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Current and Ex- Rye Mayor Tangle in He Said, She Said – Real or Election Season Theatrics?

Well, it's either a striking level of poor communication, or election season theatrics between local Republicans and Democrats.

Fighting words

Current Rye Mayor Joe Sack and Ex- Rye Mayor and current State Assemblyman Steve Otis are at each other's throats.

In a letter sent to the Governor on Tuesday, Sack accused Otis of leaving Sack and Rye out of the loop in plans regarding the disposition of property held the the NY State Thursday Authority adjacent to the I-95 and I-287 interchange and across the Boston Post Road from Rye Country Day School (RCDS).

Apparently, RCDS would like to purchase the property and the Rity of Rye is considering moving the Department of Public Works to this location (presumably tied to the Disbrow Park master plan under development).

Part of the Sack letter to the Governor:

"None of this was heretofore known by the City of Rye; Assemblyman Otis did not advise us this was happening. In fact, in good faith, the City of Rye met with RCDS as recently as this week, to discuss mutually beneficial options for the potential disposition of the parcel. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to us, the bill had already been previously approved by both houses of the state legislature. I would hate to know that either RCDS or Assemblyman Otis allowed this meeting to take place while withholding that information from us…. At best, the actions of Assemblyman Otis were premature. At worst, they represented a behind-the-back attempt to steer the parcel to RCDS without our knowledge and against our wishes."

Read the full letter.

Otis shot back on Wednesday, saying:

"I was very surprised to receive your factually inaccurate letter opposing state action that you and the City Council previously requested. Putting forth demonstrably inaccurate information to the public or other levels of government does not serve the interests of the people of the City of Rye or the credibility of the city government."

In the letter, Otis details some of the history of Rye working to acquire the property for recreation purposes and opposing it's use as a DPW site.

Clearly and ongoing story…


  1. Clearly an ongoing story.

    Coincidentally, from today’s Journal News:

    “Former Mahopac volunteer fire department treasurer sentenced to more than six years in prison.”

    “Michael Klein, who swindled the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department of $5.7 million in a scheme that lasted 13 years, on Wednesday was sentenced to six years and five months in federal prison.

    He is also liable for $5.7 million in restitution, which includes $1 million to the department’s insurance company, and the rest to the department.

    In March, Klein, 48, of Mahopac and Palm City, Florida, admitted to one count of wire fraud, six counts of subscribing to false tax returns, one count of obstructing a grand jury investigation and one count of making false statements to the U.S. Attorney.

    Over the years, Klein, who also owned Buckshollow Emergency Equipment Corp. in Putnam Valley, wrote checks to himself and his company while keeping a second set of books to show the department’s auditors.

    “It’s kind of mind-blowing how much this person stole, and from whom,” said (Judge) Seibel. “He did it 275 times over a dozen or so years.”

    She said his actions were based on “pure greed,” noting he used the proceeds of the embezzlement to fuel what she called a “lavish lifestyle, using the public money to buy a 55-foot yacht, a vacation home in Florida, an antique fire truck, a Mercedes Benz S550, and a 37-foot Thunderbird Formula boat.” He also took a two-week Caribbean vacation during which he spent $39,000 on jewelry and other purchases.”


    -$8+ million of public money siphoned over 7 yrs

    -Investigation & case kept entirely within the local 9th Judicial District

    -No federal involvement

    -DA investigation scope artificially limited to actions of a single senior city employee

    -Former employee had 2 boats, out-of-state residence, paid for his mother’s house

    -Senior public officials – still in office – initiated and maintained the scheme thru city accounting system circumvention

    -Former senior city employee serves less than 1 year of a 1 – 3 year sentence

    -City paid-for forensic investigation results – promised by public officials to be fully disclosed at case completion – now being kept secret

    -Former DA involved soon promoted to Head Judge of New York State’s highest court


  2. In early February this year I wrote a column for MyRye entitled –


    In it I exposed the fact that no – zero – Rye builder Affidavits of Final Cost are now permitted to be audited by the city staff, thus exposing the city treasury to under-reporting fraud which now likely underlies the mysterious dramatic decrease in the city’s 2nd largest revenue source, all while the city boasts in writing about record levels of local construction activity.

    Local builders provided 31% and 84%, respectively, of the Rye GOP contributions in 2013 & 2015. Meanwhile deep pocketed Democratic Party donors apparently falsify their own Affidavits of Final Cost to get improper fee savings matched by special unequal tax assessment treatment from the Rye City Assessor in return for their political contributions.

    The combination of these improper activities necessitated the February 6.73% Rye City property tax increase required to backfill the treasury for these substantial missing revenues.

    Local politicians have taken to calling my columns about their malfeasance in office “all lies” and several more colorful unprintable things. So at Rasmussen Reports, a company my investment firm is the majority shareholder of, we decided last week to ask America what they thought about just this kind of vote selling. And here are the national results.

    Fans of Joe Sack, Steve Otis & George Latimer – please ignore the following.

    “FOR SALE: CONGRESS” – Monday, June 26, 2017 – from Rasmussen Reports

    “Voters still think members of Congress aren’t above selling their vote, although they’re less likely to believe that their own local representative has.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 60% of Likely U.S. Voters think most members of Congress are willing to sell their vote for cash or campaign contributions. Just 17% don’t feel that Congress sells its votes, while a sizable 22% are not sure.

    That’s in line with surveys for the past five years.

    Most (54%) also still think it’s likely that their own local representative in Congress has sold his or her vote for either cash or a campaign contribution, but that’s down from 61% a year ago.

    Unchanged over the last several years, however, are the 30% who believe it’s Very Likely their own representative has sold his or her vote. Thirty-two percent (32%) consider that unlikely, but that includes just six percent (6%) who say it’s Not At All Likely. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure.

    There is rare partisan agreement on these questions: The majority of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters agree most members of Congress are willing to sell their vote and think it’s likely their own representative has done so.”


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