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.

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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.

King Noodle and the Demise of Positively Peekskill

King Noodle Post

We at InsidePEEK knew it would happen sooner or later. There were just too many indicators and stories to believe otherwise. The old axiom, ‘where there is smoke there is fire’ rings true in Peekskill regarding the Democratic Mayoral candidate Andre Noodle Noo Rainey – and it’s not pretty.

He touts himself as “KING” of Peekskill but he has failed to realize that his words and actions have consequences. Running for mayor of a city is serious business and is a long way from hanging out with 10-15 year olds at the gym. Words he wrote in his original lyrics to his rap songs are telling. They focus on anti-police and negative attitudes toward women. They show his lack of respect for those he hopes to lead as mayor. It is very disturbing stuff.

Noodle Lyrics

We have been receiving many emails providing information pertaining to Noodle’s past troubles. We have already reported on his arrest warrant from upstate NY but there is much more. We have been asked to investigate Noodle’s reasons for fleeing Las Vegas and moving to Peekskill. We are awaiting details from individuals with first-hand knowledge. We have been promised it is coming soon. We are also waiting for a certain photo that caused his firing from Sky View Nursing Home a few years ago as well as other concerning information. As the true picture of Noodle emerges he certainly may be in for a “NO” Day when it comes to his electability.

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

Noodle and his running mates like to refer to themselves as “Positively Peekskill.” An oxymoron if there ever was one. Noodle has taken to intimidation and threatening members of the press. InsidePEEK has received samples of various Facebook posts by Noodle and one of his running mates, Ramon Fernandez (more on him in a future post). They have gone on the attack and look to silence anyone who questions their ideas, words or actions – including attacking the press. Democrats in general have difficulty with the truth about them being published – or having to answer for their rhetoric. Such is the case for Noodle. When asked by a member of the press to explain his hateful lyrics, Noodle went on the attack in what can only be taken as a threat:

“Be careful what you write about me … I feel like I’m KING in my city”
(Andre Rainey FB post, June 23, 2017)

Not very “Positive” to us. We have received examples of his attacks on members of his own family! Yes, Noodle even threatened Mayor Catalina about appointing his great-aunt to a city commission!

Noodle over my dead body.jpg

He has proven time and time again that he is unfit and totally unqualified to be councilman, much less mayor. The citizens of Peekskill made a huge mistake voting him in as a member of the council (albeit barely by 60 votes). They may be stuck with him for two more years as his council seat is only half over – but they certainly won’t make him mayor.

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.

Peekskill Democratic Majority’s Latest Target – The Volunteer Firefighters

dems-hate-fd

The Peekskill Democrats are at it again. It has been well documented over the last decade by actions, policies and public comments that the members of the Peekskill Democratic Party, especially those in public office, have utter contempt for local law enforcement. They treat the police as the enemy, and have gone so far as to appoint their friends as local justices just to prevent criminal convictions and fines imposed on their friends and family. InsidePEEK has reported on this pattern repeatedly over the previous year – most recently for their vote against accepting a donation of a new drone for the Police Department.

Now they are setting their sights on one of Peekskill’s most respected and VITAL organizations, the Peekskill Volunteer Firefighters. InsidePEEK has been barraged with emails regarding the attempt by the Democratic majority on the Common Council to oust the Peekskill Fire Chief, who has been dedicated firefighter for decades from a respected long-time Peekskill family. They claim it is a conflict for the Chief to continue because his son is becoming a member of the career firefighting staff. InsidePEEK has discovered that the Democratic Council Majority told the City Manager to demand the Chief’s resignation or the son cannot be hired for a career position. Why do this?

Come to find out Drew Claxton and Kathie Talbot were part of the Council during the Mary Foster administration that created a convoluted and poorly thought out nepotism policy. It has been the goal of Foster, Claxton and the Democrats to find a way to get rid of the volunteer firefighting force and they see this as an opportunity to make that happen. The new firehouse was the original vehicle to fade out the volunteers but that has taken too long to come about so this opportunity presents itself for them to take advantage of.

Their grand plan may have backfired on them in a big way.

Social media has been on fire since the Chief’s resignation came to light a few days ago. The general public is outraged about this issue, and rightfully so. InsidePEEK has received a record number of comments from our readers over this and they clearly show the backlash about to be brought against the Democratic Majority. InsidePEEK predicts they will not succeed in their attempt to have the Chief resign. Especially since it has been shown the policy as written does not apply in this specific case. The Chief is elected by the members of the department and has no direct supervision or influence over his son as a career firefighter.

It seems strange what Claxton, McKenzie, Noodle Rainey and Talbot see as a professional “conflict” requiring someone’s resignation from their elected post.

Hmmm, let’s look back over this past year: Claxton, McKenzie, Noodle Rainey and Talbot got caught holding an illegal meeting and taking an illegal vote to pass an illegal budget, they lose in court and violate the City Charter – did anyone resign? Nope.

