Westchester County DA Reviewing New Rochelle Board of Ethics Advisory Opinion on Mayor Noam Bramson

Westchester County DA Reviewing New Rochelle Board of Ethics Advisory Opinion on Mayor Noam Bramson

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (June 21, 2022) -- The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine — or at least that’s the hope of many at City Hall as Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah and her team take over the investigation into New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.

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At a City Council meeting on Tuesday evening, Bramson did not make a statement addressing the criminal referral to Rocah made by City Manager Charles B. Strome last Friday. When the meeting ended after about 30 minutes, Bramson stood, then turned to his immediate left, and exited a side door to avoid reporters waiting at the other end of the room.

Two separate written statements, one by Bramson and one by Strome, are expected, perhaps as early as tomorrow.

“I accept the findings of the Ethics Board's independent investigation,” said Strome. “This investigation has been difficult for all involved.

I want to express my thanks to members Charles Phipps and David Blumenthal for their time and diligence and for their 25 years of service to the City,” he added.

A statement by Bramson is expected as early as tomorrow.

The New Rochelle Board of Ethics Advisory Opinion was signed and distributed to the City Manager, all members of the City Council and me, as the Complainant, on June 16.

The Advisory Opinion was transmitted by City Manager Charles B. Strome to Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah on Friday, June 17, 2022, at 10:44 AM with a brief note.

Honorable Miriam E. Rocah

Westchester County District Attorney

Dear District Attorney Rocah:

I am in receipt of the attached opinion from the New Rochelle Board of Ethics. I am forwarding to you for your information.


Charles B. Strome, Ill

City Manager

City of New Rochelle

The email was copied to two additional recipients, one visible, the other redacted.

Lila Kirton was included on the email in her capacity as Executive Assistant District Attorney for Intergovernmental Affairs & Criminal Justice Initiatives for the Westchester County District Attorney's Office.

The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office confirmed receipt of the Advisory Opinion to me on Tuesday.

Hi Bob,

We are reviewing the Advisory Opinion of the Ethics Board of the City of New Rochelle. We have no further comment at this time.

Westchester County District Attorney’s Office

The investigation began after the New Rochelle Board of Ethics accepted the ethics complaint I filed on March 21.

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During the course of the Board's investigation and deliberations concerning the complaint of Robert Cox, the Board considered the testimony offered by Mayor Noam Bramson, all members of the City Council, the Development Commissioner Adam Salgado, the Human Resources Commissioner Robert Yamuder, the City Manager Charles B. Strome III, the Deputy City Manager/ Corporation Counsel Kathleen Gill, and the Chairman of the Business Improvement District Mark Jerome. In addition, the Board considered correspondence dated April 13, 2022, received from the Mayor's attorney, Steven Leventhal and a memorandum from the City Manager to the Mayor, attaching an ethical opinion from the International City/County Management Association and two opinions from the City’s labor counsel.

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, through his attorney Steven Leventhal, has threatened legal action if City Manager Charles B. Strome refers a pending report by the New Rochelle Ethics Board to Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah.

“My client cannot accept unchallenged a manipulated outcome that improperly and unfairly tarnishes his unblemished record of integrity,” wrote Leventhal. “In the event of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney, I would advise my client, in the strongest terms, to use every appropriate means to defend his rights and reputation,” he added, making specific allusions to litigation aimed at Corporation Counsel Kathleen Gill.

The threats are detailed in a letter dated May 23, 2022. Strome shared the threat letter with members of the New Rochelle City Council on May 25 and requested their support for the City providing lawyers for Strome, Gill and others. Bramson did not respond to the request. All the other Council members except Sara Kaye agreed to Strome’s request with Kaye rejecting the request to provide lawyers for Kathleen Gill and her staff. Yadira Ramos-Herbert who, until May 25, had fallen in line with the Mayor on the ethics investigation flipped, supporting Strome’s request in its entirety - a notable break with the Mayor.


Mayor of New Rochelle Referred to Westchester District Attorney for Public Corruption - handoff to the DA.

GUILTY: New Rochelle Ethics Board Finds Mayor Noam Bramson Violated the City Charter, a Misdemeanor - a summary of the findings in the report.

New Rochelle Ethics Board Report on Mayor Noam Bramson ($) - the full report.

Ethics Board Report on New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson is Complete - the history of the case.

Read more