and Sullivan, who had over a hundred more signatures than is required to create the Primary. The only thing the Democratic Party could do was work inside the Board of Elections with their cohorts and find bogus ways to disqualify enough signatures to drop them below the required number. The problem was, there were plenty of valid signatures. Unfazed, the Dems went to work and challenged enough signatures to disqualify – they knew their friends in the BOE would rule in their favor. The Peekskill United candidates were forced to go to court and challenge the BOE ruling.

They quickly discovered that the fix was in there too! Bernie Sandered again! To understand how impossible it had become – the judge ruled that 60 signatures would remain invalid because they were obtained by a college student who wasn’t registered as was claimed by the Peekskill Dems and the Democratic BOE Commissioner. That sounds fair except the Peekskill United legal team produced the proof that the college student WAS REGISTERED and that the petitions should then be valid. Certified BOE documents were presented as proof but the judge ruled them irrelevant. Why? Because the Peekskill United candidates were only 28 signatures short of the minimum number required so if the 60 were allowed to be valid then a Primary would take place – the Democratic Party couldn’t let that happen.

Fooling and deceiving voters is always the priority for the Peekskill Democrats in each and every election. They are very good at it. Just imagine how great Peekskill could be if they decided to put all of their planning and energy into doing honest and positive things. How great would it be if they stopped the partisan antics and worked together with colleagues? Ok, time to snap out of it, that is never going to happen in Peekskill. How foolish of us to even think of such things.

So, what happens now? InsidePEEK has been informed that the Peekskill United candidates are outraged over this miscarriage of justice and plan to seek relief in the appellate division. We understand this court resides in Brooklyn – so hopefully justice will prevail there. Stay tuned.

Peekskill Dems Create Political Circus of Judge Loehr Scandal

Loehr at Car Post.jpg

Caught in their deliberate and calculated acts of political favoritism, the Peekskill Democratic Party is doubling down. They are taking the advice of their political directors (aka, Morey and Rigger) and desperately attempting to change the focus of Judge Loehr’s inappropriate acts by throwing around accusations of their own. Their minions have been unleashed on social media calling those exposing Loehr as “political” and even bringing up anti-immigration issues as a defense. The public is not buying it.

Mayoral candidate Noodle Noo is leading the charge along with candidates for council, Fernandez, Agudelo and Smith. They have made a political circus out of the issue, hoping it will wane public interest and scrutiny. Based on the overwhelming responses we received at InsidePEEK over our post exposing Loehr’s failure as a judge and her personal relationship with Noodle, nothing will change the public’s minds on this issue. If fact, a concerned group of citizens has come together and created an online petition to remove Loehr as judge. See below:

https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/calling-for-the-resignation-of-judge-melissa-loehr

Loehr Petition

Click on the link above to sign the petition.

The outrageousness of the Peekskill Democratic Majority’s hand-picked judge forced Mayor Catalina to hold a press conference to outline the issue, beginning with Loehr’s selection. He described how he requested the judge interviews be held publicly. He knew what the Democratic Majority planned on doing – to select their political and person friend (Loehr) over the much more qualified candidates. Catalina was not granted his request so the interviews were held in private. Based on Catalina’s description of that interview we know exactly why the Democrats wanted to keep it private!

Catalina asked Loehr “what do you think is the most pressing criminal justice issue in Peekskill” her answer was “police profiling and misconduct” – wow! Catalina also asked her “what is your most satisfying career case to date” she replied “getting a criminal client off on a technicality” – double wow!

After News12 covered Catalina’s press conference they tracked down Judge Loehr as she ran from the court and tried to get into her car before commenting – she didn’t make it. When asked about her actions she said, “I can’t comment, I can’t be involved with politics.” Really?! What a joke! She should have thought about that a long time ago!

