YORKTOWN, N.Y. – A complaint made last year against former Supervisor Michael Grace has been dismissed by the Grievance Committee for the 9th Judicial District in White Plains.
Last year, Grace, an attorney with offices across the street from town hall, represented an auto repair shop in a legal dispute. Susan Siegel, also a former supervisor, said her successor’s representation of this business was unethical because it had a towing contract with the town.
The Town Board later voted to fund Grace’s legal defense in this hearing, which prompted Siegel to add to her complaint, saying it was a misuse of town funds.
On Sept. 13, a year and three weeks after Siegel filed her complaint, Jerold R. Ruderman, chairperson for the Grievance Committee, sent a brief letter to Siegel saying her complaint had been considered and dismissed.
“After deliberation, the committee determined that there was no violation of the rules and laws governing attorney conducts. Accordingly, the complaint was dismissed,” Ruderman wrote.
Grace, in a phone interview Tuesday with Yorktown News, said the complaint was meritless from the beginning.
“Essentially, it was a good deed going very punished,” Grace said.
He questioned the timing of the complaint, made during the campaign for his bid for re-election, saying it was politically motivated. News articles covering the complaint were used in campaign literature paid for by the Yorktown Democratic Committee.
“They weaponized it,” he said. “It’s all they had and it’s all they could talk about... I not only hold Susan Siegel responsible for the meritless nature of it, but the whole ticket that ran. They all knew that it had no merit. They had nothing to campaign on against me other than to personally malign me.”
Siegel has another pending complaint against Grace that she filed three months ago with the town’s Ethics Board. This time, the complaint has to do with Grace’s representation of Breslin Realty, the developer of the new Lowe’s on Crompond Road. Grace, less than a year removed from office, began representing Breslin Realty before the Planning Board in July, which Siegel said is a violation of the “revolving door” section of the town’s ethics code, which reads: “It shall be a presumptive conflict of interest for any former elected town official, within one year after leaving office, to represent another person or corporation before any town body.”
Grace also called this complaint “nonsense,” saying Breslin has a right to choose its own representation.