MV comptroller: Inspector general not qualified

Mount Vernon Comptroller Maureen Walker accused the city's inspector general Tuesday of being unqualified for his job after the inspector general released a report criticizing Walker two months ago.

During a news conference in White Plains, Walker and her lawyers claimed Inspector General Harry Stokes is trying to destroy Walker's reputation because she has refused to work with Mayor Clinton Young. According to Stokes' report, which was filed in January, Walker neglected to pay a law firm hired by the city council in 2007 during an investigation under former Mayor Ernie Davis. Stokes accused Walker of misconduct for failing to pay the bills.

Walker's attorney, John DiBlasi, who is the former chief of staff for Mayor Davis, claims Stokes is not qualified to be inspector general or conduct any investigation.

"Forget about the qualifications required by the laws of the city of Mount Vernon, he has absolutely no experience and no business serving in this position," DiBlasi says.

DiBlasi says Walker's rights to sue Stokes are limited because both people are public officials. However, he did not rule out the possibility of a lawsuit in the future.

City officials defended Stokes and his report Tuesday. At the news conference, Mayor Young denounced Walker's claims, calling them nothing more than a "political maneuver." He also defended Stokes' qualifications as inspector general.

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