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Residents Sue To Have Mayor Ousted From Office

Courtesy of the Village of Spring Valley

Three residents of a Rockland County village have filed suit against the mayor, alleging misconduct and abuse of authority. They want him removed from office.

The three residents represented by attorney William Gerard filed suit with a New York State appellate court calling for the ouster of Spring Valley Mayor Demeza Delhomme. The lawsuit alleges Delhomme's ongoing pattern of misconduct and abuse of authority, and details dozens of grievances, alleging religious discrimination; mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds and resources; and harassment of village officials. Gerard says he researched the best way to try and remove the mayor.

“And I found that in New York we don’t have any system for recall elections,” says Gerard. “What we have is Public Officers Law, Section 36, which permits citizen residents of the jurisdiction to commence an action in the appellate division of the supreme court to remove such a public official.”

The audio is from a press conference held Monday and is courtesy of The Journal News’ website, Lohud.com. Gerard adds:

“The impetus for my involvement in this matter comes from the Haitian community itself. I’ve practiced law in this area for many years,” says Gerard. “I have many Haitian clients and friends and teammates and they began asking me what could be done, some time ago, to get rid of this mayor because he’s bad for the community, particularly bad for the Haitian community.”

Delhomme could not be reached in time for this broadcast. According to the mayor’s staff, Delhomme is out of town on village business and unavailable for comment. Heyward Reed is one of the petitioners. He says the village’s taxpayers deserve better.

“He’s shown a whole lot of unprofessionalism and we need someone to lead our community,” says Reed. “We’ve already been going through a lot over the years, and I just can’t take it anymore. This is ridiculous.”

The two others filing suit are Yvette Teal Tynes and Tammy Booth. Here’s Booth.

“If we don’t take back our community, or the words of my nephew, who will?” Booth says. “Are we going to side idly by and let this community be destroyed?”

It would not be Delhomme’s first brush with the legal system. He spent a short time in jail over the summer over contempt of court charges concerning a dispute about a day camp. Meanwhile, the village attorney he appointed, Jerrold Miles, has resigned. The Journal News reports that Miles, who Delhomme appointed in 2013, last week said the level of dysfunction was so great that he felt that there was not much that can be done on his part to fix some of the multitude of issues that are plaguing the village.

And it’s not the first time allegations have been waved at a mayor of Spring Valley. In 2013, then-Mayor Noramie Jasmin and then-Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret faced bribery charges in connection with a real estate deal. Desmaret last year pleaded guilty while Jasmine has declared her innocence and awaits trial. Delhomme was a village trustee at the time. Jasmin was the first Haitian-American mayor in state history.

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