Anthony Newman, a glazier in the Buildings and Grounds Department of the City School District of New Rochelle, has been suspended for 30 days, with pay, pending a hearing on allegations that he sexually assaulted a female staffer working for the New Rochelle Board of Education at City Hall. Newman has been sexually harassing women working for the school district for years, sources say. The victim is a close relative of a senior government official in the New Rochelle City government.
Two weeks ago, Newman allegedly approached the victim and grabbed her breasts. This followed a previous incident where Newman engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with the victim and made sexually suggestive comments. Since the recent complaint, two other woman have come forward with additional complaints. Two letters have been submitted to Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak detailing the incident. There were two witnesses to the assault.
A phone message left at Newman's residence in Mount Vernon, NY was not returned.
The victim has not filed a complaint with the police at this time but has not ruled that out, according to a knowledgeable source. Newman could be charged under the "Forcible touching" statute §130.52.
A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire. For the purposes of this section, forcible touching includes squeezing, grabbing or pinching. Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor.(Eff.11/1/03,Ch.264,L.2003)
The initial response of the school district came from Newman's boss, John Gallagher, the head of Buildings and Grounds, in the form of a directive to Newman to stay away from City Hall. Gallagher was unaware that the victim was related to a senior government official in New Rochelle. Newman was suspended on Wednesday morning after it was learned that he had returned to City Hall despite the directive. Newman has since claimed that the victim encouraged him to sexually assault her at City Hall.
Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment of students and staff has been a persistent problem for the New Rochelle Board of Education.
Former school principal Jose Martinez recently plead guilty repeatedly raping a student in his office at the Isaac E. Young Middle School in 2010. This despite repeated complaints about Martinez conduct -- inappropriate touching of boys, bringing boys into his office then locking the doors and pulling down the shades, providing boys with money, candy, and treats, failing to discipline certain "pet" students, and so on. Complaints were made by senior staff, a nurse, a security guard and a secretary and others; the complaints were made to IEYMS Principal Anthony Bongo, IEYMS Assistant Principal Towanda Robinson, Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak and Board of Education Member Chrisanne Petrone, recently installed as President of the Board of Education. Martinez was never suspended, investigated or subject to a hearing.
Kareem Ali, a clerk working on the 2nd floor at City Hall under Assistant Superintendent John Quinn, has been subject to repeated disciplinary action for unwanted contact between him and a female co-worker, a supervisor in the Finance department. Ali is restricted to certain parts of City Hall and is not permitted to pass beyond the men's bathroom in the 2nd floor hallway. He is required to go through an elaborate set of intermediaries to communicate with the supervisor to prevent further direct contact. He is not permitted to e-mail his supervisor directly. All communications, written and verbal, are passed to the supervisor thru another staff member. Despite these precautions, problems persist. Ali has been "spoken to" by school district officials many times over a period of years but has been "unable to control himself", sources say. A disciplinary hearing several years ago, involving then-Finance Chief Tom Ryan and F.U.S.E., the teachers union, resulted in a unique set of work rules for the clerk. During the hearing, the District took the unusual step of having a guard posted nearby the hearing room. Many workers at City Hall have reported feeling uncomfortable with Ali.
Talk of the Sound has received information identifying four other school district employees known to have had sex with students over the past several years including sex with students on school grounds. One of the four was fired last year after repeatedly being caught "red handed" (readers can figure that out) lolling at pornography on school district computers. Another impregnated a student at New Rochelle High School. School officials are aware that these employees are having sex with students but have turned a blind eye. In particular, Bruce Daniele, head of security, has reportedly viewed video tape of some incidents but deleted the video, knowledgeable sources tell Talk of the Sound.
Except for the family connections of the victim, there is little doubt among many in the district that the "stay away" order from Gallagher to Newman was intended to be the full extent of the district's response to an allegation of sexual assault against a female employee.
"They were trying to sweep it under the rug, like always," said one insider. "Until they found who they were dealing with and so now they are going to hold a hearing. They may have little choice but to fire Newman."
As for Tony Newman, many have questioned why the Board of Education would even need a full-time glazier, one of several obsolete or unneeded positions funded by the taxpayers of New Rochelle.
The Board of Education has gone back and forth on eliminating and restoring the position of glazier. Each time the position is restored at the urging of John Gallagher and F.U.S.E. President Marty Daly. Gallagher is always interested to have additional staff which is then available to hire out for private contract work. Daly's primary interest is to have a compliant, uninformed, minority member of the committee which manages to the F.U.S.E. Welfare Fund, a multi-million dollar fund controlled by Daly. Each for their own reasons, the pair have protected Newman despite not having a real job, not being a qualified journeyman glazier, and his history of sexual harassment, sources tell Talk of the Sound.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We know the names of the victims in the case; per our policy, we do not identify victims of a crime unless the victims ask to be identified or it becomes a matter of public record. We would ask readers not to speculate but let the story play out. Thanks.