Yonkers mayor claims elections tainted

(07/14/03) YONKERS - Mayor John Spencer (R-Yonkers) claims county leaders have manipulated the election process over the last few years, and he wants New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to investigate.

Spencer says the charade effectively takes power away from the voters, and began three years ago with absentee ballot harvesting in Yonkers. Dennis Wedra was eventually acquitted of charges he rigged ballots, which defrauded voters in a scheme to put candidates on minor party lines.

The mayor also claims D.A. Jeanine Pirro didn't go far enough in investigating who was behind phone calls in a term limits referendum that would have allowed him to run for a third term. Spencer also alleges that a non-aggression pact put weak challengers against incumbents, County Executive Andy Spano (D-WC) and District Attorney Jeanine Pirro (R-WC). District Attorney Pirro says Spencer's claims are politically motivated and that she stands by the integrity of her office.

A spokeswoman for State Senator Nick Spano, who Spencer says is the common denominator in his allegations, says Spencer has the market cornered on political corruption and should take a look in the mirror. She later added that Spencer's accusations are a sign the wheels are coming off for Phil Amicone, a Republican mayoral candidate who is Spencer's deputy mayor, in his campaign for Yonkers mayor.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office said they will not comment.

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