BREAKING NEWS: Finally, An Arrest of a New Rochelle School Employee

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BREAKING NEWS: Finally, An Arrest of a New Rochelle School Employee

August 15, 2009 - 08:35

image1287817665.jpgWe first broke the story on Talk of the Sound months ago that Vito Costa, an employee of the City School District of New Rochelle, was being investigated by the District Attorney for his no-show job as an HVAC engineer. The axe fell earlier today. We will publish the charging documents as soon as they become available.

We knew the arrest was coming but did not want to jinx it by pre-empting the DA like we did with the Martinez arrest. Instead, we alluded to it in our Facade of Rectitude post yesterday as sharp-eyed readers no doubt noticed.

We have more soon but let's start with the obvious question. Does any believe a guy could hold a no-show job and his co-workers and bosses did not know? Be prepared for the District to roll out the old "isolated incident" line, try to take credit for the DA's work here and pretend to be "shocked, shocked" that there is fraud and theft going in the maintenance and grounds department.

The department head John Gallagher should come before the school board to be publicly questioned about Costa, Demasi, the Locksmith father-son team and the rest of the sorry mess and then terminated as rapidly as possible. Recall this is the guy doling out huge sums in phony overtime.

Our sources tell us that Costa has engaged in his little game for YEARS. Same with Demasi. So not only Quinn and Organisciak but their predecessors need to do sone explaining. And where is Marty Daly in all this? He's the guy covering for the crooks in maintenance and grounds; the guy threatening to sue to protect all manner of criminal in order to keep them employed and sending their dues to FUSE.

The Journal News has a very limited account of what was going on with Costa.

Here is what sources have told Talk of the Sound.

Assistant Superintendant John Quinn first became suspicious of Costa when he noticed discrepenies between inventory of HVAC-related items (refrigerant, pipes, roofing material) and invoices. Readers will recall how the NYS Comptroller had flagged questionable "emergency" HVAC invoices for over $14,000 because there was no supporting documentation for the claim of an emergency. Because the work done was declared an emergency no competetive bids were sought as required by NYS law.

Quinn brought his concerns to the attention of Scools Superintendent Richard Organisciak who, under the advice of the District's lawyer, Jeffrey Kehl, refused to take action. Readers will call the District recently reauthorized Kehl's "no contract" contract under which Kehl's firm has been paid millions upon millions of dollars. The school board was also made aware of the situation. Under pressure to do something about Costa for several months Organisciak finally agreed to report the matter to the DA. His report to the DA was so light-hearted and dismissive of Quinn's concern that initially the DA did not think much of the matter. But did request copies of the invoices. After investigators reviews the invoices and other documents they became interested. They monitored Costa's movements and later "interviewed" him.

The charges against Costa are based on what DA investigators observed over several weeks. As noted above sources tell Talk of the Sound the misappropriation of supplies and failing to work hours for which he was paid has been going on for years.

Costa is a small fish. Talk of the Sound can only hope prosecutors are able to put him on their hook and reel in some of the big fish. This first arrest should be the first of many in the maitenance and grounds department. Maybe the District can even do something about the $800,000 overtime "slush fund" being used to pay these crooks OT for "snow removal".


There are 46 Comments

As a resident of NYC looking to get a home in the suburbs I was drawn to New Rochelle for many reasons, such as diversity and its schools. However this blog keeps showing the dysfunction of the city and most of the people who post are racist. After reading this blog I would not consider New Rochelle a good option and I can see why property values are going down. Every location has its issues, but you people only celebrate the negative, its horrible.

Look at any news organization . We live in a society that thrives on the sordid details surrounding our lives . About 15 years ago Ted Turner , tired of all the bad news everyday , tried to start up a news spot featuring only good , positive stuff . It failed . What can you say ? As for this site , there is good stuff going on in this city and it's out there for you to see . If you think this site is bringing property values down , you have given way to much importance to a blog site and if you're that easily influenced maybe New Rochelle is not the place for you .

whats going on that every saturday boe vans are parked on grove ave. cant this work be done during reg. hours

Come inside and talk to us, instead of driving by and wondering what's going on. Maybe we will show you first hand how much work we do. This website and all the followers give the hard working people of the district a bad name. Some of us do come to work everyday and give 100% to this district but are looked at as criminals because of you.

Robert Cox's picture

And whether you are one of the criminals or one of the people who gives 100% you ALL KNOW who the criminals are, right. So either you are in on it or you know about it and do nothing. But you want the community's sympathy? Forget it.

