United States Attorney, Southern District of New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - MARCH 19, 2008
CONTACT: U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE: HERBERT HADAD,YUSILL SCRIBNER, REBEKAH CARMICHAEL
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE - (914) 993-1900 - (212) 637-2600
FORMER MOUNT VERNON COMMISSIONER AND ASSOCIATE INDICTED BY U.S. ON CORRUPTION CHARGES
MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that the former Commissioner of the Mount Vernon Department of Planning and Community Development and Executive Director of the Mount Vernon Department of Planning and Urban Renewal Agency, CONSTANCE G.
POST, and WAYNE CHARLES were indicted today by a federal grand jury in White Plains on mail fraud charges. According to the Indictment, POST and CHARLES secretly agreed that CHARLES would receive the following: (1) lucrative City contracts totaling more than $1 million, with CHARLES’s involvement in those contracts remaining hidden; (2) a loan which would not be required to be repaid and which was not entered into the books and records of Mount Vernon; and (3) payment of architectural and other services benefitting properties in which CHARLES had an interest.
According to the Indictment: CHARLES and POST secretly agreed that POST would benefit financially from CHARLES’s business dealings with the City of Mount Vernon and POST steered a series of contracts to CHARLES, while representing to the board of Mount Vernon’s Urban Renewal Agency that it was contracting with a company that was engaged in the business of providing computer services. CHARLES, however, had no prior experience in the industry. In addition, POST arranged for Mount Vernon to provide CHARLES with a loan that was not entered into the books and records of Mount Vernon until after POST was approached by federal investigators in 2005.
According to the Indictment, only after POST was approached by federal investigators did CHARLES make his first and only series of repayments, totaling approximately $7,500. In addition, POST authorized the payment of approximately $40,000 to pay for architectural and other services to benefit properties in which CHARLES had an interest, while not disclosing her personal and financial relationship with CHARLES as described in the Indictment. The Indictment also alleges that CHARLES and POST acted to cover-up their conduct: CHARLES lied to federal investigators
in 2006, falsely stating that he had no involvement in the contracts that POST had steered to him. Throughout the relevant time period POST failed to disclose to Mount Vernon and HUD her personal and financial relationship with CHARLES, failed to file annual financial disclosure statements that she was required to file as Commissioner and Executive Director, and failed to enforce Mount Vernon’s loan provisions against CHARLES.
According to the Indictment, POST and CHARLES traveled together, secretly agreed to engage in financial transactions, and in 2004, CHARLES made a $30,000 payment to POST. POST, 58, of Mount Vernon, New York, and CHARLES, 55, of New York City, are scheduled to appear for arraignment in United States Magistrate Court in White Plains on March 26, 2008.
Mr. GARCIA said that the Indictment was the product of a joint investigation by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He said the investigation is continuing. Assistant United States Attorneys CYNTHIA K. DUNNE and PERRY A. CARBONE are in charge of the prosecution. The charges in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. 08-070 ###