Ganga “Rudy” Persaud, 58, (left) was arraigned this morning in Westchester County Court on charges of first-degree perjury, a felony, and official misconduct, a misdemeanor. He allegedly lied as a witness in a civil lawsuit against Mount Vernon about taking $2,650 to fix a sidewalk for a homeowner.
The lawsuit stemmed from a pedestrian’s slip and fall in front of 245 Summit Ave. The injured pedestrian accused the city of negligence, recklessness and carelessness.
Persaud testified on Nov .9 that he never spoke with the owner of 245 Summit Ave. or received payment from her. But city officials discovered that Persaud had taken two checks for $1,000 and $1,650 from the homeowner, one payable to cash and the other payable to Persaud, the District Attorney’s Office said.
The home at 245 Summit Ave. is owned by Alice Seibert. In January, Seibert said Persaud had come to her home to inspect the sidewalk and told her it would have to be repaired. Seibert said she asked whether Persaud knew any contractors that did such repairs, and he suggested she get three price quotes for the job.
Seibert said she paid Persaud’s son to do the work.
Persaud earned $100,231 in base pay and $34,553 in overtime in 2009, according to the most recent city records obtained by The Journal News. In January, Mount Vernon had said Persaud was serving a 30-day suspension during an unspecified misconduct investigation.
In a statement, District Attorney Janet DiFiore said Persaud put his self interest ahead of the city of Mount Vernon by taking money from a homeowner to fix a sidewalk and then lying about it.
“Actions like those severely undermine the public’s confidence in government,” she said. “Public employees should not act with impunity; this defendant’s behavior is more than criminal, it is an affront to the taxpayers who expect honest services from the City’s workforce.”
Persaud is due back in court on May 25, He is free on bail and has surrendered his passport. He faces up to seven years in state prison if convicted.