You want some respect?

Pick up the phone and call this number: 914-995-3414

Ask for Brian Conway.

Tell him what you know about the crooks who working no-show jobs, who the bosses are that allow it and get kickbacks for it, who fills out the bogus overtime sheets, misappropriates school vehicles and equipment, who steals, who files the phony invoice for "emergency" services.

Do THAT and this web site will be the first to sing the praises of the honest people at Grove Avenue who turned in the crooks and helped clean house.

In the meantime, your turning a blind eye to corruption allows people to take money out of the hard-working people of New Rochelle who pay for what is stolen, money they intend for the children of the community not pigs who want to feed at the public trough.

That's not my job to watch other mechanics, obviously the person who's job it is to do that are doing a lousy job. But, like I said there are mechanics that go to work everyday like there supposed to. I never heard or saw a bad thing written about my department but we still get portrayed as criminals. Mr. Costa has nothing to do with Grove ave. Also, there are 4 carpenters not 1(demasi) and you put the other 3 mechanics in the same boat as demasi. As we all know on this site, we were allowed to bring vehicles home at night. I could tell you one thing about Demasi, he never leaves early and hesca hard working individual who cares about the district. All I ask is for you to give the honest people that work at the BOE there respect. I wish you could follow me around for 1 week so you could see first hand all the work we do.

Robert Cox's picture

It's "not my job to watch other mechanics"?

Watch? No. Report criminal activity, fraud, waste and abuse? Yes. If you know someone is stealing you have an obligation to report that. You can report that within the District (not recommended!) or report it to NYSED or to the police or to the DA.

"obviously the person who's job it is to do that are doing a lousy job"

We agree on that. The chain of command goes from Richard Organisciak to John Gallagher so I start here. Both of them are either incompetent or know about it an do nothing or are in on it. They need to go.

"As we all know on this site, we were allowed to bring vehicles home at night. I could tell you one thing about Demasi, he never leaves early and hesca hard working individual who cares about the district."

And Hitler made the trains run on time. What difference does it make if someone "never leaves early" or "works hard" or "cares about the District" if the are also stealing from the District?

The fact is that "you" were NEVER allowed to bring vehicles home at night. Demasi told me no one said he could not take vehicles home. Does that make it OK? If I work at a restaurant am I allowed to take home steaks and lobsters every night if no one tells me I can't? If I work in a retail store, can I take money out of the register and take it home if no one tells me I can't? There is a basic principal in the law to consider -- ignorance is no defense.

I spoke to administrators and board members about District policy regarding vehicles. Except for Organisciak (as part of his contract), no employee of the District was or is allowed to take vehicles home or make personal use of them. That you and other people in maintenance and grounds appear to actually believe this was some "job perk" you were entitled to is shocking, amazing and indicative of the failure of honest leadership in the District. What other public employees get such a supposed benefit? Do you see cops taking home squad cars? DPW workers taking home pick up trucks? No. The only people who seem to think that it was OK to simply take public property and convert it for personal use is the people working at maintenance and grounds. As you observed, you were all either doing it or knew the "everyone" was doing it. How does that not make you complicit in what was clearly an illegal misappropriation which, under the law, constitutes theft?

Again, you want some consideration then report the bad guys and become part of the solution. So long as you and others cover up for the bad guys it will continue. What is worse about people like you (from the sound of it) if that although you do not steal from the schools you know it is wrong and do nothing about it. If the people of New Rochelle cannot reply upon you to report wrong doing within the school district then do not expect sympathy from the people of this City.

Actually it was the people defending Mr Demasi , who brought up the fact that van was parked at his house "by 3:30" indicating he couldn't have been using it during the off hours . That is where the calculation of how many hours he was "stealing " from the district came from . His own people , perhaps it was Daly , supplied the incriminating information in a feeble attempt to defend Mr Demasi's action of taking the van home .

Mr. Cox - Why isn't Mr. Gallagher under investigation? - after all he is Mr.Costa's boss and he must have known what was going on.

You are either stupid or funny!!! You quoted "some of us do come to work everyday and give 100%" - the key word is "some" - an admission knowing full well of the bs that goes on....

get rid off all the crooks. at grove ave.

