Updated 10/23/2012 05:32 AM
Herbek speaks at city council meeting
Newburgh City Manager Richard Herbek said he is staying put, after telling Mayor Judy Kennedy this weekend that he was stepping down. Herbek was pulled over last week with a woman who was arrested during a prostitution sweep. During Monday night's city council meeting, Herbek explained his reasons for keeping his post. YNN's John Wagner has the story.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- Implying that he's a victim of his own good intentions, Newburgh's beleaguered city manager has staked his ground, saying he's been trying to get help for an alleged drug addict and prostitute for some time.
"Perhaps naively, I thought that without my help she could die on the streets," said Richard Herbek, Newburgh City Manager.
Herbek acknowledged the embarrassment that getting pulled over with a known prostitute in his car have brought to the city, and his family. That's why he called the mayor to resign on Sunday. However, after rethinking his commitment to the city and his three years of management, he said he won't turn his back on the city now. Now, his detractors aren't buying it.
"I believe Rick felt he did something wrong morally and he felt like it was going to be more hurt to his family than it was worth running the city, and I believe someone got in his ear and told him otherwise, and here we are," said Cedric Brown, Newburgh City Councilman.
Many locals who showed up for Monday's City Council meeting defended Herbek, or said what the manager does on his own time is none of their business. More speakers accused the police of wrongdoing than they did Herbek.
"He got a one minute walkup by the police officers, and then they walked away," said Curlie Dillard, another Newburgh City Councilman.
"It tells me that depending on who you know and who it is you may not really have to go through a policy or procedure," said Tamie Hollins, a Newburgh City Resident.
But the police chief said his officers did nothing wrong.
"None of what took place elevated to the point where an arrest would be made, or a car would be searched, or the persons would be searched in that car," said Michael Ferrara, Newburgh City Police Chief.
Mayor Judy Kennedy said she will look into an impartial investigation, but that her focus is elsewhere.
"We got to worry about getting this budget done which is primary, absolutely our number one priority, and keeping this city stabilized," said Mayor Kennedy.
With the budget due in November, her predecessor agrees. "Now is just not the right time, so get through the budget process, then you can all sit down and decide what to do going into the end of this year and next year," said Nicholas Valentine, former Newburgh City Mayor.
The council would need 4 out of 5 votes to get rid of the city manager, and they only have three, so now is not the time.
A copy of Herbek's statement from the meeting can be viewed below.