Claxton got caught committing serious fiscal improprieties, illegally obtains grant funding for a building she owns and is the personal residence of her son, does not pay the money back when caught, admits she improperly signed the documents to obtain the ill-gotten funds – did she resign? Nope.

McKenzie gets caught red-handed sharing confidential emails regarding a Personnel issue, thus illegally exposing an employee to the press. The employee is humiliated in public and found to not have committed what McKenzie accused him of, violating his constitutional rights to due process and privacy – did she resign? Nope.

Noodle Rainey is discovered to have an outstanding warrant against him from an upstate New York town/college for purposely not paying a restaurant bill and fleeing the area. Once made public, Noodle’s Democratic Party “friends” went to the location and made a deal to pay the money owed and a fine to satisfy the authorities – did he resign? Nope.

These are just a few of the violations made by these elected officials who found no need to follow the ethics or criminal laws of the city –but – they want a sitting Volunteer Fire Chief to resign his position (with just 18 months left to serve) over the hiring of his son – who has earned the career position through taking a test and graduating from the fire academy. He has commendably accomplished this on his own. His father had nothing to do with his hiring and will not be directly supervising him in his job.

InsidePEEK agrees with Mayor Catalina who is upset over this situation and is calling on the Common Council members to vote to keep the Chief in place. Councilman Torres and Vesce support allowing the Chief to finish his term. Only one Democrat on the Council will be needed to make that happen. Only one Democrat will be needed to have the guts to go against their party and do the right thing for Peekskill. We’ll see if Claxton even shows up for the meeting. She misses so many and always seems to miss meetings where ‘controversial’ votes are required. Maybe she and her Democratic colleagues will be shamed enough to agree to let the chief stay.

According to a number of our readers – if the Chief is ultimately forced to resign, then the volunteer firefighting force is prepared to turn in their gear and walk away. That will be a very dangerous and expensive scenario for the citizens of Peekskill.

Claxton & McKenzie Continue to Embarrass Peekskill

Claxto_Mckenzie_Still at it

Disgraced and embattled Peekskill Councilwoman Drew Claxton and ethically challenged Councilwoman Vivian McKenzie are at it again. Their tag team approach of attacking fellow board members and members of the general public have reached new lows.

It seems that the quiet lull created by the beginning of summer has convinced both Claxton and McKenzie that their legal and public relations battles are over. Nothing could further from the truth. In fact, the investigations are continuing. As more and more facts emerge, the investigations continuously extend. It will take months but more will be coming out on Ms. Claxton’s dealings and those she did business with.

Before we get into the lies, deceit and embarrassment to the good citizens of Peekskill perpetrated by these two so-called government officials, we need to clarify what is likely to be the single most self-serving ruse ever inflicted on the pubic – the FAKING of being sick to gain sympathy and shelter from criticism. Yes, Drew Claxton did not recently have cancer as she led people to believe and as the Democratic Party minions spread. At the height of her public exposure for illegal grant funds she obtained and the laws she violated, she devised (along with her advisors) a plan to turn a routine colonoscopy into a case of cancer. Cries went out to back off while she battled her ‘disease.’ Have sympathy it was said, have a heart was said. We even received emails about it. It worked – until now. Claxton herself exposed her ruse recently in a meeting by stating she had missed meetings being away in Florida and California. She was not in the process of treatments as the public was led to believe but rather gallivanting and visiting family. She not only further lost the public trust by such action, she totally abandoned her responsibilities as an elected member of the City government. She should be ashamed of herself.

On top of her criminal acts of obtaining grant funds and orchestrating an illegal meeting and budget vote (each alone are grounds for resignation), she premeditated a way to remove herself from the public eye to let things cool down surrounding her actions. Her mentor and advisor, Michael Morey, taught her well and most likely helped in the planning of the whole thing. It almost worked. Now, she can expect a renewed outcry for her resignation.

In recent weeks, both Claxton and McKenzie have been attacking members of the public wishing to give donations to the City, including the Peekskill Rotary Club! Hard to believe but the focus of City government has been arguing over trees and gazebos, not moving forward projects waiting to begin. Projects, like the Abby (St. Mary’s property) and Gateway on Main Street, that will bring the city much needed revenue. The Peekskill Democratic Party has been against many projects from their inception and, thanks to former Mayor Mary Foster and her majority Council, they were all stopped in their tracks. Developers have millions of dollars invested and want to see their plans move forward. The Democratic Party appointees to boards such as the Peekskill Planning Board have made sure there have not been enough members in attendance to be able to vote on items. It has been months now that this sleazy tactic has been used by the Democrats to prevent approvals. They know the community wants these projects to move forward so voting against them in public would be a political liability. So they use the usual deceptive tactics they are known for.

