Tony “Little Man” Bryant pleads guilty in Yonkers cabbie slaying

A parole violator admitted his role in a string of violent crimes today, including the shooting death of Yonkers cab driver Pericles Salas during a robbery last summer and the slaying of a Bronx man, Dinall Cleveland, a week earlier.
Tony “Little Man” Bryant, 28, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder  in the fatal shooting of Salas, a 32-year-old cabbie with Mexicana Taxi Service. Salas was shot in the head Aug. 30. His body was found slumped over the steering wheel of his 2001 Mercury livery cab near Jessamine and Ramsey avenues in a middle-class residential neighborhood in Yonkers.
There were no signs of a struggle, and Salas’ wallet was missing, police said.
Bryant also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the killing 69-year-old Cleveland, who was shot dead with the same gun used to kill Salas. Cleveland was fatally shot in the face during a robbery Aug. 24 in the lobby of his apartment building at 4431 Carpenter Ave., in the Wakefield section of the Bronx. Another man pulled the trigger, but Bryant was present.
Information developed by Yonkers detectives investigating the taxi slaying connected Bryant to the Bronx one. Bryant was be prosecuted in Westchester for both slayings under a law allowing for a crime committed within 500 yards of a county border to be prosecuted in either county.
Bryant was arrested Sept. 17 for cocaine possession, which violated his parole. He had been released from state prison in May — three months before the slayings — after serving six years for first-degree attempted assault.
During his allocution, Bryant also admitted that while he was being held at the Westchester County jail, he plotted to have a woman killed at her home. In November, he gave an undercover officer — who he thought was a hired killer — a description of the woman and where to find her so she could be killed.
His last two guilty pleas were for attempts to sell cocaine and to possess cocaine with the intent to sell it.
He will be sentenced to 28 years to life in prison on Nov. 9.

Top prosecutors sue over sick-time pay cap

Fifteen career prosecutors are suing Westchester County, claiming officials wrongly stripped them of pay by capping the amount of sick time they can cash-in on when leaving their jobs.

The assistant district attorneys say the county violated  their constitutional rights and “breached the parties employment relationship” by imposing the changes after they had already earned the time.

“You can’t do that on a retroactive basis,” said Leonard Violi, a Mamaroneck attorney representing the prosecutors. “It’s common sense and fairness principles that are in play here.”

Violi said the retroactive elimination of sick day pay is effectively a breach of contract, which guaranteed the prosecutors would be paid 50 percent of their sick leave up to 225 days.

“We have career prosecutors who dedicated their lives to this location,” he said. “They went to work. They didn’t stay home. They accrued the pay. These ADA’s believe those are vested rights.”

They filed suit June 23 in state Supreme Court. The plaintiffs named in the lawsuit include the top three prosecutors in the Westchester District Attorney’s office: James McCarty Jr., Maryanne Luciano and John George, who had threatened to quit over the changes, but did not.

Other prosecutors in the suit, who all have more than 20 years in the DA’s office, are Steven Bender, Mark Garretto, Fredric Green, Edward Livingston,Patrick Moore, Patricia Murphy, John O’Rourke, Perry Perrone, Robert Prisco, Robert Sauer, Steven Vandervelden and Timothy Ward.

State Supreme Court Justice Nicholas Colabella issued a temporary restraining order barring the county from retroactively taking away the prosecutors’ accused sick pay.

The case is due back in court on July 23.