Stay in NYC, afterall it's SOOOOO much better. lol

Looking from the outside in, it would scare me also. There are bitter people out there but every community has the same issues. They just don't have a site such as least not yet. Robert Cox has provided that for New Rochelle.
All in all though, this is a great city to raise a family. Don't let the "rumor mongers" and "closet racists" get to you. I do believe, in his own way, Robert is trying to make it a better place with a forum such as this. I think he just needs a little more perspective. In my opinion, Einstien

Who cares what you think. I don't see anything in this post that show racist remarks. I'm glad you considered not moving here. People like you, who have come here are the problem with New Rochelle. New Rochelle was a great town AT ONE TIME. And the people who read this post only care about New Rochelle.

Your post reveals a character flaw. You are too quick to judge. I don't know where you see racism in the posts or only negative topics. There is a wide range of topics and opinions. What you really are saying is you can't tolerate differing opinions and you'd rather not hear about problems...You are right about the dysfunctional city gov't though. Here's a thought stick your head back up there and move to Scarsdale. PS..the crack about the property values (as though real-estate deflation was confined to new rochelle) convinces me that your post isn't sincere and you just don't like the political slant of many posters.

Given some of the criticism you've recently had , perhaps you should temper your accusation until you have all of the "facts" . Afterall , maybe Mr Costa was just going for a ride with some of his police friends . Aside from that thank you for the diligence and and follow through that has started the move towards responsibile government . This IS great reporting by any measure ! Aman can learn from this. Can't wait to see who's next .

citijofromnewro, in my opinion, you are right, even though you are sarcastic. The story follows through as an opinion, in my opinion. "Can't wait to see who's next"? Judging by that statement Citi, you are an idiot. Not my opinion, just an obvious fact.

As far as the article, one paragraph would disturb me, if it was coming from a real "reporter":

"Talk of the Sound can only hope prosecutors are able to put him on their hook and reel in some of the big fish. This first arrest should be the first of many in the maitenance and grounds department"

Irresponsible statement...and not fair to those who go to work to earn an honest day's pay. First of many? Broad brush stroke there. If there is more, please elaborate or let the DA's office / NRPD know what you are innsinuating. I'm sure any relible fact provided by your sources would be welcome in the "ongoing" investigation. Just think Robert, you can "reel in the big fish".

I have no problem with going after those who are engaging in criminal acts such as Mr. Costa has been ACCUSED. I'm sure the DA's office and the NRPD will bring thoses to justice based of fact, not innuendo commonly brought forth on this site.

Let the judicial system play out the process. At this point, Mr. Costa is innocent until proven guilty. If he is found guilty, he MUST pay the price. If he is found innocent, will a retraction be in our future?

I have yet to see a retraction for the two security guards who were ACCUSED, but not charged, with crimes over the past school year. Why, because you believe them to be guilty? Seriously, do you always assume these BOE empolyees are always guilty or hope that they are? Shallow, very shallow.
Oh. let me clarify for Citi, "IN MY OPINION" Einstien

I'll keep it simple , given your limited grasp of the English language . Nobody that I know has EVER lumped all civil service workers together with any of those being flushed out . It is actually a shame that the few will cast this shadow on the many who make the city run . However , blindly defending them , or looking the other way serves no one especially the co workers . The DA would not bring charges unless one of two things happen . He is being framed , or there is something to it and it is now a matter of degrees and the justice system wil sort it out . Was it opinion that the Journal News reported his arrest ? Can you think of any case where ,at the end, the DA said "this was just a big misunderstanding" ? Do you think the sanctions against the security guards were because they were completely innocent ? Get close to those two and tell me nothing happened . Have you ever heard of an issue contained and handled "in house"just to prevent the bad press .In England , you're found guilty , not guilty or "not found" meaning the evidence couldn't support the charges but you're not innocent either . That's what happened here. Can you say that if Mr Costa did what he is accused of that there was no way his supervisor could have known it . If so , he should go for incompetence alone . So call me names (sticks and stones I believe you said) and try to steer the conversation as much as you like , it won't change the discussion here . Look at what has happened just this school year . Even if only half of it was true , the only conclusion is that there's something wrong going on . I applaud those who would open the door and let the sun shine in and that has nothing to do with the hard working , honest employees throughout the city. They should be glad the onus of exposing the wrongdoers won't have to be put upon them . I can't imagine how uncomfortable it must be watching a fellow employee breaking the rules while you try to make your own way in the world . So ,if by saying I can't wait to see who's next makes me an idiot , so be it . Better that than blindly supporting criminals or in your case ,being an ostrich . I wish you were as smart as you think you are , then you would be an asset to my city .

