Friday is White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley’s last day in office.
White Plains Common Council President Thomas Roach becomes mayor at midnight and says he will run in the special election to fill the remaining two-year term, which will be held within 60 days.
Click on our video to see and hear Bradley make his announcement.
The news follows by about two months the Dec. 9 decision by Westchester County Judge Susan Capeci to find of one misdemeanor count each of second-degree criminal contempt and third-degree attempted assault. He was also charged with three harassment violations in the second degree, and will be sentenced on March 17. Bradley said he is innocent of mistreating his wife Fumiko Bradley, whom he is divorcing, and will appeal the conviction.
“It was my sincere belief that my personal matters would have been resolved within the space of one year,” said Bradley at a news conference on Friday.
“Unfortunately, it has become clear that a greater period of time will be needed for me to resolve those matters. As a result, I can no longer allow the circumstances of my personal life to be a distraction to the press, and others, from the goals an achievements, both realized and to be realized, by this great city during the coming year.”
Bradley—who was elected in November 2009, and served in the New York State Assembly for seven years—said his resignation will allow him to focus on “exonerating my name and reputation in the legal matter that has plagued me for the last year. “
The mayor, who along with his family has a long history in the city’s Democratic party, made the announcement at a last-minute press conference at 5 p.m. Friday.
Before then, Bradley despite being asked by the Common Council—minus Councilman Dennis Power—a majority of the and some city residents to do so. The council even sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, asking him to remove Bradley from office. (See the attached PDF to read the letter.)
“I think it’s a tough day for White Plains, also sad for Adam and his family, especially his children,” said Power. “I thought all along that, if and when the time came that he felt it would be in the best interest of the city that he moved on, that he would.”
that he would finish out his term, but not seek re-election. The councilman denied that his decision was related to comments made in his support for Bradley.
“I felt strong about his ability to make that judgment call, and that’s why I never pushed, but this is a good city, a strong city and it was made better by Adam and his administration,” said Power.
The announcement came after a surprise city ethics board meeting was held the day before. The board is investigating allegations of impropriety involving Bradley’s suspected special treatment of a landlord. Bradley did not take any questions after the press conference, and Roach said he did not know if the ethics meeting was related to the mayor’s announcement.
Bradley said he was proud of his administration’s accomplishments, among them: replenishing the city’s reserves; reducing a potential massive tax increase; reducing the workforce to its lowest levels in 30 years; and attracting new businesses, jobs and development to the city, like ShopRite—which created 400 jobs—and Metropolitan Plaza.
“When I became mayor of White Plains last year, many businesses were boarded up and abandoned, more people were losing jobs than finding them, and our city was on the edge of fiscal abyss,” said Bradley. “Now, I am proud to say, the opposite is true.”
Bradley said he was confident and comfortable leaving the city in Roach’s hands.
“Today marks a new start for White Plains, and while I feel a deep sadness that I will no longer have the privilege of serving you as mayor, I know that the direction of our city only continues forward,” he said.
Roach told the press that he was asked just before 2 p.m. to come to City Hall where Bradley broke the news, and began discussing the transitioning of city affairs. The two said they would work closely with city department heads over the weekend to ensure a smooth transition.
“I do feel confident in my ability to lead the city,” said Roach at the press conference.
Roach, a White Plains native, has been a lawyer for more than 20 years, has been on the council since 2001, and recently lost the election for New York’s 89th Assembly seat.
Roach said he has a good relationship with the city’s commissioners and is versed in the challenges and issues facing White Plains.
The city will hold an election within 60 days to elect a new mayor. Roach said he plans to run during the election, and will step down in his position at a law firm.
“I think now the city can move forward and concentrate on city matters,” said Councilwoman Milagros Lecuona. “The Common Council can concentrate on the work that needs to be done in the city, and not dealing with the mayor’s personal issues.”
Lecuona said the city’s Democratic Party will now have a chance to come together again after being divided into Bradley supporters and non-Bradley supporters, and that she has faith in Roach’s ability as mayor.
“He [Roach] has been doing a very good job as a council person for many years,” said Lecuona. “Working with him is a pleasure and I look forward to working together when he becomes Mayor for the City of White Plains.”