We showed in our previous posts how Loehr was absolutely unqualified for the judge position. (See links below). Her father’s influence in the Democratic Party and the Peekskill’s Democrats requirement to obey his request put her on the bench. But there is another key fact that will help us understand Loehr’s skewed view of law enforcement and the law. She is a Legal Aid attorney in the Bronx. So how do these two conflicting positions jibe in Loehr’s mind? She spends most of her time getting criminals set free to continue their illegal activity, then spends time on the bench where she is supposed to be impartial and objective – which clearly, she is not. It is not hard, then, to understand why she let perpetrators of a violent crime go free without bail in Peekskill.

The article below may help explain what we mean:
http://nypost.com/2017/07/22/the-bronx-has-the-lowest-conviction-rate-in-the-city/

Back to the Circus

As mentioned above, the Peekskill Democratic slate is desperate to flip the switch on this unnerving issue. They know that Noodle Noo Rainey, a sitting councilman, is eyeballs deep in this corruption. Not only did he lead the fight to have Loehr selected, his personal relationship with her has also been exposed.

So, what do they do? How can Morey and Rigger design a strategy? Of course! – since two of their candidates are Hispanic and the crime victims are Hispanic, let’s show our support for them and, oh by the way, throw in there that anti-immigration may be a cause for the public backlash against Loehr and the Dems. It may sound like a good strategy but it is not working – in fact, it is backfiring on them.

We will not display it here for obvious reasons, but the Democratic slate thought it would be a good strategy to publish a photo of them with the victims’ families. They also publicly stated their names! Now they have put the entire victims’ families in harm’s way! This egregious and extremely irresponsible exploitation for political gain is beyond the pale. We can only hope that perpetrators of the original crimes or their friends do not retaliate against these innocent people. Shame on Rainey, Fernandez, Agudelo and Smith.

In a recent Letter to the Editor, outgoing Councilman Vincent ‘Boo’ Vesce called for an outright apology from his Democratic Majority colleagues. He correctly pointed out that the city was in the position it now faces at the courthouse because of blatant politics. According to Vesce: “While many may not want to hear it, the problems stem from the political games and patronage displayed time and time again by the Democratic majority on the Common Council.”

Vesce ended his strong statement:

“They owe this community an apology, and I would hope that at least a couple of them realize that listening to their party faithful and playing political games does nothing but hurt our residents. I also hope that this community is paying attention and does not allow this type of governing to continue within our great City of Peekskill.”

Read the full statement here:
http://www.peekskillpost.net/councilman-vesce-peekskill-democrats-owe-community-apology/

There seems to be another possible reason behind Loehr’s action to set the attackers free – one of them was a former boyfriend of her daughter! A number of readers sent us this information and it has also appeared in various social media posts. Mayor Catalina mentioned it in his press conference. News12 also mentions it in their coverage. While there has been no smoking gun evidence that proves this allegation, there has been no denial either. We include it here because there are many sources claiming to know and it was stated publicly without rebuttal. Besides, we already know Loehr violated ethical protocol by calling the Cortlandt Court to get her daughter out of trouble after her arrest. It seems plausible that she would use her own power to help her boyfriend.

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/peekskill-judge-melissa-loehr-caught-in-ethics-code-violation/

We at InsidePEEK believe Judge Loehr cannot survive this latest, and serious, breech of ethics and judicial procedure. Can the Judicial District Administrator remove her for cause? Probably not – but they can put pressure on her to resign and help bring confidence and integrity back to the Peekskill Court.

Here is what a few of our readers think about this issue:

“Looks like the evidence is too much to overcome. Why doesn’t she just leave and do Peekskill a favor?”

“Thank you InsidePEEK for bringing this to the public’s attention. You are providing a valuable service to the community by keeping us informed.”

“Omg, how was that photo taken without them knowing? Whoever sent that to you had guts!”
(*this statement is referring to the photo included in our previous post on Rainey and Loehr)

“When you elect a clown you get a circus, that is all I can say about this Noodle guy.”

“As a registered Democrat in Peekskill I am very saddened to see what was once a proud party turn into such an embarrassing spectacle of fools. How did this happen?”

