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Queens Chronicle

Mystery letter details CB 9 leaders’ feud

Ex-chairman said he didn’t send note

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Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 1:00 pm, Thu Apr 10, 2014.

A letter from former Community Board 9 Chairman Jim Coccovillo detailing the year-long feud between him and District Manager Mary Ann Carey was sent to the Queens Chronicle Tuesday, but Coccovillo, who stepped down as chairman last month, said he wasn’t the one who released it to the public.

“I didn’t send anyone anything,” Coccovillo said when contacted Wednesday.

The letter was faxed early Tuesday afternoon with no cover sheet or any number from where it was sent. It includes signatures of Coccovillo and Carey, who acknowledged the letter’s authenticity, but said she didn’t make it public. The note explains the issues that dominated the last year of CB 9 meetings. A note, allegedly written by Carey, said she disagrees with it.

Coccovillo’s successor, Ralph Gonzalez, said Tuesday that he did not know about the letter.

According to the letter, CB 9’s executive board decided to move forward with a motion to terminate Carey last spring after offering to let them resign, which she refused. That led to a contentious meeting last June in which the board decided, after more than an hour of closed-door deliberation, to give Carey a six-month probationary period. However, that time line led to more contention on the board last fall.

The note also describes Carey’s behavior as “inappropriate” and “unprofessional,” alluding to an incident at the January CB 9 meeting when Carey accused Coccovillo, who was not present at that meeting, of harassing her and her staff. She later walked back those remarks.

Coccovillo and Carey said at the board’s February meeting that they had resolved their differences and vowed to move beyond the previous year’s issues.

When asked about the letter, several board members said they didn’t know where it came from, but felt the issue needed to be handled behind closed doors.

“This is in the past and someone is trying to stir it up again,” one board member said.

Welcome to the discussion.