In response to a story first reported here on Talk of the Sound, New Rochelle City Judge Susan Kettner released an email to WVOX which she says was sent to the Treasurer of the Friends of Barry Fertel Campaign Committee. The email was read over the air earlier today.
In the email, Kettner acknowledged that a $500 campaign donation made to New Rochelle City Council Member Barry Fertel was illegal and that she had requested the return of the full amount of the check. Kettner claims that she believed that up until May 2, 2011, four months after she was sworn in as a judge, she would continue to be able to function as a private citizen. On what basis she should believe that is unclear.Read more
Judge Susan Kettner appears to have engaged in inappropriate political activity after she was sworn in as a judge earlier this year. Kettner may have violated New York State Judicial Ethics by making a $500 contribution to the campaign of New Rochelle City Council Member Barry Fertel this past April. Mr. Fertel, a Democrat, is running for City Council in District 5 against Republican Ilyse Spertus on November 8, 2011.
Judge Kettner did not respond to emails or messages left at her office. Mr. Fertel did not respond to emails sent to his City Council email address or his campaign address asking if he intended to return the the campaign contribution from Kettner.Read more
Jose Martinez was sentenced by Criminal Court Judge Susan Cacace six months time served SHOCK and ten years sex offender probation on October 11, 2011. A permanent order of protection is in effect until October 11, 2019 for the victim.
The sex offender status is the subject of a separate court hearing under the Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) in which a judge will assign a level 1,2,or 3 depending on various risk factors. A list will be read through with numbers assigned and the final number will determine the level of sex offender status.Read more
One the most read stories ever on Talk of the Sound was Son of Police Detective Sues New Rochelle PD Following Arrest for using Dave Chappelle's "White Person Voice". It was widely linked from blogs around the country: Ripclawe and Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.
I never did hear what happened in the case when I asked I did not get any information. A New Rochelle police officer asked me how come I never wrote that Hazelton lost his case in criminal court. When I tried to confirm that I could not get any information. Now I know why. Hazelton was convicted on most of the counts, all related to "disorderly conduct" but the case was sealed. So, Hazelton was arrested and convicted but officially has not record. Not sure what happened with the civil lawsuit but obviously a conviction in court will not help him.Read more
Former New Rochelle DPW Fleet Manager Richard Fevang plead guilty this morning in a Westchester County courtroom to the top count of tampering with public records. Fevang was charged in June with 66 counts of fraud.
"We are seeking jail time," said Lucian Chalfen, spokesman for the Westchester County District Attorney's office.
Fevang appeared before Judge Albert Lorenzo to enter his guilty plea. He is scheduled to be sentenced sometime in January, 2012.
The guilty plea ends a decade-long series of investigations into fraud by Fevang, first reported to the DA's office in 2001 by DPW mechanic Pat Papallardi and other municipal workers.
The recent investigation began after allegations against Fevang were first published on Talk of the Sound in 2009. New Rochelle City Council Member Louis Trangucci played a critical role in advancing the investigation when he delivered boxes of DPW invoices to Assistant District Attorney Brian Conway Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Bureaus in early 2010.
"I am pleased to know that Mr. Fevang is no longer working for the City and will pay for his crimes against the people of New Rochelle", said Council Member Louis Trangucci. "Now we can move forward on a more positive basis for the Department of Public Works."
Trangucci singled put Papallardi for praise.
"I want to extend my sincere appreciation for Pat Papallardi who took to the initiative to come forward with information that led to the 66-Count indictment against Fevang," said Trangucci. "Pat is an example of how one person can make a difference. I would hope his brave actions will inspire others to come forward knowing it is possible to have a positive outcome in a case like this.
The Westchester County District Attorney is expected to issue a statement shortly.
Messages left for City Manager Charles B. Strome and City spokesperson Kathy Gilwit were not returned.
Conway and Assistant District Attorney Shara Abraham of the Investigations Division worked with Conway in prosecuting the case.
Laurell Smith, the man convicted of murdering Kevin Blank during the infamous “broad daylight stabbing”, has been transferred out of the Westchester County Jail, sources say.Read more
Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Laurell Smith (DOB 02/12/90) of 311 North Avenue, New Rochelle, New York was sentenced today to 20 years in state prison on his conviction after a jury trial of:
one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree, a class “B” Felony,
for a daytime stabbing on September 18th, 2010 on North Avenue in New Rochelle, resulting in the death of Kevin Williams.
In addition, the defendant was sentenced to an indeterminate term of one to three years in prison to be served concurrently on a violation of probation resulting from his arrest and conviction in this case.
Rico Johnson (DOB 03/11/91) of 311 North Avenue, New Rochelle, New York had previously pled guilty on March 11th, 2011 to:
one count of Hindering Prosecution in the Second Degree, a class “E” Felony,
one count of Tampering with Physical Evidence, a class “E” Felony
and was sentenced on June 14th, 2011.Read more
Former New Rochelle City Judge Preston, Scher, 71, drove his car into two vehicles parked on the shoulder of I-684 in Connecticut near Danbury,CT on Monday night sending a Tennessee woman flying off an overpass into a swamp below. The two parked vehicles had collided previously and were parked on the shoulder of the interstate when Scher came upon the scene, lost control of his vehicle and struck the two vehicles.
Elaine Staggs,23, of Oak Ridge, TN was standing on the should when the collision occurred. She was thrown from the overpass, landing in a marshy area 25 feet below. She was taken to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY where she is listed in critical condition. The driver of the other vehicle, Richard Heaton, 52, of Glendale, Queens was in his car at the time of the collision was not seriously injured. All three vehicles sustained significant damage.
Scher, who retired as New Rochelle City Judge last year, sustained minor injuries.
The accident remains under investigation.Read more