“How can anyone have faith or confidence in the Peekskill court after this?”

“I didn’t realize the Peekskill Democrats were so against the Latino community! How can anyone in in that community in Peekskill consider voting for them!

Based on the uproar and continually growing social media activity surrounding this issue we at InsidePEEK do not see this going away any time soon. We will closely monitor the situation to see if any further posts are needed. Stay tuned…

Related links:

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/peekskill-dem-judge-loehr-sets-violent-criminals-free-without-bail/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/peekskill-judge-melissa-loehr-caught-in-ethics-code-violation/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/peekskill-council-democrats-continue-unethical-ways-with-associate-judge-selection/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/peekskill-dems-corruption-spreads-to-associate-judge-selection/

Peekskill Dem Judge Loehr Sets Violent Criminals Free Without Bail!

Noodle_Loehr.jpg

Thanks to the Peekskill Democratic City Council Majority, the City of Peekskill has become a more dangerous place – especially against Hispanics. We at InsidePEEK predicted this very outcome when the unqualified City Judges were appointed.

The latest outrageous act by Judge Melissa Loehr is the last straw!

We clearly showed how Loehr was appointed due to her and her father’s political connection to the Democratic Party. She was chosen over much more qualified candidates and has a close personal connection to Councilman Noodle.

Related Posts:

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/peekskill-dems-corruption-spreads-to-associate-judge-selection/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/peekskill-council-democrats-continue-unethical-ways-with-associate-judge-selection/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/peekskill-judge-melissa-loehr-caught-in-ethics-code-violation/

On Sunday July 16, 2017 three Peekskill residents (who are friends of the Democratic members of the City Council) committed egregious hate crimes against two Hispanic males on Orchard Street. The victims were robbed and beaten. One was beaten so badly with a baseball bat that his skull was fractured and his eye socket and wrist were broken! He is clinging to life in the hospital. These same three thugs are suspected of committing a similar crime just two days earlier that sent another Hispanic male to the hospital in critical condition.

So, what did Judge Loehr do when the Westchester DA requested a $25,000 bail be set for these criminals? She simply released two of them on their own recognizance (ROR)! No bail and not even an appearance ticket! She immediately put them back out on the street. The third suspect had a separate domestic violence charge pending so Loehr reduced the $30,000 bail requested by the DA to a mere $2000.

Suspects

These are the three suspects set free without bail by Judge Melissa Loehr.

This was all Mayor Catalina and Councilman Torres could take – they are upset and vow to take action to stop further erosion of the law in Peekskill. The hard-working members of the Peekskill Police and other law enforcement put their lives on the line every day and strive to remove these types of criminals from the streets of the City – then the judges turn around and immediately release them to commit more crime. It has to stop.

Councilman Torres, a former court officer and liaison to the police department made the following public statement following the incident:

“This weekend our city was beset with a rash of the most deplorable violence one can encounter. Regardless of who we are, we all have a sense of safety when we are running about our daily lives. For two in our Latino community, this sense of safety was destroyed. Senseless hatred of a group of three men shattered the peaceful lives of two men and their families. One is physically OK and overcoming a forceful robbery. The other is clinging to his life after being targeted and hit in the head with, I’m told, a baseball bat. Yes, a baseball bat to the head for no apparent reason.

Our police did what we expect of them. They investigated and made arrests and put forth three men to face our criminal justice system. We should all feel safe, right? Well, no, we can’t feel safe. A liberal judge decided to play politics with your safety, and released all three of these accused violent offenders. They are now amongst us instead of safely in a facility where they can’t harm anyone until they answer for their crimes.

Unfortunately, this is standard practice for Judge Loehr. Everyone is released with no regard for our families safety. This is a direct result of the Peekskill Democratic Party picking Judge Loehr as a political favor instead of another Democrat judge who even Republicans agreed was best suited for the position.”

