Talk of the Sound is reporting exclusively that New Rochelle Corporation Counsel Bernis Shapiro was fired earlier today. Sources have told Talk of the Sound she was terminated and then escorted from City Hall by a New Rochelle Police officer.
An official statement is expected tomorrow.
Bernis Shapiro served as Corporation Counsel of the City of New Rochelle since February 1997. Her responsibilities included management of the City’s Law Department; oversight of outside law firms which represent the City; research and preparation of City legislation; negotiation and drafting of City agreements and instruments; and general counsel to City officials, boards, and commissions.
Her undergraduate degree is from Barnard College of Columbia University with a law degree from New York Law School. She has served in the field of municipal law for over twenty years.
UPDATE: I stopped by City Hall last night looking for more information around 7:30 PM but the offices were closed and the lights out. I sent an email to Kathy Gilwit last night and then called her number and then left a message with Chuck Strome’s secretary for either Chuck or Kathy. I asked to receive a copy of any statement they intended to release. As I imagine they are not too happy that we scooped everyone on this story, I expect everyone BUT Talk of the Sound will get the statement but we will publish it and/or link it when it comes out.
UPDATE: Bernis Shapiro is back at City Hall for one more day, sources tell Talk of the Sound. She has been given until the end of the day Friday to pack up and leave the building. Talk of the Sound has also learned more about the cause of the decision to terminate her employment with the City of New Rochelle. Shapiro got into a dispute with City Manager Chuck Strome over a personnel decision that goes back to the beginning of the week. Shapiro argued that she had authority under the City Charter to make a personnel decision, a decision Strome did not want her to take. Strome acknowledged that she had the authority under the charter to take action but pointed out that ultimately she served at the pleasure of the City Manager. When Shapiro acted on her decision, Strome felt he had no choice but to terminate her employment. Still no word on an official statement from the City government on Shapiro’s firing.