Charles Knapp Named Mount Vernon Inspector General
Mayor Thomas appoints Former Prosecutor to Protect Residents, Prevent Corruption, and Enforce Quality Controls so Justice Can Prevail
MOUNT VERNON, NY — ON FRIDAY, October 5, at 1:00 PM, Mayor Richard Thomas appointed former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Charles Knapp to the role of Mount Vernon Inspector General.
Inspector General Knapp is a 1977 graduate of Columbia College and was Phi Beta Kappa; a 1980 graduate of the Columbia School of Law and was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar in his final year. He served as an Assistant District Attorney first in the Appeals Bureau and then a line prosecutor in Trial Bureau 60 in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office run by Robert M. Morgenthau between 1980 to 1985. He also served as Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division for the Eastern District of New York run by Raymond Dearie, then Rena Raggi then Andrew Maloney. He was charged with representing all federal agencies and federal employees before the federal courts on topics including social security disability claims, human rights claims, constitutional matters and issues arising from the Veterans Administration. Between 2005 and 2008, Knapp was General Counsel to a structured finance company and oversaw all of its personnel issues in addition to its transactions and then entered private practice.
The role of Inspector General is to investigate complaints, prevent and detect corruption, and conflicts of interest or abuse. The Inspector General will assist in establishing programs for training City officers as well as develop and enforce internal audit controls to insure processes are conducted ethically and without political interference. For more details, see the City Charter provisions below.
Note that the Charter holds that the Inspector General shall receive an annual salary; however, the position remains unfunded despite a 2010 State Supreme Court Order directing the City Council to fund the role. The former prosecutor will act in a pro-bono basis.
In an effort to provide the means to hold city employees, boards, and officials accountable, Mayor Richard Thomas said, “Inspector General Knapp is a person who is committed to the rule of law and to fairness. He has a proven track record of public service, working under some of the most respected people in the State, foremost among whom is Robert Morgenthau, the legendary Manhattan District Attorney. I’ve come to learn about Inspector General Knapp who was an advisor to my legal team who took interest in the Mayor’s rights without any compensation. He is a man of integrity who took issue of the Mayor’s right with the powerful few. They are upset because they cannot continue to rape our City’s coffers. Because our City finds itself at a crossroads, it is imperative we empower our Inspector General to serve all of the people of Mount Vernon, especially those who are victim to ill deeds by corrupt officials who forgot the purpose of public service is not self-service. The people deserve a non-political advocate who will follow the trails of evidence wherever they may lead and I am confident that, with this appointment, I have found that person.”
Inspector General Charles Knapp said, “I am humbled and deeply honored with responsibilities the mayor has placed upon me. I hope through my work the people will see the Office of Inspector General as a non-partisan one and will come to trust the integrity of its reporting. I am here to serve the people of Mount Vernon.”