First of all Citi, solving things "in house" are usually things that are administrative in nature, not criminal. The "sanctions" to the security guards were based on administrative misconduct, not criminal. They could of fought the administrative charges if they wanted to, but didn't. Too bad for them. I'm sure they gave up the fight because they probably would of lost their jobs in any unfavorable decision at a hearing. They were portrayed on TOTS as criminals, which they were never proven to be. I'm sure the NRPD would of arrested any of them with enough proof of criminality, as the "dodgeball" teacher and Mr. Costa.
Secondly, regarding your England analogy. We are not in England so those "rules" do not apply, just like we are not in Singapore, where Mr. Costa's hands would of been cut off or caned. So, I don't get the anology. That didn't happen here. Mr. Costa is, in essence, being accused of crimes with the arrest. This, however, does not mean you can't have an opinion.
I am not privy to the what Mr. Costa's other co-workers knew or didn't know and I don't believe you are either. In time, the process should reveal the full picture. That's what American's are supposed to believe in, right? If anyone else did wrong or facilitated Mr. Costa's "alleged" transgressions, I want them to pay also, with their jobs or jail time. I do not think the DA's office would of arrested this man without the proper evidence.
Third, your statement, "Nobody that I know has EVER lumped all civil service workers together with any of those being flushed out. It is actually a shame that the few will cast this shadow on the many who make the city run . However , blindly defending them , or looking the other way serves no one especially the co workers". I agree! That was the whole point of my post. I am not, and will not defend any of them. Just their rights to due process. There is a difference. All and all, it is a sad day for all of New Rochelle when these things happen.
Fourth, as far as how "smart I am"...maybe not as smart as you, but, you know what they say about geniuses!! Einstien

You're correct on the admin stuff , but I can say , after talking to those working on one of the guard issues , things were covered up (sanitized , glossed over , conveniently disposed of , or whatever someone might call it) all for "the greater interest" of the district . From an administrative standpoint , that one guard should have been released . Period . Consider the accusation , then ask what administration infraction could have occured that didn't involve some segment of the reported information ? There should be no room for interpretation when it comes to the security of the children . So , this leads me to the 2nd point . Obviously we are not in England, but the point of that analogy is that there is more than guilty or not guilty . There is an overlap that exists between the two where the guilty get away with the crime. I suppose the most infamous example is how O.J got away with it criminally but not in civil court . So was he innocent or guilty. You are right about due process . however , you can't selectively apply it as was done in the security guard case. Due process protects not only the accused , but the public as well to assure justice is done .
I admit, I do not know what happened with Costa , but I stand by the concept that the DA's office thinks long and hard before there is an arrest made . Something went on , that will unfold , and when you look back (not very long , mind you) there have been an awful lot of "isolated incidents" . Enough to make even the most casual reader to begin to be suspect of just what is going on .
I am glad you understand that when I rail on about what I believe to be wrongdoing, it in no way reflects upon the honest , law abiding , people whether they work for the city , school board , or anywhere else for that matter.
As far as "smarts " are concerned , I could care less . My words stand as written .

Robert Cox's picture

...and certainly not because the NRPD chooses not to charge someone.

We have reported on 4 different cases of fraud, misappropriation and theft in the maintenance and grounds department. Two of the people were fired, one was arrested and the fourth (Demasi) was left off the hook by the school district but they did stop the appropriation of school vehicles for personal use which was rampant prior to our story. I would say our track record so far is impeccable regarding buildings and grounds.

As for bigger fish, do you seriously question that other people in the department knew of these various cases of malfeasance? How did Costa get paid when he was not present -- as the DA has charged -- for a full month (it went on far longer)? Obviously, his supervisors knew he was not present. Wouldn't his co-workers also notice. Everyone who knew and said nothing is an accessory.

There is no requirement that we only report stories about people who are convicted of crimes. So, I really don't understand your point.

As for the school guards striking children, we stand by the story.

As for my assumptions about BoEo employees, if you had read my web site you would know that the point is made routinely that the vast majority of employees of the district are honest, hard-working people. When, however, I have a credible report of wrong-doing and make the decision to publish a story about it, it is because I am convinced the story is true. It matters not one bit what the NRPD or the DA or the BoEo says because they have their own standards of proof, their own agendas and there are people there -- especially at the BoE and NRPD who are willing to lie. If you want to get the official version of every news story I suggest you subscribe to Noam Bramson's blog. You will find it far more comforting.

