Utica, NY (WIBX) - The Utica PBA president says crime in the city is up 95-percent over last year and he's blaming mismanagement by city officials.

Dominick Nitti says cuts to the police department have impacted morale, and while city officials say they can't rehire officers who've been laid off, there are budgeted positions still vacant. And, all this while Mayor Palmieri is driving a new car, paid for with money taken from the police budget.

In a press release, he also claims the city's administration is 'silently influencing' decision made within the police department.

Police Chief Mark Williams held a news conference in response, saying crime is up - but by about 13-percent, not 95-percent.

He does agree that morale is low, and said younger officers are continually worried about more rounds of budget cuts and layoffs.

Referring to the city's budgetary constraints - Williams said there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

He did defend the vehicles driven by city officials, saying they are being leased which is saving money, and says they are comparable to cars driven by officials in other municipalities.