Mount Vernon Mayor Patterson-Howard delivers State of the City
Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard delivered her first State of City address Wednesday night as a dark cloud looms over Mount Vernon.
During her address, the mayor brought up challenges the city faced due to COVID-19, investments made to the city’s fire department and police reform.
Several sources tell News 12 that federal investigators are looking into an alleged kickback scheme that could involve up to 100 city employees - including high-ranking city officials, 25 police officers and at least 12 firefighters.
Sources say Paycheck Protection Program applications were filled out, falsely stating the workers were business owners in need of financial support because of the pandemic.
News 12 is being told employees gave their personal information to a ringleader, who filled out the applications for them and got a kickback.
Mayor Patterson-Howard says her team is running an internal investigation, starting with a memo sent out Tuesday to city directors.
She said to contact designated officials if anyone "applied for and/or received a loan, grant, or any form of payment" related to the pandemic "that required you pay a portion of the disbursement back as an application fee."
Patterson-Howard says she does not plan on commenting on this alleged scheme during the State of the City, saying she will when she has more information.
Police Commissioner Glenn Scott is being vocal on Facebook, putting his personal opinion out there - noting it's not representative of the city.
He wrote, "If there is a central broker behind these actions, then the government locks them up on federal charges." He also said, "The lack of ethical behavior is also city employee termination standard."
News 12 reached out to Commissioner Scott for further comment and hasn't heard back yet.
Patterson-Howard says she isn't aware of any official allegations made by government agencies but that her team will cooperate if any develop.