The NRPD & the DA do not have discretion on whether to charge or not to charge if proof of a crime is evident. Do you honestly believe there is a conspiracy between all three involved?
Let the witnesses (the "sources" you stand by)come forward. Now, I don't expect you to give up your sources, I respect your position on that. But do any of them want to be witnesses for the greater good? I look forward to meeting you.
BTW, Noam has a blog? Einstien

Robert Cox's picture

Obviously you are not only not a lawyer but have never even watched a trial - or even an episode of Law & Order.

First, what constitutes "proof of a crime" is something that is determined in a court of law not by police or prosecutors. The word you are searching for is "evidence" not "proof".

Second, there is no legal requirement than any law enforcement agency make an arrest if they find "evidence" of a crime. Likewise, there is no legal requirements that a prosecutor bring a case where evidence of a crime exists.

Both the NRPD and DA routinely exercise precisely this discretion. This is not unique to New Rochelle or Westchester or New York or even the United States.

As for the cases which you have mentioned, I would respond on each case individually not lump them altogether.

In the case of the child who was assaulted by a security guard at Isaac Young and was then on Channel 12, I have absolutely no doubt that he was struck by the guard. There is a medical report and a police report which provide evidence that the child was struck. The only issue was whether it could be proven that he was struck by the guard as he said. I have zero doubt that the child was telling the truth. The kid was questioned repeatedly by school officials, by the police, by attorneys, by the media and by someone we brought in to question him with experience in these matters. The kid told a consistent story and passed every "test".

Obviously you do not believe the kid. Did you every talk to him? Did you look at the police or medical reports? Did you event watch his interview on TV? To me he is entirely credible but since you believe he had lied over and over again tell me this. What benefit did the kid get by going immediately to school administrators and reporting that he had been struck. As far as I can see, this kid had nothing to gain. He was not getting out of a suspension, he was not being accused of anything, he was not "gaming" some system. I see no motivation for him to make a report that he was struck beyond the rather obvious -- that he was struck.

Now, as to the security guard in question. We also checked on her. She had no prior record of these sorts of problems and we could not find anyone who would said she had been a problem employee. People we spoke to who know her and worked with her said if she did it then it was a case of her "snapping" and crossing the line.

For reasons we have explained previously NRPD repeatedly sought to deter the mother from filing charges so that no charges were ever filed. NRPD entirely misrepresented this in an interview they gave to the Journal News. The story in the JN was that the NRPD had "cleared" the guard. Riddle me this: if no charges were ever filed then what exactly was the NRPD investigating and what exactly was the guard cleared of? Without a complaining witness who makes an accusation there is nothing to be investigated. Yet, for some unexplained reason NRPD did an "investigation" and then declared the guard was "cleared". And what was the basis for "clearing" the guard. The school district provided a video tape from ONE camera angle which did not show the child being struck. This is the most absurd "investigation" imaginable. It is like investigating a bank robbery by looking at surveillance video of the back door of the bank and then saying no bank robbery took place. That one camera shows no evidence of a crime is not the same thing as saying that no crime occurred. Believe it or not, before there were video cameras police made arrests based on complaints by victims. In fact, they still do. Just not in this case.

We have attempted to make the point in the reports that we have made about the various problems with security guards is that these are people who are often hired because they know someone not because they have any particular aptitude for the job. There is no real effort to screen people and once they are on the job there is not sufficient training for them. They are often put in very difficult situations -- undermanned and under-trained. That there have been repeated problems security guards suggests a systemic problem. The root of the problem is the use of security guard positions as patronage hand-outs.

In my view the solution is to do bring in an outside contractor with experience recruiting, training and staffing security positions. Let them screen all existing employees, hire the ones that meet their standards, give them proper training and then hold the company accountable when there is a problem. Rather than playing musical chairs with problem guards (as is done now) the guards could be removed entirely from the school system with one phone call to the security services company. If the company was satisfied with the employee they could retain them and reassign them elsewhere -- just not in the New Rochelle public schools.

My vision for the future aside, you are simply wrong in saying that because NRPD did not make an arrest or the DA did not prosecute the guard that the child was not struck by the guard. I would hoe that in most cases a guard slapping a child is something that the school should be able to resolve to the satisfaction of the victim and their family without having to involve the police or make arrests. In fact, initially the parent was mollified and left the building. It was only after another guard allegedly threatened the boy for being a "snitch" that she went to the police.

