The Third Department affirmed the referee’s report recommending the removal of the respondent-mayor from office. It was alleged the mayor used the authority of his office to attempt to prevent his prosecution in a criminal matter:
Public Officers Law § 36 provides a means by which a public officer for a town or village may be removed for “unscrupulous conduct or gross dereliction of duty or conduct that . . . connotes a pattern of misconduct and abuse of authority” … . To warrant removal, an official’s misconduct must amount to more than minor violations and must consist of “self-dealing, corrupt activities, conflict of interest, moral turpitude, intentional wrongdoing or violation of a public trust” … . When this matter was previously before this Court, we found that certain allegations against respondent, if proven, would demonstrate a sufficiently serious pattern of abuse of authority and misbehavior to warrant his removal … . In a detailed report, the Referee determined that respondent had committed a number of acts of misconduct that were sufficient to warrant his removal. Although the Referee’s findings are not binding upon this Court, they serve “to inform [our] conscience” … and, upon our independent review, we find that removal is warranted.
The first of the allegations … was a claim that respondent had refused to provide funding for the Village police department in an effort to influence the disposition of certain criminal charges against him … . * * *
Petitioners [also] allege that respondent sought “to use his position as Mayor and Village Manager to obtain ‘special treatment’ from the Village’s police department with respect to his various criminal charges and has repeatedly threatened various local law enforcement officials with termination or disciplinary action for pursuing such charges against him” … . Matter of Greco v Jenkins, 2015 NY Slip Op 02815, 3rd Dept 4-2-15