District Attorney Probe Widens from DPW to Parks & Rec as New Rochelle Marina Comes Under Scrutiny

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FevangBoat-NewRochelleMarina-12.jpgTalk of the Sound has confirmed that the Westchester County District Attorney has expanded their investigation of the City of New Rochelle Department of Public Works to include the City's Department of Parks and Recreation. After receiving a tip that Fevang was keeping a boat at the New Rochelle Marina, investigators from the DA's office inspected the boat and called upon Harbor Master Salvatore "Sal" Gugliara.

DA Spokesperson Lucian Chalfen declined to comment on the investigation of the New Rochelle Marina citing the ongoing investigation.

The DA's Public Integrity Unit began their current investigation in earnest over this past summer when City Council Member Louis Trangucci took the unusual step of bypassing City Manager Chuck Strome, Corporation Counsel Kathy Gill and Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll and went straight to the DA with evidence of corruption in the New Rochelle Department of Public Works. Trangucci obtained, copied and then hand-delivered boxes stuffed with DPW invoices directly to the District Attorney's office in White Plains. Those familiar with the invoices say they show many tens of thousands of dollars in invoices for work never done on DPW vehicles.

Over the summer, just days after DA investigators visited the DPW City Yard to inspect the vehicle which triggered the current investigation, DPW Commissioner Jeff Coleman unexpectedly resigned to "spend more time with his family".

Richard Fevang, the Fleet Manager of the Department of Public Works, has been the initial focus of an investigation which has now spread to include vendors doing business with New Rochelle from elsewhere in Westchester County as well as the Bronx, Long Island and New Jersey.

Fevang first caught the eye of the Westchester District Attorney's office in 2001 after allegations surfaced that Fevang had ordered auto parts for his personal use and charging the cost of the parts to a school district vehicle driven by then-Superintendent Linda Kelly. As a direct result, the school district stopped sending school district vehicles to the DPW for maintenance except for its three garbage trucks. The DPW charged the school district $18,000 for work on a vehicle that ran worse, according to one source, that it had before it was supposedly serviced by one of Fevang's vendors. When the truck had to be replaced, Asst. Superintendent John Quinn relied upon Fevang to determine the specifications for a new garbage truck which were so narrowly defined that only vendor, a Fevang favorite, bid on the truck. The Board of Education authorized the payment of $180,000 for the vehicle from a vendor now linked to the DA investigation.

Fevang's personal vehicle was impounded as evidence in the case from 2001 to 2006 when the case was dropped by the DA for reasons that remain unclear. The office of Public Integrity received new information about Fevang in 2009. Taken together, Fevang and the DPW have been under investigation by the Westchester DA in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011 or 9 of the last 11 years.

Many want to know why Fevang wasn't fired in 2001 and allowed to continue as Fleet Manager where he controlled millions of dollars in DPW spending and why every invoice he submitted was not audited.

The probe into the Parks and Recreation Department began after Talk of the Sound confirmed that Fevang was keeping a boat at the New Rochelle Marina. Sources made Talk of the Sound aware that Fevang, a Bronx resident, did not pay to store his 28-foot Sea Ray Sundancer. In exchange, Fevang is said to have done favors for the harbormaster. At the time Fevang acquired his boat in 2003, the New Rochelle Harbor Master was Pat Barrett who has since died.

Barrett was replaced by Salvatore Gugliara. New Rochelle Parks and Recreation Commissioner Bill Zimmerman had previously served as head of Parks and Recreation in Mamaroneck. Gugliara previously worked in Mamaroneck. In response to a FOIL request from Talk of the Sound, Zimmerman stated that it would be Gugliara who would provide the requested records.

New York State Department of Motor Vehicle records obtained by Talk of the Sound show that Richard B Fevang (DOB 4/12/46) of 2716 Schruz Avenue in the Bronx, NY purchased a 28-foot 1988 Sea Ray Boats 270 Sundancer from Anita R. Politis of 440 West End Avenue Apartment 2B in New York, NY.

