WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Anthony Bove, a North Salem resident and the former Commissioner of the Mount Vernon Water Department, was sentenced Friday to 15 months in prison for soliciting a $10,000 bribe from an employee of the department, and for lying to federal law enforcement officers when interviewed during the investigation.
Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said Bove pleaded guilty in March in White Plains federal court before U.S. District Judge Vincent Briccetti, who imposed the sentence.
“While entrusted to provide clean and safe water for the people of Mount Vernon, Anthony Bove looked out only for himself, demanding a bribe from one of his own employees for a promotion to which the employee was already entitled," Bharara said.
According to statements made in court and in court documents, in the spring of 2015, the 48-year-old Bove solicited a $10,000 bribe from an employee in exchange for approving the employee’s promotion.
The employee, who was serving in a temporary capacity as the bookkeeper of the department, had passed a civil service bookkeeping examination in order to become eligible for a permanent bookkeeping position. After passing the test, the employee completed the necessary form to apply for the permanent position, and submitted it to Bove for his approval, which was required for the promotion to occur.
Instead of approving the promotion, Bove told the employee to meet him at Memorial Field in Mount Vernon in April 2015, according to Bharara. At the park, Bove told the employee he would not approve the promotion unless he was given $10,000 and said if the employee didn't have enough money, they could pay half up front and the other half in installments, according to Bharara.
Following the April meeting, Bove called the employee on multiple occasions to ask when the employee would pay him and temployee refused to make payment and the promotion paperwork remained unsigned until the fall of 2015, after Mount Vernon’s incumbent mayor was defeated in the primary, which resulted in Bove being replaced as commissioner, Bharara said. Bove signed the form without having obtained any payment before leaving office.
In December, a special agent from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General and a criminal investigator from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York interviewed Bove in connection with his attempt to extort the employee. During the interview, Bove lied to the investigating agents, saying he had never asked for money to approve a job promotion for anyone in his department.
In addition to the prison sentence, Bove also was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and a $200 special assessment fee and sentenced to two years of supervised release.
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