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July 2011

Indictment Created Need for Independent New Rochelle Audit

July 16, 2011 - 11:23

The Grand Jury criminal indictment against Richard Fevang, former Fleet Manager in the New Rochelle Department of Public Works sparked cries for an independent forensic audit by Councilman Richard St. Paul, In 2009 the New Rochelle Talk of the Sound blog published allegations against Fevang. And several months ago Councilman Lou Trangucci had delivered boxes of DPW invoices to Brian Conway, the Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau in the District Attorney's office, to be scrutinized. These indictments could result in Fevang receiving up to seven years in prison. Fevang is accused of rigging bids so that it appeared the lowest bidder was being used. Even before this investigation, the Westchester County District Attorney has been investigating Fevang for eight of the last ten years. The City of New Rochelle had hired him even though he had a criminal record, and now there are questions about whether the usual background checks were performed.

New Rochelle Building Inspector "Unexpectedly Resigns" Following Allegations of Extortion, Soliciting Bribes

July 16, 2011 - 01:42
15 comments

TinoD AbruzzoTino D'Abruzzo, a building inspector for the City of New Rochelle, was "resigned unexpectedly" this week after complaints were made to the City of New Rochelle alleging that D'Abruzzo had demanded bribes in exchange for approving inspected properties and threatening to withhold approval if the bribes were not paid, sources say. An email to the City Manager's office requesting comment and further information was not returned.

The sudden resignation of a housing inspector in the Department of Development following allegations of extortion and bribery comes three weeks after a 66-count fraud indictment against former DPW Fleet Manager Richard Fevang.

Former Payroll Clerk at WESTCOP Sentenced to State Prison

July 16, 2011 - 00:17

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced today that Lillian Montilla, 44, of 757 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced to 1 to 3 years indeterminate in state prison on a guilty plea to one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class “C” Felony, relating to the theft of $191,235.05 from her former employer.

Between January 8, 2009 and July 23, 2010, the defendant, who was a payroll assistant for Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc., admitted she stole the money by cashing checks made payable to former employees of the private, not-for-profit social service agency based in Greenburgh.

A restitution judgment order in the amount of $191,235.05 was entered by the Court.

The scheme came to light when a former WestCOP employee contacted the organization stating he had received a W-2 statement for 2009 earnings yet he was no longer employed by WestCOP during that time.

Greenburgh Police were contacted and began an investigation in late July 2010 during which two other defendants were also arrested.

This Weekend at New Rochelle’s Wildcliff Open Air Music Stage

Submitted by Incoming Tide on Fri, 07/15/2011 - 13:55

Dear New Rochelle Guests,

Starting off the weekend is Indie Friday’s @ Wildcliff, featuring New Rochelle grads Jake Backer and Andrei Kozlov jamming with band Go Ghost. Gates open at 5:00PM and jam session starts at 6PM.

On Sunday, we continue our open air music series with The Yaz Band, a mix of jazz and R&B. Opening for Yaz Band is Ting Liu, an emerging vocalist, whom has just completed her first recording.

Gates open at 3PM and the performance starts at 4PM. Visit SmartTix link for discounted ticket sales, at http://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=INCO2.

Upcoming performances are listed at http://incomingtideentertainment.com. Quick mention, 7/23 The AndJam Band, 7/30 Carras Paton Quartet, 8/13 Paul BRatcher’s play, A Mended Heart, and TBD classical flutist Pam Sklar.

Reviews and feedback are fantastic. We look forward to seeing you on our lawn this season.

Sincerely, Your budding Producer

2011.07.15 - Matthew's Community Calendar Round-Up!

July 15, 2011 - 11:25

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As always, lots of great stuff happening in and around our fair city

Beth El is kicking off an Israeli Art exhibit today. Work by renowned Israeli artists such as Shraga Weill, Mordechai Ardon, Yitzach Greenfield and Ruth Levin will be on exhibit and available for sale for a couple of days, so check that out.

More art down on United Hebrew on Pelham Rd. The Lazarus Gallery hosts Birds, Bees and Butterflies – the exhibit reflects these winged creatures that conjure visions of springtime and pollination, with a wealth of vibrant color.