You would think that this horrible incident would bring sympathy and concern by council members Rainey, Talbot and McKenzie – nothing can be further from the truth. When the incident was discussed at the Monday July 17th Council meeting, the Democratic council members seemed more suspect of the police than anything else. McKenzie thought Loehr’s action were just fine! Rainey and Talbot did not seem concerned at all about the victims.

They are obviously attempting to cover for their friends – especially Loehr.

Wait, there is more!

Seems Judge Loehr has recently violated a very important rule for judges related to politics – they are not permitted to attend political fundraisers or show any blatant affiliation to political events. Just a week before the attack on July 7th, Democratic City Council candidate Ramon Fernandez held a fundraiser at 420 Simpson Place in Peekskill. Guess who showed up to the event alongside Councilman Noodle – yup, Judge Melissa Loehr! Thanks to one of our readers we were provided the proof via the photograph below.

Loehr_Noodle

Peekskill City Councilman and mayor candidate Andre Noodle Noo Rainey and Peekskill City Court Associate Judge Melissa Loehr attend a political fundraiser together on July 7th in Peekskill.

So, when Noodle said in the July 17th council meeting that he “will speak with the judge” we are sure he will. He probably does that a lot.

Speaking of candidate Fernandez and his fellow Hispanic council candidate, Vanessa Agudelo – why are they so silent? Why is council candidate Colin Smith actually on social media defending Loehr and the criminals?! Outrageous. Looks like they have fallen in line with the Democratic Party bosses and put politics before the people – even before their own community. Disgraceful but not surprising.

It is time to clean up Peekskill. Loehr (and Judge Johnson for that matter) should resign and allow law and order to resume in Peekskill. Putting Fernandez, Agudelo and Smith in office will further degrade Peekskill. Although Councilman Noodle will unfortunately remain on the council when he loses his election for mayor, Peekskill has an opportunity to right the ship and elect members to work with Mayor Catalina to do the right thing for all citizens of Peekskill.

Peekskill Democrats to Have a Real Choice With September Primary

Peekskill United Post

Since the recent announcement of the Peekskill United slate for this year’s election there seems to be a high level of panic within the Peekskill Democratic Party.

Once again, the Peekskill Republicans show how they are the true party of inclusion and bi-partisanship by including two registered Democrats to their slate – a brilliant move and a way to include the entire community. Not only are they registered Democrats but they are accomplished individuals who are true community minded people looking to make Peekskill a better place. We will highlight them later in this post.

Democrats Come Unhinged

Peekskill Democrat Party bosses and officials do not like having to answer for their actions. They surely don’t (and can’t) ever articulate their outrageous decisions or policies. They feel that since they control the party they should also be able to control the minds of those Democrats they take for granted each election. It’s not going to work this time. Why?

According to various sources the two registered Democrats on the Peekskill United ticket have decided to throw their names in the hat for a Democratic Party Primary in September – and the Peekskill Democratic Party is having a fit. They are out of their minds with fury and hate and more importantly – fear. They are afraid of having to actually campaign and explain their positions to people within their own party; this Democratic Party slate is not made up of true Democrats and they will proudly tell certain people (privately) that very thing.

“Not My Parents’ Party” the New Radical Alt-Left Peekskill Democrats

We can readily see how influential InsidePEEK has become when we come across social media posts and comments in email communications. Our last post highlighting the radical candidates selected by the Democratic Party handlers must have really hit home with them. We described the Democratic Party’s radical transformation as “Not your Mother’s Democratic Party” anymore – which is clearly true. Some genius connected to the Democratic Party thought they would be clever and play off of our statement and use it as a badge of honor – but it is backfiring big time.

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/peekskill-dem-party-slate-beware/

As we mentioned above, the Peekskill Democratic candidates of today do not see themselves as Democrats. One even told one of our readers directly, “we are not Democrats, we are Progressives.” Really?! They look to create a Sanctuary City and bring the hateful rhetoric, anarchy and unrest we witness in the news every day. Peekskill residents will not stand for that. They are totally out of the mainstream and the core of the Democratic electorate do not like it. Social and emotional issues have always been central to Democratic Party politics – but radical anti-everything activism is not playing well with the traditional dems who are proud to say they come from a long-standing tradition of being registered Democrats – just like their mother and father were and generations before them. They don’t like seeing their family maligned and mocked – or their values trashed.

