Attorney general asked to investigate Kingston mayor and his wife

Four members of the Kingston Common Council, including its leaders, are calling for an independent investigation of Kingston Mayor Steven Noble and his wife, Julie Noble, by attorney general Letitia James. The allegations are not detailed in the request, which was sent to Hudson Valley One at 5:39 p.m. on Friday, July 10.

The signers on the document are Andrea Shaut, council president; majority leader Reynolds Scott-Childress; and aldermen Jeffrey Ventura-Morell and Rita Worthington. They claim to have gotten reports from “multiple sources” regarding “potentially inappropriate and perhaps even illegal behavior” by the Nobles in the course of official business. As members of the city’s ethics board are all named by the mayor, they are turning to the state’s highest crime-fighter for help. As they explain, an investigation through the attorney general’s office “is the ideal pathway to learn if in fact violations of our ethics code or the law have occurred. And if no wrongdoing is found through an investigation, it is best to staunch the flow of rumors in order for our government to move forward to best serve our constituents and our community.”

While being “deeply saddened” by need for the request, the council members are calling for this independent investigation “in the strongest tradition of the principle and practice of separation of powers.”

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In response to a request for additional information, ward 1 alderman Ventura-Morell advised that an attorney working for the New York Conference of Mayors recommended asking the attorney general to open an investigation, and not to discuss the details of what’s essentially a personnel matter in public. This was after “being approached by several credible sources” about the unnamed concerns. Other members of the common council have been apprised of the situation, Ventura-Morell advised. 

This is not the first time this year the attorney general has been asked to look into governmental issues in Kingston. In February, corporation counsel asked for “special attention and scrutiny” to be given to Mayor Noble’s plan to consolidate the city departments of Parks and Recreation into the Department of Public Works. The plan called for a new deputy supervisor position to be created, and Ms. Noble, who works in the parks department as the city’s environmental education and sustainability coordinator, was to be named provisionally to that job, which carried a raise of $22,882. The mayor removed her name from consideration following criticism and in April, a motion to move ahead with the merger proposal died without receiving a second. 

A request for information made to the attorney general’s office was acknowledged and referred to someone familiar with the subject, but no additional information has been provided as of this posting.

There are 8 comments

  1. Ellen DiFalco

    “Disheartened to be accused of wrongdoing, he knows in his heart he has led from a place of integrity and dignity and has nothing to hide?” So says Noble when he learned of the allegations. Seriously? He doesn’t know the meaning of integrity and dignity. The couple have squeezed every nickel and dime out of the taxpayers for their own gain and are laughing at us every payday. When FOILS are submitted, conveniently important information is not provided, ignored or simply lost. Why would that be if he has nothing to hide?

    1. ConcernedCitizen

      Maybe that’s because the chief of police’s wife is the one who handles the FOIL request and blocks what they see fit. If the AG truly digs in deep they will find the allegations are true and more. Maybe look into the relationships between members of DPW and the Mayor’s wife and with the alderman at large. Oh don’t forget the big coverup of when a city of Kingston vehicle was damaged by a spouse bc iof an affair and that was kept real quiet. Where did the vehicle go? To the chief of police’s personal residence. Hhhmmmmm. Oh and when they mayor had a domestic dispute over a relationship he had with another male, that was kept quite and did not want his own city agency to respond so the SP handled it and kept it quite. Dig and you will find more. They don’t care about this community, they act and pretend to but they are concerned with only themselves and their pockets.

  2. TheRedDogParty

    The Kingston Times has blundered in not reprinting the text of the letter to the NYS Attorney General’s office. I have seen the letter, and without commenting on its veracity, I venture to say that it’s an embarrassment to those who composed and signed it. Attorney General James has got to be wondering what’s going on, and I would not be surprised to see her opening an investigation of the authors of the letter. There’s enough conflict of interest to go around.

    With all the infrastructure improvements, grant awards, other civic enhancements, etc., they are attacking a Mayor who is flawed (who among us is not?), but I believe has the best interests of the city foremost (while I don’t necessarily agree with all of his policies and programs).

    Please print the letter and tell the whole story, including revealing the names of those individuals who helped initiate but never signed the letter.

  3. Rich ramsell

    I know that I have been trying to bid on work for City of Kingston for over a year now and have not had a chance yet but one local company gets them all with out having to bid

  4. Concerned citizens

    There should be a law in place that in any given city agencies that it’s prohibited to hire any family members in any department of the city of Kingston Nor friends nor even associated political parties members for any public position or legal issues or actions and any such hiring or opening of a new department in the city should only be voted on by the tax payers of the city of Kingston who are paying the bills nor should a married couple work for the city collecting pensions and pay checks if so one has to leave
    Also on the topic the new sidewalks on broadway are not wide enough for two people to walk on them if one has a cart or carrying something the other person going to have to side step off the side walk That’s really great for the seniors nice planning city of Kingston

  5. Beyond concerned citizen

    Ethics, used too ask; are public hirings and appointments at “arm’s length”? In other words, no relation of the first part, ie: Spouse (includes any mate, as in girl or boyfriend), children, parent, sibling, and this would include first cousins, aunts and uncle’s, if one was truly ethical. In fact, close friends were balked and scrutinized. It was considered unethical for a public or union official to hire, or appoint any family within “arm’s length”. Get it? Not a bad way too keep things on the up, and up.

  6. Kings Town

    Steve Noble has done nothing but positive actions for the City of Kingston. I think Kingston is lucky to have him in office.

  7. Steven L. Fornal

    I hope the perpetrators of requesting an investigation are aware that FOIL requests can only be for records that exist. Government is under no obligation to create a record requested. ONLY those records that exist are eligible for FOILing.

    The people requesting via FOIL better be prepared to explain their lack of knowledge re what is and is not FOILable. Which won’t make a difference as they should’ve made themselves knowledgeable PRIOR to accusation.

    I’m pretty sure the ones behind this latest ploy will be shown to be the scheming malcontents they are

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