Tonight at 5:30 – Wildcliff Manor hosts a Friday Indie Jam Session. Independent musicians arrive at Wildcliff to show their musical genius, performing jazz, rock, R&B to alternative genres.

Then Tomorrow at 10 - New Rochelle Humane Society's 11th Annual Dog Wash will feature pet pampering, nail clipping, microchipping, family portraits, good food, face painting, raffles and vendors--fun for everyone and their four legged friends.

New Rochelle police in 2 seperate foot pursuits of warrant suspects in the west-end

July 15, 2011 - 04:43

New Police chased down two warrent suspects through the streets of the westend of the city.The first pursuit started at 12:30am friday morning.The foot pursuit was brief it started on union avenue went down 6th street through the rear of some yards on 6th street and the suspect was caught and led out of some yards on 7th street.
At time of posting this story i do not know what the warrent was for and what charges the suspect will receive for running from officers.

Then at 1:25am---New Rochelle police are in another foot pursuit in the west=end of the city this time it's on union avenue near warren street they are chasing another warrent suspect.
1:35am- police have warren street closed off looking for suspect in the rear yards k-9 unit on scene.
1:55am-police call off serach for warrent suspect warren,walnut,and charles streets all serached.No results.
2:11am-resident from warren street calls police to say someone in rear yard fitting profile of suspect.
2:15am-police set-up blocking off streets again.
2:17am-police catch suspect behind a shed on warren street.
Another great job by the members of the New Rochelle police department.

In Latest Congressional Fundraising Letter, Rep. Nita Lowey Reports Mood in Israel "Unsettled", "Deeply Concerning"

July 13, 2011 - 19:51

Nita Lowey highlighted concerns following a recent trip to Israel. If you have been to Israel (and like all good Irish Catholics I have, numerous times) the issue is as simple and clear as Lowey spells out. Israel is a tiny country in a dangerous part of the world (a tank brigade would need just 8 hours to get from the borders of Iraq to Jerusalem). As the only democracy in the Middle East for more than 60 years, the Arab Spring might seem like a good thing but only if revolution is accompanied by reform and a move towards Arab democracy. All too often in history, revolutions end in despotism and the fastest road to despotic power in the the Middle East typically involves demonizing the Israelis (and by extension the United States). Without supporting Lowey (I will almost surely supporting her opponent, an impressive veteran of the Afghanistan campaign and aide to General David Petreus) or recommending a donation to her, she makes an important point nonetheless. I thought it was worth sharing.

This time, it was different.

New report questions effectiveness of IDAs

July 13, 2011 - 16:11

State Comptroller DiNapoli recommends increased accountability and transparency

New York and Buffalo, NY—Members of the Getting Our Money’s Worth coalition responded positively to New York State Comptroller DiNapoli’s annual report on Industrial Development Agency (IDA) performance, which concluded that despite improvements in reporting, more needs to be done to accurately evaluate the effectiveness of these economic development agencies.

Matt Ryan, Executive Director of ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York, addressed the report finding that there is no positive correlation between large tax exemptions and job creation:

“It’s troubling that in areas where a significant portion of the tax base is exempt, including Greene County, Niagara County, Oswego County and Wyoming County, we actually see a loss of jobs,” said Ryan. He continued, “With almost 90% of gross exemptions coming from local and school property taxes, we need to give our communities the necessary tools to monitor the effectiveness of subsidies and clawback much needed revenue from corporations that fail to live up to their promises.”

Second New Rochelle DPW Whistleblower to Come Forward Today at 5 PM on WVOX, Lou Felicione to Interview Mystery Guest

July 13, 2011 - 12:08
2 comments

On Bob Marrone's morning show earlier today, Lou Felicione, host of Lou's Roundtable on WVOX, announced that he will have an hour-long interview with a former DPW insider who will confirm that many people in the City government knew for many years of misconduct by Richard Fevang.

Lou's Roundtable airs at 5 PM on 1460 AM WVOX and can be heard online at WVOX.com.

This second DPW whistleblower, a person who called in to City Manager Chuck Strome's radio show on Tuesday morning, has other information outside of the scope of the ongoing investigation into corruption in the City of New Rochelle.

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