In closing let me say that if the guard did nothing at all then she is the victim and should be consoled not criticized, harassed or punished. I trust we agree on that point.

How then do you explain the fact that the guard was transferred to New Rochelle High School shortly after being reinstated?

PS, Yes, Noam has a blog. Google is your friend on that one.

You are very wrong Robert. I am going to print your response and go over it with you, in person.
Simply, if the victim of a proven crime wants to pursue criminal charges, the police do not have discretion.
Not my opinion, plain fact. Einstien.

Robert Cox's picture are going to have a tough time explaining your point.

Before going over too much you will need to start by explaining why the police would bother to pursue criminal charges if a "crime" is "proven"?

I am quite certain I am not wrong but am happy to entertain your legal theories over a cup of coffee. Tuesday works for me.

I said the following, "Simply, if the victim of a proven crime wants to pursue criminal charges, the police do not have discretion".
I'm saying the police do not have discretion if a victim wants to pursue criminal charges, as long as all the needed elements of "probable cause" exist after an investigation.
Am I must be missing your point or are you missing mine? Believe me, I will have no problem explaining anything to you, privacy issues aside.
Wednesday afternoon may work for me, I'm out town until then. Einstien

Robert Cox's picture

A crime is only "proven" when there is a trial.

The police do not get involved in crimes that are "proven". They get involved with crimes that are not proven. That is why they investigate -- gather evidence, interview witnesses, take statements from victims, etc. Based on their investigation they may then choose to make an arrest. From there the matter goes to the D.A. which must prosecute the case. During a trial the D.A. will seek to introduce into evidence information and material and testimony gathered by the police and/or their own investigators. When both the prosecution and defense have presented their case a judge or jury makes a ruling. At that point only can you say that a crime is "proven" (pending an appeal).

So, I am not missing anything. You keep talking about cases that are "proven" before the police even investigate. There is no such thing.

There is no point in debating this any further because if you believe that a person can show up at the police station and file a police report about something called a "proven" crime then you "simply" do not know what you are talking about at all.

There are cops who read this site (and lawyers) so please someone explain to Einstein that there are no "proven" crimes being reported to NRPD.

I'm glad you realize that nothing is proven until conviction. I guess that was the point I have been making all along regarding you convicting some here first.
In using the word "proven", I wasn't refering to the finality of a case. "Probable Cause" is the right term I should of used, right from the start.

Robert Cox's picture

"Probable Cause" is short-hand for the 4th Amendment:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

It refers to the standard by which a police officer has the right to make an arrest, conduct a personal or property search, or to obtain a warrant for arrest.

The 4th Amendment does not REQUIRE a law enforcement officer to make an arrest IF they find probable cause. In fact, the purpose of the 4th Amendment is the exact opposite of what you have in mind. The purpose is to LIMIT what the government can do in making arrests, searching people or property or get a warrant. It says police can only search, arrest, surveil, seize if they have probable cause. It does not say if police have probable cause they must act.

Further, only a judge can decide if probable cause exists. Police know that when they act they may well have to explain to a judge why they believed they had probable cause. The judge may or may not agree with them. Cases are thrown out all the time because a judge will not allow evidence into a trial because the judge rules that police did not have probable cause to search property or a person or to make an arrest.

Any other legal theories you care to share, Einstein?

I must say what is remarkable is your apparent certitude that you are right when you continue to display a complete ignorance of the law or police procedure. Maybe you ought to quit while your behind and simply acknowledge the reality that police are not REQUIRED to investigate or make an arrest simply because someone files a complaint.

In case of the kid who was slapped at Isaac the entire point is moot because the mother never filed a police report despite going to the police station on three separate occasions to do so. The first two times she went she was intimidate into not proceeding with her expressed desire to file a complaint. The third time she went she was told there was no basis for her to file a complaint because the police had already investigated the matter and concluded that the guard did not slap the child.

Let's move on from this "legal" argument of yours to the kid's case. The police never interviewed the kid. They did not interview any witnesses that were in the hallway. They did not obtain or inspect any medical records. They did not question the guard or school officials. Instead, the school district did something that they have, in the past, claimed they could not do -- turn over videotape of an incident in a school hallway (they have claimed in the past they cannot do this due to privacy laws). What they turned over was a single tape of a stop-motion video from one camera angle in which the guard and student are not visible the entire time and which does not show a continuous stream of video. Because the slap involved occurred very quickly it is entirely possible that the slap occurred after one video frame and before another. Also, it could have happened at the moment the guard and student were out of frame. In either case, the video evidence does not prove that no slap occurred, only that there is no slap on that particular video.

