Trevor Scotland, former chief operating officer of NYC TV, the city television station so heavily boosted by Mayor Bloomberg, showed up in federal court yesterday to plead guilty to stealing tens of thousands in ad revenue from the station.
Scotland, 39, looked every bit as dapper as he did in “Man Up!” – the TV show about men’s styling that he produced and moderated and which won a local Emmy award this spring and which was hailed by the mayor as another example of the station’s hip new programming. He wore a form-fitting gray suit with side vents, a blue and white checked shirt, and a muted tie.
In a low, polite voice, Scotland told Manhattan District Judge Paul Crotty that he had “knowingly conspired” to steal from the station. According to his plea agreement with prosecutors, Scotland and a confederate, Vincent Taylor, who has his own court date next month, swiped more than $60,000. Sentencing was set for January 26 when the Vassar graduate is expected to receive a sentence of from 12-18 months. It could be more time, warned Crotty, if he decides a stiffer punishment is merited.
Whether the U.S. attorney’s office or city investigators are still investigating what transpired at NYC TV is unclear. As detailed in an August story in the Voice, Scotland admitted to city probers that his scheme went undetected because his boss at the station, a former Bloomberg campaign aide named Arick Wierson, was often absent. Wierson, Scotland said, had told him it was okay, if he wasn’t around, to sign Wierson’s name to documents. So he did.
The reason Wierson and several other high level NYC TV aides weren’t around was because they were making their own movie, traveling around the world to do so. The movie was financed by a business partner of an NYC TV client, a wealthy city businessman. After a Department of Investigation probe turned up this and other mismanagement at the station, Wierson and four others were quietly pushed out. The city’s Conflicts of Interest Board is allegedly investigating, but it looks like whatever findings are reached will be conveniently postponed until after next week’s election. Keep moving folks, there’s nothing here to see.