It has become common knowledge that McKenzie plans on running for mayor next year. She has become very vocal and has attempted to make her voice one of the loudest. The problem is she has exposed her lack of understanding and knowledge of the issues by doing so. She has been desperate to deflect away from her breech of ethics for sharing a confidential email to the press. At one point she attempted to falsely implicate a fellow council member of doing business for the City and getting paid for work done at the Paramount Center. She asked for invoices be produced from the previous two years. Mayor Catalina then requested that the invoices to be produced should go back farther than just two years, up to seven years. Well, not only did the maneuver by McKenzie backfire when it was proven no such payment was made to her Council colleague – by looking back that far, MacKenzie knew it would be shown that she herself was the one who committed the violation. (Yes, her business, Kathleen’s Tea Room, was the beneficiary of funds for catering Youth Bureau events – while she has been a sitting councilwoman!) Unbelievable! No wonder her continuous probing for Paramount related invoices abruptly ceased.

So not only has she violated the ethics code by exposing confidential email, she has garnered personal financial gain through her position as an elected official. Wow – and she wants to run for mayor?!

Here is the critical underlying mistake that will surely come back to bite the Peekskill Democrats: they made the Paramount Center a focus of discussion. Something they know should never happen as it would expose their actions related to the new operators. Seeing the opening handed him, Mayor Catalina asked to review sweetheart lease the Democrats gave them – he continues to be prevented from doing so. Why? InsidePEEK is attempting to obtain a copy of the lease to bring you the details in the future. We have received numerous emails on this issue and one of our readers strongly suggested we look into the matter stating: “the members of the committee that selected the present operators are all Democrat elites who have close ties to the hastily formed organization that was awarded the lease.” Sounds interesting to us. Expect more details to follow once we obtain it.

Finally for this post, we need to mention the most recent ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ moment. It involved Councilman Noodle (yes, there is a City of Peekskill Council member that goes by the name Noodle –and no, that is not what we are referring to). It was brought to our attention that Noodle was forced to attend the June 27th Common Council meeting by his Democratic Party bosses because they needed his vote to turn down the aforementioned gazebo donation. He was not planning on attending because he contracted the highly contagious Conjunctivitis, aka ‘Pink Eye.’ He at least had the sense to want to stay away from a public gathering but his handlers refused to let him – so he wore sunglasses to the meeting.

It’s sad to see the level that the Peekskill City government has sunk to – continuous ethics violations, deceiving the public about illness, preventing much needed projects from advancing, sweetheart deals for friends, fights over gifts from the public, Noodles, Pink Eye and sunglasses. What could be next?

Claxton/McKenzie Attack Mayor on Calling for Measures to Protect City

McKenzie_Claxton Attack Mayor

As Glenn Frey would have said, “the heat is on!”

Tuesday night was the first time the entire Peekskill Council came face to face since the groundbreaking coverage of the Journal News on Drew Claxton’s illegal financial dealings. It just so happened, that very afternoon a new story hit the press that the Claxton investigation, just as InsidePEEK predicted, became criminal with the Westchester DA’s office announcing they were now involved.

At Tuesday’s meeting and with only the City of Peekskill’s interest in mind, Mayor Catalina stated he wanted to be sure any related records to Claxton’s case were secure and that the Council became informed of any other present or past employees of the City that were involved with Preservation Company programs. He also wanted a past decade report of all transactions, dealings or legislative interaction between the City of Peekskill and the Preservation Company. He additionally prepared a letter to send to the Preservation Company officials requesting their assistance in the probe. All justifiable, reasonable and prudent actions. As Mayor, Catalina (and the entire Council for that matter) has the responsibility for bringing all the facts forward and making sure the City’s best interests were secure. No individual is above the law and especially not above the City’s best interests.

Digging-Hole

McKenzie and Claxton didn’t see it that way. With vitriol, sarcasm and anger the two attacked the mayor for his suggestion to take steps to protect the City. It was obvious that both were more interested in protecting Claxton than anything else. McKenzie was especially demonstrative in her attack on the Mayor claiming that the newspaper reporter and the DA’s Office were “his friends working hard for him.” She even challenged Catalina by saying he “wasn’t man enough.” It is obvious the walls are closing in and they are lashing out.

McKenzie continues her conduct truly unbecoming of an elected official. She not only caused, but welcomed a lawsuit over their illegal meeting and budget vote – and now this. InsidePeek has also been reminded of her direct verbal threat to a member of the public last year.

InsidePEEK will continue to keep our readers updated on the developments of the Claxton case as it continues closer and closer to her resignation.

Catch up with the articles with the links below:

http://www.lohud.com/story/news/investigations/2016/01/20/mayor-requests-report-non-profit-amid-criminal-probe/79079104/

http://www.lohud.com/story/news/investigations/2016/01/19/ds-office-probe-grant-politician-son/79012386/

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