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Friday, December 2, 2022
Home Government Rye Mayor Owes 10K+ in Incorrectly Taken Tax Exemptions

Rye Mayor Owes 10K+ in Incorrectly Taken Tax Exemptions

Rye Mayor Doug French may have incorrectly taken $10K+ of STAR propert tax exemptions on a second home he owns in Rye.

LoHud.com has the story:

"RYE — Mayor Douglas French acknowledges he may have incorrectly received a school-tax exemption on a rental property for the past decade — but says he will pay back any money he owes.

The exemption under the state’s School Tax Relief Program on the Richard Place house was granted based on its use as an owner-occupied primary residence. But French and his wife had relocated in 1999 from there to their current home on Meadow Place, where they also were granted a STAR exemption.

The Richard Place house’s tax break has been worth about $1,000 in savings per year since at least 2001, according to city tax records.

The mayor said he was unaware that the exemption for Richard Place had remained in effect after he moved…"


  1. Over one hundred YouTube viewings by 2pm today and climbing.
    And this crisp new documentary below wasn’t even the 3rd event I yesterday surmised would happen. Wow.
    So now we have at least 1 or maybe 2 more Rye City ‘reveals’ to go.
    And while we’re at it – there’s a nice eulogy to Vaclav Havel today in the WSJ.
    TYRANNY AND INDIFFERENCE – Brett Stephens –WSJ – December 20, 2011
    What it means to heed Václav Havel’s prescription to ‘live in truth.’
    “The real mystery is why, in free societies where few journalists and politicians are ever at serious risk of reprisal, truth-telling seems to be in relatively short supply.”

  2. Now over 240 views on YouTube.
    I wonder if RyeTV has it scheduled for air yet?
    It’s a busy day – so for those of you who’ve asked – I’ll just repost my thoughts on what needs to change in Rye from last week —–
    “Once again Heal the Harbor has advanced its exposure of the insider’s game in Rye, unearthing another apparent example of how the political class enriches themselves at the expense of the rest of us.
    Un-permitted, un-inspected and un-taxed substantial home construction is illegal. And STAR tax exemptions cannot be claimed on non primary residence properties. Yet apparently this behavior is kind of an open secret, snickered at among certain officials, comfortable in their belief that no one in their clique is accountable and that all issues can and will be papered over in time.
    And why in retrospect should they actually be concerned? No permits are required to destroy wetlands if you know the right people – FOIL laws are openly mocked, and the filth and safety hazards out on Hen Island remain. Fixers call the shots in secret, and most on this city council work to maintain a state of contrived ignorance about these and other huge unresolved matters. Trust, is on the wane.
    Influence and access unfortunately count for much these days at City Hall. As does a certain carefree “catch me if you can” insolence. This puts enormous personal stress on Rye’s mostly honest, long serving valuable public sector employees. What better antidote for their long suffering spirits could there be than a spotlight shined on the schemers, the gamers, the players and other dishonest actors who favor-trade voluntary public board service for a quiet special arrangement here or crony rigged ruling there?
    That’s where reformers come in – and Heal the Harbor certainly deserves much credit for its work here thus far. Perhaps given these new findings, and those I suspect are still to come, the beginning of the end of this dishonest self entitled cult in Rye is nigh. Honest citizens should I think however not break out the bubbly just yet.”

  3. “Things have crept up within STAR over the past few years,” Whitty said. “When Mayor French applied for the tax exemption on his Meadow Place residence, he wasn’t asked if he was claiming STAR on another property, which would’ve been a red flag.”


    BUT BUT BUT – the attestation paragraph next to the signatures on Mr. French’s May 12, 2000 NY State STAR application for 46 Meadow Place, Rye New York – reads as follows (and the bold below mirrors the emphisis on the actual form) –

    “I (we) certify that all of the above information is correct and that THE PROPERTY LISTED ABOVE IS OWNED BY AND IS MY (OUR) PRIMARY RESIDENNCE. I (we) understand it is my (our) obligation to notify the assessor if I (we) relocate to another primary residence and to provide any documentation of eligibility that is requested.”

