Mary MuellerOct 23, 2017, 1:46 pmOct 23, 2017, 5:41 pm

Yorktown supervisor accused of misusing taxpayer money and acting unethically

Ex-supervisor says Michael Grace acted unethically while representing local business as a private attorney

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YORKTOWN — Some residents are accusing Town Supervisor Michael Grace of misusing taxpayer money.

Former Town Supervisor Susan Siegel is leading the fight against Grace who she says has misused taxpayer money and isn't acting ethically.

“I don't have an ax to grind. I am just watching out for the town,” Siegel says, who is supporting a lawsuit filed by another resident calling for Grace’s actions to be investigated. The lawsuit comes after an Oct. 3. town board meeting in which town board members voted to put up to $2,500 towards Grace’s legal defense after Siegel filed a complaint about his ethics as a lawyer in August.

Under the law, the town is allowed to pay for legal representation for a town employee and it's been done in the past. But Siegel claims her complaint is against Grace acting as a private attorney. She says he acted unethically as a lawyer when he decided to represent a local auto body shop while town supervisor because the town has a franchise agreement with the company.

"The law is very clear. It says we will pay for your legal bills if the issue involved what you did while you were acting as a town employee," Siegel says.

Siegel says taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill for legal fees to defend his unethical behavior as a private lawyer.

FiOS1 News went to the town hall to hear the supervisor's side.

Grace said off camera that he could represent as a lawyer whoever he wants and Siegel is just picking a fight because it's an election season. It's also not the first time the she has filed a lawsuit against the town.

The town's attorney says it's not a matter of cost, but her grievances have taken him away from constituents. In a statement to FiOS1 News, he says the lawyer hired to defend Grace was "an appropriate expenditure of town money."

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