Because of this extremest shift of the Democratic Party in Peekskill, many registered Democrats have joined the Peekskill United team to help gather signatures for their two candidates and force a primary to put a stop to the radicalization of their parents’ party.

Doing What They Do Best – Go on The Attack

It has been proven time and time again both here at InsidePEEK and in news outlets as well, that the Democratic Party elected officials of Peekskill have thrown integrity, ethics and the law out the window. They have, over and over again, violated laws, the city charter and ethics rules to empower and enrich themselves – and they don’t care if they get caught. Anyone who questions or challenges them gets the full attack they have become notorious for. InsidePEEK predicts it will happen again. This time, those connected with the council candidate Democratic Primary effort will be severely attacked. They will be called traitors, liars, cheaters – you name it. Long standing friendships will be broken and possibly even vandalous acts will occur – they have done it before.

We at InsidePEEK offer a few simple words of advice for those connected with Peekskill United and their candidates – watch your backs and definitely watch for cheating. We hear the Peekskill Democrats have been running around town in a panic to get signatures on their petitions and are having a hard time. Many already signed for the Peekskill United candidates and others will have nothing to do with the “not my parents’ party” candidates – even Noodle’s own grandmother signed for the Peekskill United team!  We also hear that, when they are able to obtain a signature, they instruct the signer to leave the date blank. Really?! Here we go! We are told they are putting earlier dates than the day they were actually signed in hopes of qualifying over a Peekskill United person. We also hear that a certain council person has already blatantly cheated on petitions – more on that in a future post.

Peekskill United

Luckily for Peekskill there are positive and encouraging choices being made. Mayor Catalina and Councilman Joe Torres are running for re-election and want to continue the positive changes they have been able to make so far. It has not been easy for them. The Democrats have the majority on the Council and have blocked many of the initiatives that would have benefitted Peekskill. Despite their obstructionism, Catalina and Torres have gained successes merely by exposing the dems’ actions publicly. Remember what we said earlier, the dems do not like having to explain or defend their decisions and actions. Under Mary Foster, they had complete control and never had to explain their policies or had any counter views or questions – which is why the City took such a drastic downturn. Just by being present and arguing for doing the right thing, Catalina and Torres were effective.

Make no mistake about it, this election is about total control of the council. The dems want a supermajority so they can pass anything they wish – including the return to heavy borrowing as they did under Foster and creating a Sanctuary City. Catalina needs a simple majority just to pass the basic things needed to improve the city – and stop the crazy policies of the radicals. Having a ‘United’ ticket, shows that Catalina and Torres want to work across party lines and be inclusive in their governing. That is something the Peekskill Dems will not accept.

Luis Segarra and Robert Sullivan are the two Peekskill United candidates looking to cause the Democratic Primary. From what we can tell, both are highly regarded individuals who want to get involved for the betterment of Peekskill. They are not ‘Party’ or political people but just registered Democrats who share the same values as Catalina and Torres. Segarra is a highly successful business person active in the Latino community and the Hispanic Business Association. His company deals with sustainability and LEEDS certification issues with construction projects and employs many Peekskill residents. Sullivan is a US Navy veteran who owns his own law firm in Manhattan. Mr. Sullivan is very active as the President of the Woods III complex. He also is well known for his recent successful challenges to the Democratic Council Majority when they attempted to improperly charge for the water meter replacements and for holding an illegal meeting to pass a budget not supported by the entire council. He seems like someone with high integrity and fights for what he believes is right. The contrast in candidates could not be clearer and InsidePEEK views these two candidates as refreshing and perfect additions to Peekskill’s City Council.

