The Corporation Counsel Bernis Nelson officially resigned from her position in a letter addressed to the City Clerk Monday. Her resignation will be effective on June 26, according to her letter. Nelson wrote:
"It has been an honor to return to the City of Peekskill for the past 14 months to work on its behalf, in addition to the 7 years I previously served the City in the 1980's.
I wish the City all the best."
(Read the full letter in the PDF attached to this article.)
The resignation letter is dated June 11, the same day that Nelson of a City Council meeting after being accused of having a conflict of interest and after the mayor told her not to respond to the accuser.
Nelson started her job with the city in after the city's former acting corporation counsel Janet Insardi left her position.
One month after Nelson was hired she gave an impassioned speech to a crowd during a Council Meeting after Peekskill resident Leesther Brown made an accusation that the then-newly appointed assistant corporation counsel, Marie Hodukavich, was hired because she is Nelson’s “home girl,” because the two attorneys had worked together before.
“There is a from person to person,” Nelson said of what she had been observing at council meetings in May 2011.
“We are all human beings, we all came out of the same place…and we are all going to one day go to the same place all together,” Nelson continued, pointing her finger at the crowd.
During that meeting the Mayor and then City Manager Rick Finn had asked Nelson not to respond to the public. The mayor ended the meeting after Nelson's comments.
In the 80s, Nelson served as Peekskill’s city planner, then first-deputy corporation counsel before going into private practice. Prior to her arrival in Peekskill, she served as Newburgh’s corporation counsel since December of 2009.
The Acting City Manager could not be reached for comment at the time of this publication.
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