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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Rawlings Should Recuse Says Ethics Board

By Kathy Savolt -

 

In a seven-page opinion released March 5, 2024, the Village Board of Ethics (BOE) determined that Trustee Manny Rawlings should recuse himself from all matters related to the Hunter Tier development project.  See HERE.

 

Pursuant to Village Code Section 21-4 C (1), the BOE found that Rawlings’ participation in the project, which involves the Washingtonville Housing Alliance (WHA) as a key member of proposed development team for an affordable housing complex, would give a reasonable appearance of a conflict of interest.  The BOE opinion states when discussions, public hearing, or votes related to the project take place, Rawlings “must step down from the dais, panel or formal array of trustees.”  However, the BOE notes Rawlings still has the right to express his opinion on the development as a private citizen. 

 

Rawlings lived in a WHA-owned apartment since childhood with his mother who was sued by WHA for non-payment of rent.  Rawlings was listed on the lease as an occupant and was named in the petition for nonpayment as such.  Rawlings told the BOE that he moved in the summer of 2022.


Clarification: Neither the Ethics Board (EB) nor The Mamaroneck Observer saw a lease for the apartment in question.  Trustee Rawlings’ name does appear on the Petition for Nonpayment.   He stated to the EB that he did not recall ever signing a lease or obligation to pay rent on the apartment.   He also stated that he lived in the apartment from childhood until mid-summer of 2022.  According to the court documents rent was unpaid from November 2021 through January 2023.

 

During his BOE interview, Rawlings asserted that he had never been served any legal papers and had no knowledge of his involvement in the legal proceedings until he read it in the Mamaroneck Observer.   See previous article HERE.  The BOE’s review of the court documents found that Rawlings was never served with any notice or order relating to the proceedings.

 

The BOE’s investigation also determined that no court ordered judgement was filed against Rawlings and that the matter was closed.

 

The Observer reached out to Rawlings for comment.  At the time of publication, we are waiting for his reply.  We will update this article when more information is available.

 

It must be noted that Trustee candidate Maria DeRose did not participate in this decision.



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