Mount Vernon Board of Ethics chair kicked off the City Council ballot after coercion arrest

Mount Vernon politics is known to be rough and tumble, but this week it turned criminal - leaving one City Council candidate under arrest.

News 12 Staff

Apr 22, 2021, 12:48 AM

Updated 1,151 days ago

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Mount Vernon politics is known to be rough and tumble, but this week it turned criminal - leaving one City Council candidate under arrest.
Greg Canata is chairman of the city's Board of Ethics, and he was a City Council candidate until he got kicked off the ballot.
He was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted coercion after threatening current city Councilwoman Janice Duarte that he'd go after her - if she didn't call off a legal challenge to the petitions he collected to appear on the ballot.
News 12 has obtained part of the phone call which Duarte recorded and handed over to authorities.
It includes, "I am going to be ruthless with you...sending out weekly emails - blasting you every chance I get. If I'm off the ballot, I'll be attacking you personally and what you've done on the council and I'm going to make sure everyone in Mount Vernon knows about it."
“Politics is politics, but, as charged, Mr. Cannata’s threats against Ms. Duarte crossed the line from competitive to criminal under New York’s coercion statute when he tried to intimidate her to drop legally permissible challenges to signatures on his nominating petitions. Mr. Cannata could have availed himself of a legal process to object to those challenges, but instead he turned to threats and intimidation, which we believe amount to attempted coercion," says Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah.
The charges Canata faces are misdemeanor.
News 12 reached out to him, but he declined to comment.


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