Mount Vernon officials trade blame over city's unpaid bills

The streets of Mount Vernon appear to be cleaned up, but the drama is still unfolding.

"It is a crisis and we’ve been operating in crisis mode probably for the last decade," said Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard.  

Mayor Patterson-Howard still says nearly half a million dollars in maintenance bills haven’t been paid because of the city Comptroller.

RELATED: Police, fire, garbage vehicles stop running in Mount Vernon over unpaid bills

Neighboring cities, including New York, sent in DPW trucks this week to help clean up the garbage. But a number of Mount Vernon’s public work vehicles are still out of service, including police cars and a fire truck.

Our FOX 5 NY cameras were allowed into the Department of Finance in Mount Vernon on Wednesday as we attempted to reach comptroller Deborah Reynolds inside her office. 

Reynolds says  "And one day of the year she plays a hoax on Mount Vernon and blames the comptroller. That’s ridiculous. She needs to do her job and grow up."

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Reynolds says it’s the mayor who’s in charge of paying bills. The same defense she gave during former Mayor Richard Thomas’ administration, but when pressed on if she had any fault in this state of emergency, she says none of this falls on her.

The mayor says for now garbage will be picked up regularly, as long as there are enough trucks for the routes. Yard waste is still suspended until at least the end of the month.