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Monday, March 27, 2023
Home Government Rye Mayor and the "Scotts" Skewered in LoHud Column

Rye Mayor and the “Scotts” Skewered in LoHud Column

Rye Mayor Doug French and the "Scotts" – City Manager Scott Pickup and former Rye Golf Club manager Scott Yandrasevich – were skewered by a LoHud.com article by columnist Phil Reisman.

In a piece profiling the work of "citizen soldier" Leon Sculti, the Rye resident who has hammered on French and the Scotts for various alleged abuses, Reisman lays it down. In addition to detailing Sculti's attacks on French for alleged tax abuse, both Scotts get it:

[Regarding the Rye Golf Club scandal:] "Pickup further claimed that the city attorney vetted the arrangements with RM Staffing, which were exempt from the bidding process. Pickup later admitted none of the claims were true, explaining that he feared a “mob mentality” had taken over the meeting, in part because some of audience members had been drinking…

At considerable expense, the city hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation. In a report released Feb. 27, the firm concluded that Yandrasevich “received improper financial benefits” in the setup between the golf club and the staffing company. The findings were turned over to the Westchester District Attorney’s Office.

Yandrasevich, who was paid a salary of $109,000 and given a house on the golf club grounds, resigned after initially being suspended.

Pickup is still the city manager but it’s hard to see how he can keep his job in the long run."

In an email thread Sunday, French went on the attack: "As many know, what Phil has left out in his piece is the alleged illegal renovations attributed to me were done in 1972 when I was in the 3rd grade. However, like many homeowners in Rye experience, we obtained the proper C of O that the previous owner should have gotten."

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Read the full column on LoHud.



  1. OH MY!!!!



  2. Hi Jay:
    They were not “allegations” of tax abuses and illegal building. I can post the City of Rye building violations in Mayor French’s name, again. His $1,000 check for the fine he paid, again.
    And even though every local paper–even (former editor) Jim Byrne’s Rye’s Record–covered French’s school tax double dip which cost him over $16,000 in restitution. You seem to be behind the curve, here.
    To the mayor’s comments you reported: Did Mayor French give the $4,500 a month he collected as rent for 12 years on his illegal property (over $600,000) to the previous owners? Were the previous owners still paying the mortgage, insurance and taxes on the house after they sold it to Dug?
    The mayor’s own real estate listing documents the house was updated in the 1990’s when Dug owned it.
    Delusion must be a wonderful state to live in.
    Lastly, I wonder why the federal govt placed a $7,900 lien on the mayor’s primary residence in 2009… while he was running for mayor. Maybe he didn’t properly report all of those hundreds of thousands of dollars he collected in rent.
    I challenge Mayor French to release his title report from the purchase of his house. It will either say the structure is a legal two-family (which it was) and which means Dug is lying through his teeth because he knows it was illegal form day one. Or it will say the structure is a legal single family home, which means Dug should sue the City of Rye for fining him erroneously and ruining his reputation.
    If I were Dug, I’d lay low with the County DA crawling all over my administration for the way it handled money matters. Would hate for the DA to pickup the trail on hundreds of thousands of dollars of rental income I collected over the past 12 years.
    I bet third grade wasn’t this hard.

  3. From above – “However, like many homeowners in Rye experience,..”

    Yup – that was his line on the illegal 2nd STAR tax exemption also. Guess how that turned out? Answer – the assessor confirmed Mr. French was ONLY double dipper she could name. That’s right – The Mayor was only NYS STAR fraudster in her files at that time. Then there’s this –

    Very late in the evening – April 18th 2012 – Meeting of the Rye City Council –
    Item 11: Residents may be heard on matters for council consideration that do not appear on the agenda. http://ryeny.swagit.com/play/04182012-706/#14

    Initial 3 minutes –
    Tartaglione to French: “Congratulations on your building permits. It’s good to hear that you finally got them. You stated earlier that you didn’t do anything illegal referencing your 13 Richard Place property. Umm – did you put a new heating system in that house in 1995 sir?”
    French: “You can continue with your remarks.”
    French: “Finished?”
    Tartaglione:” I asked you a question sir – did you put a new heating system in that house in 1995?”
    French: “You can continue with your remarks – we’re not going to go thru my personal history sir, let’s go.”
    Tartaglione: “You said you didn’t do anything illegal. I’m just asking if you put a new heating system in the house. I’m asking you if you took out an oil heating system and you converted it to gas in 1995?”
    French: “You have my statement – continue on.”

    (Watch the rest at the link above.)

  4. “Armed with the sophisticated weaponry of digital technology as well as well-worn copies of the state “Sunshine Law,” they are unpaid community crusaders who have the time and determination to drill deep into the minutia of government business to find the truth, or at least some semblance of the truth.”