And why just one camera angle? There are MANY cameras in that building and my sources have told me that there is at least one other camera that is aimed where the incident took place -- and that this camera is closer to where the incident took place.

In either case, an editorial judgement was made that we believe the student was assaulted. We stand by that for many reasons. Because the police told the Journal News they had "cleared" the guard does not change that one bit. I know from first hand experience that there are people at the police department will break the law as a "favor" to the school district.

I stand by my comments Robert, I know what you are saying, but I still think you are missing my point.

Let's play "What if".
You are in your house looking out your window. You see me pick up a rock and throw it at your window, breaking it. You call the police, they come, take your statement as to what you saw. You identify me as the one who broke your window. The police ASK you if you want to press charges, you say "Yes". Are you saying the police can say "No, we are not arresting him?"
I say the police do not have discretion in this senario. They have to make the arrest based on your complaint. "Probable Cause" exists for the officer. In this senario, where would the discretion be?

As far as the kid being slapped, I believe a police report was filed. Maybe you should FOIL it. Correct me if I am wrong, but you said in an earlier post that the kid was interviewed by the police, including one time with someone YOU sent in with him. Here you say "the kid was never interviewed" Please clarify, I might be mixing the incidents up.

As for your claim that there are people in the PD who will break laws as a "favor" to the district....please, enlighten us. Give us some examples that you "know, from first hand experience". I'm really interested in that accusation.
If this keeps up Robert, we are going to have nothing to talk about in person. Einstien

Robert Cox's picture

The police are NOT REQUIRED BY LAW to arrest you because I file a police report that says you threw a rock through my window. They might find my complaint is not credible and do nothing. Most likely they would make an arrest but there is no law that says they must. If, however, they did arrest you they would argue that probable cause existed because they had a broken window, a rock and a witness telling them that you threw the rock through the windows. Again, I cannot keep explaining this over and over again. You are simply wrong. Deal with it.

We are going over the same ground over and over again. I know what I am talking about. You obviously do not. That you do not believe that does not change that and clearly nothing I say will convince you that you are completely wrong in every possible way. So, we are at the point where we have to "agree to disagree".

The bottom line is that I believe the kid was assaulted by a security guard and it does not make any difference to me what the police did or did not do or what they said or did not say. I certainly do not believe what the school district says. They lie constantly.

In any case, there is no reason for me to retract a story that we believe is true just because YOU don't believe it is true.

PS, yes, cops sometimes lie.

Ok, the senario did not have anything in it that would suggest the complaint wasn't credible. That is my point. You are right, there is no "law", there are procedures. Discretion, on it's face value, is not black and white. You are also right, we have to agree to disagree.
You also did not answer the rest of my questions. A police report was filed, to the best of my knowledge. Also, why say the kid wasn't interviewed when you know he was (as stated in one of your earlier posts). Also, please elaborate your first hand knowledge of when the police lied as a "favor" to the district. You said you know this "first hand", so, what happened. If true, it is important to bring it out in the open. Since you know first hand, you shouldn't need to hide behind your "sources" to answer this very serious allegation. I'm sure even your supporters here would like to hear about that. Then write an editorial.
I also don't expect you to retract the story because of what I believe. I never asked you to do that. Get a copy of the police report and print the report here. Let's see what the investigation showed.
Without some of these questions asked, I, for one, have to trust there was no cover up, or conspiracy between the police and the district. Einstien

At our community watch meetings , police are very clear to tell us that if they(the police) don't actually see the crime (usually it's vandalism or public drinking etc) they can't make an arrest . They will investigate it , but absent of witnessing the event they would need something forensic to make a case outside of our report . For what it's worth.

