Westchester County Grand Jury Investigating New Rochelle Mayor on Criminal Public Corruption Charges

Bramson job scheme worth $2.75 million

Westchester County Grand Jury Investigating New Rochelle Mayor on Criminal Public Corruption Charges

WHITE PLAINS, NY (June 27, 2022) -- A Westchester County Grand Jury has subpoenaed the New Rochelle Board of Ethics as a witness in an ongoing confidential investigation into public corruption charges against New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson relating to his nearly year-long effort to use his elected office to pressure City Manager Charles B. Strome to appoint him to a $210,000 a year job as Development Commissioner for which he was not qualified.

The Development Commissioner position would not only have meant a $100,000 increase in salary (the Mayor is currently paid $110,000) but Bramson sought an unprecedented five-year agreement, upping his total salary windfall to $500,000, and as a participant in the New York State pension system, depending on his Pension Tier, he would receive up to 75% of his salary in his highest paid three years.

Bramson could retire with a maxed out pension at 57. If he lived to be 87, retiring as Development Commissioner would add an additional $2,250,000 in income on top of the extra $500,000 in salary for a total of $2.75 million above and beyond his salary and pension as Mayor.

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The New Rochelle Board of Ethics completed its investigation and issued an Advisory Opinion on June 16, 2022, in response to an ethics complaint I filed on March 21.

Ethics allegations were sustained by the board for two violations of the New Rochelle City Charter, misdemeanor Conflict of Interest crimes under Article 18 of New York State General Municipal Law.

Bramson pressured New Rochelle City Manager Charles B. Strome to appoint him as Development Commissioner, despite Bramson failing to meet the job requirements specified in the City Charter.

Bramson organized what amounted to an attempted coup d’etat, seeking a majority on Council to pressure Strome to rescind the appointment of Corporation Counsel as Deputy City Manager.

Last month, through his attorney, Bramson threatened legal action against Strome, Gill, Peter Miesels of Wilson, Elser, the lawyer for the Ethics Board, and other City officials if Strome referred the Advisory Opinion to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

Council members approved hiring attorneys to represent City officials threatened by Bramson.

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A criminal referral to the District Attorney’s Office became unnecessary after I published the Advisory Opinion on Thursday, June 16. The DA’s office (Rocah follows me on Twitter) called City Hall first thing Friday morning asking, “how do we get a copy of this report?”. Strome sent the report to the DA’s office, based on their request, about an hour later.

“The Mayor’s conduct is a textbook example of public corruption: the leveraging of a public position to gain improper personal benefits, said, Richard St. Paul, a prominent criminal defense attorney who often appears as a legal analyst on national TV, and served with Bramson on the New Rochelle City Council for four years.

“If Bramson is convicted of any crime related to public office he would forfeit his position as Mayor, he would be barred from holding public office anywhere in New York State and his pension can be reduced or revoked,” St. Paul added. “That is not to mention possible incarceration.”

The subpoena was drafted and served on Friday, June 24, by Assistant District Attorney Brian P. Weinberg and signed by District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah. The subpoena is returnable Friday, July 1, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.

The investigation number is PI2022-0023.

The subpoena covers “all materials used and referenced by the New Rochelle Board of Ethics in its June 2022 Advisory Opinion, including, but not limited to, transcripts of testimony, correspondence, memoranda, and communications.”

Bramson had nothing to say when I asked him about the Grand Jury investigation.

I filed another ethics complaint against New Rochelle Board of Ethics member David Blumenthal on June 24 for engaging in ex-parte discussions with Bramson cut-outs, thereby violating the confidentiality of the board and violating attorney-client privilege by sharing secret details of the work of the board with Bramson, refusing for months to sign-off on the Advisory Opinion and demanding changes to the Advisory Opinion sought by Bramson.


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.

Ethics Complaint Filed Against David Blumenthal of the New Rochelle Board of Ethics

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