InsidePEEK predicts that Peekskill United will succeed in causing a Democratic Primary for City Council. There will be five (5) candidates vying for three (3) seats. Based on all the feedback and reaction so far, we believe the two Peekskill United candidates will prevail in the primary. The question becomes – which one of the three radical Dem candidates will be elected with them?

Peekskill Dem Party Slate – Beware!

Dem Slate Beware

Last week the Peekskill Democratic Party announced their slate of candidates for this year’s election – and it is not good for Peekskill. In fact, it is downright scary. Unless, of course, your views include making Peekskill a Sanctuary City, bashing Israel, police, firefighters and the United States of America – and support socialism, communism and are against the rule of law.

Make no mistake – this is not your mother’s Democratic Party any more. The radical liberal alt-left has fully arrived in Peekskill – and they want full power.

During this past week we did some research of the new candidates and sifted through the many emails we received offering information and comments. We have a lot more to do but here is what we found so far:

Andre “Noodle Noo” Rainey for mayor. We know, it always causes a laugh or chuckle to see that someone with such a nickname is running for office. It is embarrassing enough that he barely won a council seat just under two years ago and now thinks he can be mayor. We have written about Noodle before and there is much more to come out regarding his legal issues but we’ll leave that alone for now and move on to the council candidates – where even more serious issues lie.

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/noo-news-arrest-warrant-issued/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/paglias-thanksgiving-eve-brawl-in-peekskill/

Vanessa Agudelo, candidate for council, is probably the least known of the slate but is probably the one with the most disturbing background.  She proudly calls herself a “Community Organizer,” which is troubling enough but she has been a fixture at many protests and has been very active in the Anti-Israel movement. She is all about causing unrest and protecting those who break laws, disturb the public and taunt law enforcement. A troubling choice.

Ramon Fernandez, candidate for council, is relatively new to Peekskill and works as a taxi driver in the city. He ran unsuccessfully for school board in the past. Ironically, the Peekskill Democratic Party worked against him in that election, which makes us wonder why he would get involved with them now. Perhaps it is their common wish and goal to make Peekskill a Sanctuary City. Fernandez has, “almost overnight” (as one of our readers described him), gone from a mild-mannered taxi driver to a belligerent, nasty, and hypersensitive person. He has been appearing at council meetings just to bash and fight with the mayor – and to get noticed for the election of course. He is obviously being coached but he is also picking up the undesirable traits of his trainers. Not a good sign.

The third, and most puzzling candidate for common council is Colin Smith. Yes, the same Colin Smith who thought he was chosen to be the City’s Associate Judge but was passed over by the Dems for Melissa Loehr (see link to post about this below). He was upset and embarrassed to be publicly humiliated in such a way – and by his supposed friends. Now, as one of our readers stated, he is “being played” by the Democrats because he is such a ‘party first’ guy. “Like good Democrats are trained to do,” stated our reader, “Colin has put politics over doing the right thing and even over his own reputation.” Boy, that is true party loyalty! We at InsidePEEK are still asking – why? Why would someone let themselves be so embarrassed and then join those who embarrassed him? Sure, they gave him the City’s Hearing Officer job as a consolation but it is nothing like being a judge. And by the way, why has he not resigned that position now that he is a political candidate? He should be required to step down immediately due to the conflict it causes. God help any Republican or Dem Party enemy who goes before him with a ticket.

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/peekskill-council-democrats-continue-unethical-ways-with-associate-judge-selection/

Colin’s candidacy especially poses a huge issue for the school district (he is a member of the Peekskill Board of Education) – and they are not happy about it. Some connected to the district have informed us of the concern of administrative staff and even some of Colin’s fellow board members. It opens up ALL the controversy, malfeasance, corruption and poor student performance that has plagued the district while Colin has been a board member. InsidePEEK has received numerous submissions outlining the district trouble that Colin has been involved with – some we read about previously in the press and some we haven’t. We were told there is much more to come so we will wait and gather the facts. Even now there is a serious investigation by the DA’s office that Colin will have to answer for. We will bring it all to you during the campaign.

