Mayor's Office

Mayor Young Touts a Victory for Taxpayers as State Supreme Appellate Court Upholds Decision on “Pro-Bono Counsel”

Mount Vernon, NY— Mount Vernon Mayor Clinton I. Young, Jr. announced today that the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department upheld a decision by State Supreme Court Judge Rory J. Bellantoni that the termination of Ravi Batra as “pro-bono counsel” to the Office of the Mayor was lawful. Batra had attempted to collect attorney’s fees from the City of Mount Vernon in the amount of $250,000, but all such motions were denied by the court.

“This is a major win for taxpayers,” said Mayor Young. “I thank our outstanding Corporation Counsel Loretta Hottinger and her exceptional staff for their work in resolving this matter. I will fight all attempts by either elected officials or those from outside the city who work to carry out political agendas and seek monetary gain all to the detriment of the citizens of Mount Vernon.”

The decision declared that all subpoenas issued by Batra are now moot, as Mayor Clinton Young terminated his position immediately upon coming into office January 2, 2008. The decision by Appellate supported Mayor Young’s decision to fire Batra in 2008 as a legal act, stating that “the Office of the Mayor…has the power to terminate such appointments.”

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