The Journal News by Timothy O'Connor - March 4, 2009
A former Mount Vernon official illegally steered $2.3 million worth of city business and loans to her boyfriend, a federal prosecutor said yesterday. Former Planning Commissioner Constance "Gerrie" Post's efforts on behalf of Wayne Charles allowed him to reap hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits, the prosecutor said, part of which they intended to use to go into business together.
Post is accused of arranging the extension of a computer services contract to a company called Micros Only that was controlled by Charles, a contract that cost the city more than $1 million. She also is charged with arranging a $250,000 loan from the city to Charles that was not entered on the city's books until after federal investigators asked her about it in 2005. But lawyers for Post and Charles said the city was guilty of faulty record keeping. The loan wasn't entered on the books due to sloppy bookkeeping, not because of Post's deception, Rubin said. "It wasn't her job to put something on the books," he said. "It wasn't her job to send out the bills." Neither side explicitly mentioned the romantic relationship between Post and Charles, which both acknowledged during interviews with federal authorities. But both sides did allude to a personal as well as professional relationship between the two. Rubin said they met in 1997, when city officials and business people went on a trip to China. They developed a relationship sometime later. "In the later years, the friendship became more personal," he said. "So what?" The trial is expected to last four weeks, with federal prosecutors expected to call as many as 40 witnesses to the stand.