In an earlier post, we predicted who some of the candidates would be. We were correct about Noodle but obviously wrong about McGowan – well, kind of. McGowan had every intention of running but backed out once she realized InsidePEEK had the information regarding her Grove Street transactions and issues with an entity she has financial ties to – Stella the trolley. We also were informed that another candidate wanted to run for council, Michael Kane. He was rejected by the party and he was not happy about it. In fact, he was seen being openly angry and arguing with party leaders in public. Mary Foster also wanted to get back in the good graces of the party but was told that there was “no way” the party would support her. So, she will be used or “played” to borrow one of our reader’s terms, to raise money. In fact, we were informed that she is planning a fundraiser at her Peekskill home soon.

As of the publishing of this post the Peekskill GOP has not yet made their slate public. We know from recent articles that Mayor Catalina has indicated he and Councilman Joe Torres are running for re-election and Councilman Vesce is not. That leaves two open spots for new candidates to fill. We will highlight the GOP slate once it is announced.

Other races this year include the county-wide elections for County Executive, County Clerk and County Legislators. We know that present County Executive Astorino, Clerk Idoni and Legislators representing our area, Testa and Borgia are running for re-election. The County Dems have chosen State Senator George Latimer to run against Astorino but he may have a primary challenge from County Legislator Ken Jenkins. Once we have all the races sorted out with announced candidates on both sides, InsidePEEK will give our take on each.

InsidePEEK has also received inquiries regarding the races in the Town of Cortlandt. We have not decided whether we will report on those races as of now. One of our contributing members is from Cortlandt Manor and is urging us to do so, as are many Cortlandt residents. Tell us what YOU think.

From all indications so far, it seems that this election season will be a doozy. Please send us any and all information you feel will be helpful in our coverage. Remember – all submissions are strictly confidential.

McKenzie Property Tax Scandal Exposed, Doesn’t Pay and Hides Facts from Public

McKenzie Taxes.jpg

We thought we already knew why Vivian McKenzie couldn’t run for mayor – there were too many issues she didn’t want to become public. At least we thought we knew all the reasons – you’re not going to believe what we discovered!

Before we dive into the latest scandal there is a question we at InsidePEEK have been asking ourselves – what is it with these Peekskill Democrats? Why does the illegal, unethical and malfeasant behavior persist? Why do they think they can get away with such behavior? We refer to a comment by one of our readers who posed the same question – “They have been allowed to get away with things for too long. They had full control and hid everything.”

McKenzie has been in hot water before. She should have been forced to resign over her illegal exposure of a city employee by sharing a confidential email with the press. Thanks to having the majority on the council and friends in high places she got away with it – and that’s the problem. Being protected by equally unethical and power hungry ‘friends’ has emboldened McKenzie, Claxton, Rainey, Talbot and others to put themselves over the constituents they represent.

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/mckenzie-forwarded-emails-to-political-operative-violated-employee-confidentiality/

This time McKenzie has gone too far – and she has a newly exposed friend who helped her.

InsidePEEK has learned that Councilwoman Vivian McKenzie owns 3 properties in Peekskill. One is her 979 Main Street business, Kathleen’s Tea Room, and also 2 homes (McKenzie was recently overheard admitting one of the homes is in her sister’s name but really owned by her). People are allowed to own real estate, we at InsidePEEK realize that. BUT – the owners are required to pay the taxes on that real estate – even council members. McKenzie doesn’t seem to think so.

Last fall the City of Peekskill conducted an “In-REM” sale of property. The process is basically a seizing of property that has been delinquent in paying property taxes for at least two years. The law allows the City to follow a specific legal process to take title to the property so it can be sold with the City recouping its lost tax revenue.

It just so happens that McKenzie’s Main Street commercial property turned up on the “In-REM” list for not paying taxes – or did it?

