FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2023
The City offered 1.2 million last week which was rejected by the attorneys for Kela Tennis Inc. This money was from the contingency funds we allocated in our 2023 budget, and it was offered in consultation with the Mayor and Comptroller. It appears that the jury and the lawyers for Mr. Simunyola, believe that Mount Vernon has access to capital that simply doesn’t exist. Our insurance company stated that due to breach of contract the City would be ineligible for insurance coverage and responsible for damages. Grant funding, including ARPA money cannot be used for lawsuit settlements and with no savings and no credit rating the City could not make a stronger financial settlement offer in good faith. It’s been the goal of this administration to deal with the horrors of terrible fiscal mismanagement and the circus of errors that occurred prior to 2020. The City will explore all decisions up to and including appealing this decision with the Comptroller and City Council to ensure this $9.4 million judgement and interest totaling approximately $15 million is not carried wholly by our residents.