Holyoke Mayor Suspends Use Of City-Issued Vehicle, Denies Giving Permission To Cousin To Drive It

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse says he is suspending the use of his city-issued car following an embarrassing incident over the weekend. Morse’s cousin was arrested on drunk driving and other charges while driving the car.

Calling it an unfortunate incident that should have never happened, Morse says he takes full responsibility. But despite his cousin’s statement to police in Northampton that the mayor allowed him to take the car while they attended an event together, Morse insists he never gave any such permission. The mayor says his use of the car for both business and personal activities was proper. But he says he will stop using it pending clarification of the city’s policies.

“I want to be able to park the car at the police station until we work with the law department and the city council and hopefully an objective outside authority to review other mayors’ policies around the cars, other city department’s policies, just to make sure we have a clear understanding. Because at this point there are different understandings of what the policy’s intent was at this point,” he said.

Morse says he paid the $176 fee out of his own pocket to retrieve the city-issued car from the impound lot. He says he does not own a personal vehicle, but is considering buying or renting one until a review of the city’s policies is completed.