FevangBoat-DMVRecord-455.jpg

The boat, named "Second Chance", is registered in White Beach, NY. The boat has a diving platform that hangs about 2 feet off the back of the boat and a railing and platform that protrudes 2 feet off the front of the boat making the measured length of the boat about 32 feet.

The boat is currently insured by Old United Casualty Company located in Merriam, Kansas. The Mooring Location indicated on the proof of insurance submitted by Fevang to the New Rochelle Marina is White Beach, NY.

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According to the New Rochelle Marina rate card, published on the City's web site, the current price for a boat slip for the 2011 Summer Season (April 15 – Nov 15), for a boat over 22 feet, for a non-resident, is $130.00 per foot. The price for Fevang's boat would be $4,160.

New Rochelle Marina Rate Sheet 2011

The current price for Winter storage (Nov 16 – April 14) for boats 26 feet and over for a non-resident, is $62.50 per foot. The price for Fevang's boat would be $2,000.

Other fees that would apply include a Mandatory Marina Parking Permit fee of $85.00, an Environmental charge of 1% on all fees (excluding fuel), and a local sales tax of 8.375%.

If the boat was put up on blocks in 2005 and left there until present day, there would be fees related to hauling, blocking, and trailer removal based on a fee of $12.00 per foot or $384.00 from when the boat was first brought to the New Rochelle Marina. If the boat was left up on blocks for the last six years as is indicated by the invoices obtained by Talk of the Sound there would be all sorts of penalties related to not putting the boat in the water. If the boat were put in the water each season there would be all sorts of fees related to mooring the boat, washing the boat, painting the boat, towing the boat, labor charges for Marina personnel, lay day land storage and others along with the previously mentioned fees for hauling, blocking, and trailer removal. All of these fees would be subject to the 1% environmental fee and New Rochelle sales tax.

Without knowing the exact movement of the boat since Fevang purchased the boat in 2003 and without having a New Rochelle Marina rate card going back to 2003, it is not possible to calculate the exact figure Fevang should have been charged. Applying the current rate card back to 2005, the last year for which there is an invoice, the "knowable" items -- summer season rate, winter storage rate, parking, environmental fee and sales tax, the amount for one year would be $6,830.47. For six years that would be $40,982.82. If, as the invoices indicate, the boat was never moved and remained in its current location, up on blocks, for that entire time there would have been the cost of getting the boat there ($384.00) plus all the penalties for not putting the boat in the water. All together that would be about $50,000. That figure would be reduced somewhat because the fees were lower going back to 2005 and the environmental fee is relatively new but the figure does not include 2003 and 2004 where the whereabouts of the boat are not yet known. Therefore, for purposes of this article, Talk of the Sound will use the figure of $50,000 as the amount Fevang should have been charged for storing his boat at the New Rochelle Marina from 2005 until today.

So, what did he pay?

We do not know yet that he paid anything because despite a FOIL request, the City of New Rochelle has provided no evidence that any payments were ever made. The invoices reference checks and American Express payments but there are no copies of checks or other accounting for payments by check and no credit card slips for the payments by American Express card.

So, what was he charged?

Again, we really do not know he was ever charged anything.

The FOIL request under which documents were obtained requested all records for Fevang's boat showing permits, invoices, and payments." No permits or payment information was provided under FOIL. Instead, Talk of the Sound received documents from 2005, 2006 and 2007 entitled "Sales Receipt", documents from 2008 and 2010 entitled "Invoice", two insurance documents from 2009-10 and 2010-11 and a copy of the boat registration card. None of the documents are certified in anyway, there is no City Seal or other indications that the invoices are genuine. There are several indications to the contrary.

Fevang Marina FOIL Records

The invoices/sales receipts provided to Talk of the Sound for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 are for a total of $4.684.45 or about 8% of what Fevang should have been charged. Even this figure appears to be inflated. The FOIL request was made on December 22, 2010. The 2010 invoice is dated 12/24/2010. In addition, the insurance document showing coverage from 6/30/10 to 6/30/11 bears a fax time stamp indicating it was transmitted on December 29, 2010. At the time the FOIL request was made on December 22, 2010, there appears to have been no current insurance documents on file, as required, for Fevang's boat. Further, as of December 22, 2010 the most recent invoice was dated September 23, 2008. Oddly, there is a second insurance form showing coverage from 6/30/09 to 6/30/10, a period for which there are no invoices.

