NEW: Wellington Councilwoman Siskind pushes back at call for resignation

Palm Beach Post |

WELLINGTON -- Village Councilwoman Tanya Siskind, named in a recent lawsuit against her husband, pushed back Tuesday night against a call for her resignation.

The suit filed in federal bankruptcy court against Wellington attorney Jeffrey Siskind claims he used fraudulent transfers between his businesses to take money from clients and investors.

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Siskind has disputed the allegations, claiming his business dealings were legitimate. The lawsuit is an adversary in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy he filed in for his company Chance & Anthem LLC.

The comment at Tuesday night's Village Council meeting came from longtime Wellington resident Marion Frank, a board member for local senior-assistance organization Wellington Cares Inc.

>> PAST COVERAGE: Wellington attorney Siskind defrauded investors of millions, bankruptcy trustee claims

Frank declined to read her comment at the meeting, choosing instead to have Vice Mayor Michael Napoleone read it for her.

"I guess she wants someone else to read these words, so I'll read them," he said.

"Councilwoman Siskind has brought shame to the village," Frank wrote. "The lawsuit that Tanya and her husband are named in leads me and my neighbors in the village to have no confidence in her to manage our tax money. We are respectfully asking her to resign from the council immediately."

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The councilwoman pushed back, asking Village Attorney Laurie Cohen to "say why I won't be resigning or recusing myself from any votes."

While the lawsuit does name Tanya Siskind, she is named "as a potential recipient of fraudulent funds," Cohen said, adding that the councilwoman is not accused of any wrongdoing, and she has not been convicted of anything. The lawsuit is civil, not criminal.

"There is no authority under our charter or under the Florida statutes to remove a council member under these circumstances," Cohen said.

>> PAST COVERAGE: Wellington attorney under fire in bankruptcy disputes trustee

Any actions taken would be up to Siskind, she said.

"That's a civil matter involving my husband," Siskind said. "I don't have anything to do with his business. Unfortunately, anybody can be named in a complaint or lawsuit even if they have nothing to do with it. That's just the way it is.

"And I find her words unfounded and offensive," Siskind continued. "I'd just like to say to Ms. Frank that being a board member of the Wellington Cares organization, I don't think they would like to promote someone conducting themselves like that. And if she has anything to say to me, instead of bringing it publicly here, I think that she would reach out to me if she was truly concerned about anything and talk to me privately.

"But that's not how she chooses to conduct herself, so I'm just left to believe that it's to further some type of political agenda," she said. "Again, her words are unfounded and offensive."

Being a public official and being in the public eye is difficult, Mayor Anne Gerwig said.

"So the scrutiny we go through is something we are subjecting ourselves to, and we've all done it willingly," she said.

kwebb@pbpost.com

@kristinawebb

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