According to reliable sources, Rockland County Judge Margaret Garvey granted a temporary restraining order to stop Spring Valley Mayor Demeza Delhomme from vacating the trustee position of Vilair Fonvil and from appointing a new trustee.
The political situation in the Village of Spring Valley became even stranger Monday as former trustee, 2013 mayoral candidate and current Mayor’s Office employee Joseph Gross sent a release to the media attempting to explain why Mayor Delhomme unilaterally had decided to vacate Fonvil’s December appointment to the board.
Through Gross’s letter, Delhomme said that he recently discovered Fonvil did not live in the district and that he had four misdemeanor convictions from 2003. He claimed to be “embarrassed” to only recently discover these facts. He also complained that Fonvil had undermined village business during his three months as trustee and referred to him with the pejorative “criminal.”
Delhomme had said he could vacate Fonvil’s term because he was sworn in by Clerk Kathryn Ball, whose own appointment had proven to be legally invalid. Gross’s letter noted the irony that Fonvil had been the one to complain that Ball’s appointment did not follow valid legal procedure.
Garvey’s restraining order renders Delhomme’s action void for the time being. In December, Delhomme could pick anyone to fill the vacant spot and selected Fonvil, who he also made his deputy mayor. It was not long until the two clashed.
The village now has two lawyers representing its separate factions. On the side of Fonvil and two other trustees are Dennis Lynch and his firm of Feerick, Lynch and MacCartney. Delhomme and his office have another attorney.
Fonvil’s 2003 conviction on election fraud has been the subject of controversy, as many claimed he was railroaded for political reasons. An appeal of the decade-old case happens to be ongoing at this time.