The 2005 "Sales Receipt" lists two items:

"Yard only/25 feet per foot plus Bot. Wash" Qty = 20 Rate 23.00 Amount 460.00T
"Bottom Scrubbing /Power Washing per ft." Qty = 20 Rate 2.00 Amount 40.00T

The sales tax is listed $42.50 based on a tax rate of 8.50%.

The Payment Method indicates payment was made by American Express.

The customer is listed as Richard Fevang of 276 Schurz Avenue in the Bronx.

The two charges appear to be a winter storage fee for a resident plus an extra power washing of the boat beyond that included with winter storage. In the most charitable reading of the documents, the boat was moved to the New Rochelle Marina after the Summer Season in 2005.

There are a few problems with this "sales receipt" and a few dogs not barking.

As this is the first document in the series it indicates that the boat was moved to the New Rochelle Marina in 2005 yet there are no fees for hauling, blocking, and trailer removal or any other fees associated with getting the boat to its current location. As we shall see, there are never any such fees related to moving the boat so, based on the invoices provided, the boat was moved to the New Rochelle Marina, put up on blocks and remains there to this day, six years later. The per feet charge of 20 feet is 12 feet less than the measured length of the boat and 8 feet less that the registered length of the boat. There is no non-resident fee. The sales tax in New Rochelle is currently 8.375% and has never been 8.5% as indicated on the "sales receipt". There is no proof of payment -- no AMEX credit card slip or authorization number. The boat registration information and insurance documents indicate Fevang resides at 2716 Schurz Avenue in the Bronx not "276".

The 2006 "Sales Receipt" lists one item:

"Yard only/25 feet per foot plus Bot. Wash" Qty = 20 Rate 24.00 Amount 480.00T

The sales tax is listed $40.80 based on a tax rate of 8.50%.

The Payment Method indicates payment was made by American Express.

The customer is listed as Richard Fevang of 276 Schurz Avenue in the Bronx.

The charge appears to be a winter storage fee for a resident. There are a few of the problems with this "sales receipt" also, and a few dogs not barking.

Once again, there is no indication the boat was moved or put in the water so now, the City records show, the boat would have had to have been at the New Rochelle Marina during the Summer Season in 2006. There should then be a Summer Season fee and either fees related to putting the boat in the water and keeping it there or penalties for not putting the boat in the water. The per feet charge of 20 feet is 12 feet less than the measured length of the boat and 8 feet less that the registered length of the boat. There is no non-resident fee. The sales tax in New Rochelle is currently 8.375% and has never been 8.5% as indicated on the "sales receipt". There is no proof of payment -- no AMEX credit card slip or authorization number. The boat registration information and insurance documents indicate Fevang resides at 2716 Schurz Avenue in the Bronx not "276".

The 2007 "Sales Receipt" lists one item:

"Bottom Scrubbing /Power Washing per ft." Qty = 20 Rate 3.00 Amount 60.00T
"Yard only/25 feet per foot plus Bot. Wash" Qty = 20 Rate 25.00 Amount 500.00T

The sales tax is listed $47.60 based on a tax rate of 8.50%.

The Payment Method indicates payment was made by American Express.

The customer is listed as Richard Fevang of 276 Schurz Avenue in the Bronx.

The charge appears to be a winter storage fee for a resident and an extra bottom washing like on the 2005 document. Once again, there are a few problems with this "sales receipt" also, and a few dogs not barking.

