(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Earlier today at the Board of Acquisition and Contracts, the County Executive retained the services of private, outside counsel to respond to a letter from the independent monitor overseeing the implementation of the affordable housing settlement.  The County Executive’s new legal counsel in the form of white-shoe, mega-firm Holwell, Shuster & Goldberg, a law firm recently noted for giving associates $100,000 bonuses, will cost taxpayers $100,000.  

Catherine Borgia, the Democratic Majority Leader responded to the new county contract, “The amount of money that the County Executive’s continued intransigence is costing taxpayers has really become out of hand at this point.  We’ve already built and financed a large number of the housing units that the settlement requires us to build and the County Executive is now squabbling over educational and public relations components of the settlement.  By time we spend the $100,000 on this lawyer to respond to a letter, we could have come together, created an education campaign and needs assessment analysis and used the $100,000 to fund them. County attorneys have handled all the other legal work for the County Executive’s fight with the federal government thus far.  They are perfectly able to handle this latest  matter as well, at no additional cost to the taxpayers of Westchester”

Last month, the independent monitor filed a report regarding Westchester County’s compliance with various aspects of the stipulation agreed to by the prior administration.  That report found several inconsistencies between the public rhetoric of Astorino and other administration officials and statements that they made under oath in private deposition.  

Borgia continued, “We clearly need to complete the tasks that the county agreed to do in the settlement in the quickest, most inexpensive way possible by adhering to the four corners of the settlement and move on from there. Our tax dollars should be going towards providing services, not subsidizing mega law-firm annual bonuses.”