    This is what happens when you act like a third grader when you are an adult and worse yet the Mayor!

  5. Man Jay,
    You really must have been asleep for the last two years. I just realized this gem, “In addition to detailing Sculti’s attacks on French for alleged tax abuse.”

    We’re gonna have to sit down some time so I can show you the City Hall, County, State and Federal court documents you either haven’t seen or refuse to acknowledge. I am free this Thursday around 5:30, maybe we can meet somewhere? Can you think of anyplace we can meet then?

    An attack can be false, unwarranted or ad hominem–which was not the case here.

    A more accurate, less misleading statement would be, “In addition to detailing Sculti’s exposing French for his well-documented decades worth of improper school tax exemptions.”

    Doug brought all of his baggage into office with him, he disgraced the republican party and the City of Rye. Here is the French Grand Salami of Tax Smack Downs:

    1) A $7,900 Federal Tax Lien placed on his primary residence in April of 2009 for failure to pay federal income tax.

    2) His illegally constructed, renovated rental property, 13 Richard Place, with an illegal advertised 4th bedroom IN THE ATTIC–for which he received multiple violations and was fined $1000 by the city.

    3) His 10 years worth of skimming improper school tax reductions on 13 Richard Place, which he was forced to pay over $16,000 in restitutions to the county. Umm, you could argue that money was “stolen” or denied to Rye’s children.

    4) A NY State lien placed against his primary residence in 2012 for failure to pay NYS income taxes.

    Legacy Alert: Mayor French is the only mayor in the Rye’s 300+ year history to be fined by every level of government that exists, Federal, State, County and City while running for, or occupying, the office of mayor.

    We do not expect perfect human beings as elected leaders. Just the opposite, everyone will has made mistakes or has things that they did not do so well in life.

    All Doug had to do was come clean and make things right when confronted with them. He had the chance to except responsibility for them and make it right. He chose the opposite.

    He chose to try and demonize Rye’s residents–to divide, deceive and mislead–instead of admitting a fault and working hard to regain the publics trust.

    Nice legacy. Bad choice.

  6. Working overtime and not getting paid for it?
    Being tipped by customers and not getting your tip money?

    That’s not illegal – it’s absolutely fair and proper – in Rye – and that’s why the Rye City Attorney has vetted RM Staffing, right?

    And that’s why the Rye City Manager approved and signed all those RM Staffing invoices with piles of overtime and tips on them that the employees never got, right?

    Mr. French, whatever happened to YOUR supposed “investigation” of all this? The one you and Mr. Pickup were doing exclusively at first – while telling Mr. Sack and the club members to be quiet and go away?



  7. The current state of city government in Rye–from the continued employment of a blatantly incompetent and dishonest city manager, to the rantings of a lame duck, delusional mayor can be laid at the feet of three elected officials: Catherine Parker, Julie Killian and Laura Brett.

    All did nothing when the conflict

  8. -continued-
    when the Andrew Dapolite matter surfaced. They stuffed it under the Ethics Boards rug.

    All have done nothing to hold the city manager accountable in the aftermath of the RGC scandal. Nothing.

    Ms. Brett and Ms. Parker did nothing when the conflict of interest the mayor had in owning and renting an illegal property for $4,500/month came to light.

    They stuffed that under the Ethic Board rug as well.

    Not to mention two of the three members of the Ethics Board, appointed by Mayor French, had donated $1,700 to his campaign and one had been on the search committee that placed him on the republican ticket for mayor.

    There is plenty of corruption in Rye, or at least the appearance of corruption, just in the last year you have: RGC, Rye Police Uniform Bid, The Dapolite Disgrace, The Boat Basin(?)

    It is the council’s job to oversee the city manager who runs the city.

    Ms. Brett, Ms. Killian, and Ms. Parker have earned the blame. They have joined the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Mr. Filippi in their refusal to confront this corruption and hold people accountable at every turn.

    Ms. Killian wants to be re-elected in November and Ms. Parker wants a promotion to the county level? They will have to answer for the lies of Scott Pickup and the rantings of a delusional lame duck mayor.

    Both of which are destroying the reputation of this city and their reputations as elected public officials.

  9. Lausdeo:

    You are 100% correct about Brett, Killian and Parker. They have failed the residents of Rye. However, Filippi, Jowannasniffyourpanties and French have also allowed Pickup to stay employed here.

    I believe French, Jowannasniffyourpanties and Filippi are keeping Pickup here in part because they ran on a ticket of stability in the City Managers office and they don’t want to admit they made a huge mistake in hiring Pickup.

    Besides Pickup being a complete disaster this has to be by far the worst City Council in Rye’s history.


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