InsidePEEK has discovered that although McKenzie’s property was on the ‘internal list’ it never made the list distributed to the council and the public. Normally, the entire list of delinquent properties is discussed by the council and staff to determine which, if any, properties were legally able to be retained by their owners through a process of paying back the taxes in arrears by a prescribed date by law. Somehow, McKenzie’s property that should have been listed wasn’t. Why? How?

It turns out McKenzie had her friend, City Comptroller Ann Scaglione, remove her property from the list before it was made public! We at InsidePEEK are not sure if that is illegal, but we are sure it is unethical. But that is not the whole story.

Bridgewater-header

How could this agreement happen without three members of the council knowing? Was the down payment made?

Scaglione, without the Republican council members’ knowledge, made a private agreement with McKenzie. The issue of making such an agreement may or may not have been done according to the specific legal process, but it was not done according to the city’s established process, nor by the ethical standards of treating a council member as every other citizen would be treated. Did the City Corporation Council need to approve the agreement? Did she even know of the agreement? It is a legal document but there is no signature by the Corporation Council on the document. We find that odd in this day and age, especially for a municipality. The City’s lawyer should have initiated the document. On top of that – did the City Manager know? Did he approve such a deal? We hope Mayor Catalina will be able to obtain all the facts and expose the entire scandal and the employees involved. The Democrats once again abused their power in office to take care of one of their own. Remember, Scaglione was hired by Foster and the all Democrat council to help deceive the public on the City finances. And speaking of City finances – it is rumored that Scaglione was telling fellow staff that she is looking for another job to get out before those deceptions come to light. More on that we get the details.

Bridgewater-signatures

Why didn’t the Corporation Council sign this agreement? Did she even know about it? Did the City Manager know? Is it legal?

That is all bad enough but it is not the full story!

InsidePEEK has obtained a copy of the City’s agreement with “VG Bridgewater Inc.” (the legal name of McKenzie’s holdings). In the agreement, McKenzie agrees to pay the City back over two years for a total of over $24,000 in unpaid taxes – does everybody in this position get this type of agreement? We are not sure about that.

Wait, there is still more!

InsidePEEK has also obtained a copy of the pay schedule to the City. At least they did that much. It contains a shocking revelation – McKenzie may have defaulted on her November 2016 payment! She has one payment left at the end of May. Will she pay it on time?

Bridgewater-PaymentsHL.jpg

Did McKenzie default on her agreement and get away with it? How can we believe the payments were not only made according to the agreement but whether they were ever made at all?

Here is the final, and maybe the most disturbing thing in this whole sorted story – while in default herself and side-stepping the disclosure process, McKenzie publicly never said anything while she voted to seize fellow citizen’s property for not paying property taxes. How could she do that in good conscience? She hid her own circumstance while willingly not affording others the same benefits she used for herself. A most shameful act. This raises another question – was her vote a serious conflict of interest? Does it open up the City for a legal challenge by those who lost their homes and disqualify the vote? We do not know but perhaps we will learn soon.

A side note regarding McKenzie is the excessive garbage throughout the downtown. It is unsightly, dangerous and embarrassing for the city. McKenzie has berated members of the public over it and continuously complains about it. All while she remains the worst culprit of the problem! The garbage in front of her business is troubling. InsidePEEK was sent photos by one of our readers who pointed out her hypocrisy on the issue. Does she have an illegal apartment above her business? The explosion of these apartments has happened in the downtown ever since the zoning change two years ago. The honest businesses downtown are suffering because of business owners like McKenzie and the misinformed and destructive policy decisions made by her and her fellow Democratic council members.

The bigger question is what can be done with McKenzie? Is there a legal process to have her removed from office once and for all? She has become a liability for the City and her political party. Her business is suffering from her actions along with her nasty demeanor and treatment of the public at meetings. She should resign and move on to take care of her business and family. But then again, if she leaves office how could she continue to protect herself from the law? A difficult situation indeed.

%d bloggers like this: