Domenic Procopio, Chairman of the Municipal Service Commission who serves at the pleasure of Mayor Noam Bramson, paid a small fraction of the total amount of back taxes owed on 7 Pinebrook Boulevard due to illegal tax exemptions which he claimed on the property going back to 2002.
It has been two weeks and counting as government officials in New Rochelle, NY continue to stonewall after revelations that the Chairman of the City's Civil Service Commission received "Combat Vet" property tax exemptions for the past 8 years despite having never served in the U.S. Military. New York State "Combat Vet" tax exemptions are reserved for those who fought and died for the United States or their spousal survivors. The official is an immigrant from Italy who never served a single day in the U.S. military.
Adding yet another twist to the bizarre tale, City officials today told Talk of the Sound that is does not possess any records of any request by any owner of the property at 7 Pinebrook Road for the current property tax exemptions including the STAR exemptions and Combat Vet exemptions that City officials have told Talk of the Sound were initially granted in 1999.
Asked about whether it was appropriate for a Mayoral appointee to continue to serve as Chairman of the Municipal Service Commission when it had been demonstrated that he had been taking property tax exemptions illegally, Mayor Noam Bramson told Talk of the Sound that Procopio was doing a good job and dismissed concerns that he should be removed if he refused to resign his position. That was a year ago.
Like a bad penny, Procopio has turned up again in the recent Rolf Koehler scandal where Procopio has been conspiring with Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak, Schools Security Director Bruce Danielle and School Union Chief Martin Daly to ignore the results of a civil service exam and New York State law to place a Danielle crony in a lucrative position with little actual responsibility.
The Combat Vet exemption came up because Talk of the Sound was recently able to obtain a copy of the tax records showing that Procopio paid back $2,674.44 on November 10, 2009. Not paid was the far greater amounts of the illegal STAR exemptions through which Procopio pocketed an estimated $20,000. In addition, the tax assessor has the power to remove any valid STAR exemption for up to five years. Procopio has a valid STAR exemption on his primary residence on Liberty Avenue -- allowing that exemption to continue is costing the City another $10,000.