Mike Hirsch, who founded the Clarkstown Taxpayers in 2009, announced he resigned from the group’s Steering Committee. A vocal community activist, Hirsch was arrested Tuesday by New York City Police. Police said the charges filed against him were in connection with his business dealings as president of MZM Corp. with New York City and involved an investigation of workers’ pay.
Hirsch, 62, said he entered a not guilty plea during an arraignment in a New York City court.
“I’m really not allowed to talk about it,” he said. “I offered to resign (so as) not to be a distraction to the group.”
Clarkstown Taxpayers President Guy Gervasi commended Hirsch for starting the group, which has focused on trying to decrease taxes, eliminate patronage in local government and for spearheading the petition to get term limits enacted in the town.
“With Mike Hirsch's leadership and guidance, the Clarkstown Taxpayers have been able to pressure the Clarkstown Town Board to keep tax increases very low during the last few years,” Gervasi said.
Gervasi said the group has grown and has an active membership, strong leadership and spokespersons.
The group will continue,” said Gervasi on Friday. “We have 700 to 800 members and a steering committee of 10 members.”
Gervasi of West Nyack said that Hirsch feels he needs to spend time with his family and focus on the fight to protect his name. Gervasi said although he knew Hirsch was a contractor; the two did not speak about business. He said their discussions dealt with town hall and how to fight patronage.
The charges filed again Hirsch are related to the Dyker Beach Junior Golf Course built for New York City. The non-profit City Parks Foundation was the main contractor for the Department of Parks and Recreation project and Hirsh's MZM Corporation was a subcontractor for City Parks Foundation. The $2.5 million project in Brooklyn was completed in 2009.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office said criminal charges filed against Hirsch and his company include:
- Fourth-degree grand larceny
- First-degree offering a false instrument for filing
- Second-degree offering a false instrument for filing
- Second-degree falsifying business records
- Petty larceny
According to the district attorney’s office, the investigator for the city’s Department of Investigations was told by the investigator from the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation that the amount paid to MZM’s employees was less than the amount stated on the certified payroll records.
Hirsch faces a hearing on Dec. 12 in New York State Supreme Court, Part F, at 100 Centre Street in Manhattan.