Yonkers taxpayers to foot mayor's $400K legal bill

Taxpayers in Yonkers have been forced to cover nearly $400,000 in legal settlements after a lawsuit involving the city's mayor. The case started when Sam Zherka, publisher of the Westchester Guardian, sued Mayor Phil Amicone and the city during the mayor's 2007 re-election campaign. Amicone had removed the newspaper from street corners throughout the city, allegedly citing the paper's criticisms of his administration. The initial lawsuit called for Amicone to pay $8 million before the parties agreed to a significant reduction. The judge said he wanted the mayor to pay for the claims personally, a measure that was later struck down by the City Council. Despite the cost to taxpayers, some City Council members and the city's attorney said the deal helps avoid the extra cost of another legal appeal. The agreement still needs to be approved by a federal judge.

Zherka is threatening another lawsuit after Amicone leaves office in January in an effort to make the mayor reimburse the city for the settlement.First Amendment suit could cost Yonkers taxpayers $400KJudge: Yonkers officials violated rights of publisher

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