The police are talking about violations (Public drinking etc). They do have to witness the violation to make an arrest.
As far as crimes such as vandalism, they can arrest if they have a suspect, witness statements, a confession basically enough probable cause, which is gathered through an investigation. They cannot just arrest because someone says, "I think it was Robert"
;) Einstien

You either have absolutely no concept of how things work in the real world , or your just providing camoulflaging . Police often dissuade people from pressing charges for any number of reasons . Sometimes it's as honest as helping neighbors get over a misunderstanding , or as bad as not being worth the time to write things up , all the way to "let's just sweep this under the rug " ,somebody upstairs doesn't like the way this is going . Every incident is different . You have the answers? How many times have the police responded to the high school and how many times does it show up on the record ? How many times does a PACT officer catch some punk with a joint and let him go because he tells the cop who's been doing the graffitti ? Do you really think the School district is "holy ground" and beyond this kind of stuff ? Ever smell the reefer along North Ave when the high school is let out? There's cops everywhere but as long as everyones moving along , there's no problem . Get with it and stop the pedantic rambling . Some are trying to flush out millions in corruption and you're arguing about hypotheticals and what ifs . You're so backwards you should call yourself Nietsnie .

Yes, I'm sure police "dissuade" people from pressing charges for any number of reasons as you stated. But, if the person insists on pressing charges, and there is enough "probable cause", the police do not have a choice but to move forward with an arrest. People mostly want to press charges until they find out they need to give signed statements and they may have to go to court. Then the tune usually changes. That is not the police "dissuading" someone, that is the system. It makes it easy to say "forget about it".
As far as catching someone with a joint, that is not a crime, it is a violation, which gives the police discretion. It's the same discretion they have when they issue tickets. So, if a person is in violation of possessing a joint, why wouldn't the police use that leverage against that person to find out who is doing graffiti, selling drugs or guns? To me, that is good police work. Einstien, oh sorry, Nietsnie

You're making an argument that's saying the same thing I said . Strange way to agree with someone .

Robert Cox's picture

The police simply refused to allow her to file charges. Initially they told her she had to come back when the youth detective was on duty. Then she was told of she filed the guard would sue her. Third time the youth detective said no crime had occurred.

First, why does an adult have to meet with the youth detective to file a complaint against another adult?

Second, if no charges were ever filed what allegation was the youth detective investigating?

Let me see if I can help you here. The father of the principal at Isaac is a major contractor for the City who sprinkles "favors" all over town and is pals with the Police Commissioner. Does that help?

When someone replies to a reply again and again it gets so skinny it is hard to read!

Unhappy with Bob
He blathers incessantly
Blind eye to the truth

Using your scenario above the police would not make an arrest . Assuming the facts you provided are the only ones . The police would generate a police report which would then be handed over to the DA's office . The DA would then determine if there are any other facts/ evidence and then , only then, would a decision to arrest or not be made . You can however , file a civil suit to recover costs incurred for window replacement . That is how it would play out since the officer did not witness the crime . End of story .

Sorry, sounds like you have been watching too much TV.
In the above senario,the police report would be made, regardless. The victim/witness would provide a signed statement as to his observations AND request that criminal charges be brought forth. The arrest would be made. The officer would not have to witness the crime to arrest with the statement provided. The officer then would file charges in the DA's office and the case would move forward in criminal court. If the person arrrested is found guilty or takes a plea, restittuion could be part of hiss sentence.
Now, if the victim/witness tells the officer that he does not want to press charges or refuses to provide a signed statement, the police report is still generated but the case closed. The victim can use the report in a civil case in an effort to get restitution down the road.
BTW, the DA's office does not investigate broken windows. It is the responsibility of the police to investigate a case such as this example, then bring the case forward to the DA when filling charges. Now, if the officer makes the arrest and brings a case to the DA and the DA refuses to file charges due to lack of evidence or any other reason, then the officer, and the city, could be held liable for false arrest etc. Einstien

Robert Cox's picture

It is not complicated. These guys are not geniuses.

Here is a case which illustrates what we have here in New Rochelle.

Saleem, 48, was accused of submitting phony payroll records from April 6 to July 20, 2007, to the county Department of Public Works, which was overseeing a renovation project inside the county social services offices at 112 E. Post Road in White Plains.

Saleem had said he was paying 16 daily workers the prevailing wage but was forcing them to kick back about $150 a day, according to authorities.

Does anyone believe that Costa was allowed to draw a paycheck for not working and pocket the money all for himself?

If Costa was kicking back $2,000 a month and the higher ups have a dozen guys like him kicking back you are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

And I sure do want to see some of the hunting lodges these guys weekend in up in the catskills.

Now it all seems really clear. I just hope, someone looks into all the supervisors. I have never seen a operation run like this before. And going on for so long.

Don't worry - there not great or anything to brag about.