    So wasn’t Mr. French “asked if he was claiming STAR on another property”?

    And didn’t he sign this offficial NY State form (for 46 Meadow Place) attesting that he was not claiming a STAR exemption on ANY OTHER PROPERTY?

    Are we now entering the disqualification for public servant zone?

    Maybe Rye is different.

    In April of 2011, the Rye City Tax Assessor notified Mayor French that his 13 Richard Place rental home was ineligible of a NYS STAR Tax Exemption.
    The assessor, Noreen Whitty, we could assume, had access to all years of public tax records for 13 Richard Place under Mr. French’s ownership. Even a casual review of these public records at that point by either Mayor French – or Tax Assessor Whitty – would show that this inappropriate exemption had been in full effect for the past 10 years. These records are not confidential, privileged or non-public. They are, in fact, posted online. Ms. Whitty reports to City Manager Scott Pickup and she has on-call access to City Attorney Kristen Wilson. And Mr. French is, in effect, the Elected Chief Executive Officer of the City. So –
    What did the Assessor and the Mayor do about this in May of 2011?
    What did the Assessor and the Mayor do about this in June of 2011?
    What did the Assessor and the Mayor do about this in July of 2011?
    What did the Assessor and the Mayor do about this in August of 2011?
    What did the Assessor and the Mayor do about this in September of 2011?
    What did the Assessor and the Mayor do about this in October of 2011?
    What did the Assessor and the Mayor do about this in November of 2011?
    What did the Assessor and the Mayor do about this in December of 2011? (1)
    (1) On December 5th Heal the Harbor releases evidence culled from the online public tax records that Mr. French has been taking a STAR exemption on a rental property for 10 years. A multiplicity of explanations and excuses, some contradicting the other, pour forth.


    The NYS Attorney General’s Office in Suffolk County, says this behavior is a “felony filing of a false instrument and defrauding the state.” – See North Country Gazette “STAR Scam article at the link below.


    And here’s another case from Sachem Patch.com –


    And how much do you want to bet that every single Suffolk County property owner charged and convicted in these cases initially claimed some variation of the “mistakenly,” erroneously,” “negligently,” defense?


    So the question in Rye today I think is – can we trust the people involved here anymore? Because I’ve always found that a key measure of personal integrity is what someone does when they believe no one else will ever find out.


    Some new public commentary on “Ethics” from sitting council members is out in this week’s Rye Record – http://www.ryerecord.com/news/a-matter-of-ethics.html

    “Right now the issue is taking up the City’s business while we need to spend time looking at financial and other matters. We need to put this to bed and get satisfaction with the system we have in place.”

    “I don’t believe people in Rye think we’re up here conniving and cheating as part of some sort of conspiracy. That’s ridiculous, absolutely out of this world, and not the way Rye is. Let’s give it to the BOE (Board of Ethics) and when they come back with their decision, let’s live with it so we can move on to pedestrian safety and minimizing taxes.”

    Ok. That’s what THEY SAY.

    And just for the record, as of today, no one has disputed any fact uncovered in the locally produced investigative film entitled “13 Richard Place.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6nWzVM99R8

    Now if you care to, please select either or both Rye City Council meeting video clips below and –


    From Meeting of the Rye City Council – November 2, 2011 – Approx 9 mins.


    From the Meeting of the Rye City Council – November 16, 2011 – Approx 1.2 Mins.


  8. This is an excerpt from the Federal Prosecutors on a prison recommendation in the Nick Spano case.

    I think this would apply to Mayor French’s illegal shenanigans also. What do you think?

    “We ask that the court impose such a sentence to send the unmistakable message that those who are elected to make the law must first obey it themselves, and that they should not misuse their public office for the sake of advancing their own personal financial interest,” prosecutors Perry Carbone and Jason Halperin, wrote in a 27-page sentencing memorandum sent to U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel this afternoon.


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