Once again, there is no indication the boat was moved or put in the water so now, the City records show, the boat would have had to have been at the New Rochelle Marina during the Summer Season in 2007. There should then be a Summer Season fee and either fees related to putting the boat in the water and keeping it there or penalties for not putting the boat in the water. The per feet charge of 20 feet is 12 feet less than the measured length of the boat and 8 feet less that the registered length of the boat. There is no non-resident fee. The sales tax in New Rochelle is currently 8.375% and has never been 8.5% as indicated on the "sales receipt". There is no proof of payment -- no AMEX credit card slip or authorization number. The boat registration information and insurance documents indicate Fevang resides at 2716 Schurz Avenue in the Bronx not "276".

From 2008 on, the document names change from "Sales Receipt" to "Invoice". The reason given by the City was "change of software", the suggestion being that the City changed over to some new accounting software used to generate invoices and receipts. If by "change of software", the City means they upgraded from Microsoft Office 2003 to Microsoft Office 2008 then perhaps this might be technically true. It appears highly unlikely that these documents were created using anything other than MS Word or MS Excel.

A careful comparison of the documents labeled "Sales Receipt" and "Invoice" raises further doubts about the authenticity of these documents. Holding them up to the light, sections of the "Sales Receipt" to "Invoice" overlap perfectly.

The Microsoft website has several examples of basic invoice templates but it is easy enough to create an invoice or sales receipt template using by adding tables and text boxes to Microsoft Word. It took about 5 minutes to make this mock up of a New Rochelle Marina Invoice that is nearly identical to the documents provided by the City of New Rochelle in response to a FOIL request.

However it was created, the 2008 "Invoice" lists one item:

"MR09A Yard only 25 feet per foot Qty = 20 Rate 26.00 Amount 520.00T

The sales tax is listed $43.55 based on a tax rate of 8.375%.

No Payment Method is indicated.

The customer is listed as Richard Fevang of 276 Schurz Avenue in the Bronx.

The charge appears to be a winter storage fee for a resident. Once again, there are a few problems with this "invoice" also, and a few dogs not barking.

There is no indication the boat was moved or put in the water so now, the City records show, the boat would have had to have been at the New Rochelle Marina during the Summer Season in 2008. There should then be a Summer Season fee and either fees related to putting the boat in the water and keeping it there or penalties for not putting the boat in the water. The per feet charge of 20 feet is 12 feet less than the measured length of the boat and 8 feet less that the registered length of the boat. There is no non-resident fee. There is no proof of payment and no credits have been applied to the invoice. The boat registration information and insurance documents indicate Fevang resides at 2716 Schurz Avenue in the Bronx not "276". The invoice date of 9/23/2008 is three months past the date of the expiration of the insurance policy and, as we shall see, there is no invoice for 2009 but there is proof of coverage from the date of this invoice through until 2010 but the insurance form for 2010-11 was faxed on December 29, 2010 so for the past few years the New Rochelle Marina has not had proof of coverage from Fevang for extended periods of time.

There is no invoice for 2009 but as the other invoices do not show the boat being moved at all it appears that Fevang was not charged at all for the Summer Season or the Winter Season and no penalties or costs for washing the boat -- and no taxes or other fees.

The 2010 "Invoice" lists two items:

"MR09A Yard only 25 feet per foot Qty = [blank] Rate 2,240.00 Amount 2,240.00T

The new Environmental Surcharge is 22.40 based on a rate of 1.00%

The sales tax is listed $187.60 based on a tax rate of 8.375%.

No Payment Method is indicated.

The customer is listed as Richard Fevang of 276 Schurz Avenue in the Bronx.

The charge appears to be a winter storage fee for a resident. Once again, there are a few problems with this "invoice" also, and a few dogs not barking.

There is no indication the boat was moved or put in the water so now, the City records show, the boat would have had to have been at the New Rochelle Marina during the Summer Season in 2009 and 2010. There should then be two Summer Season fees and a two Winter Season fees and either fees related to putting the boat in the water and keeping it there or penalties for not putting the boat in the water. There is no indication of the per feet charge or the length charged but based on previous invoices if the boat was charged at 20 per foot then the per foot charge was $112 which is more than a 400% increase over the previous per foot charge and appears to be a non-resident fee for a boat more than 22 feet. There is no proof of payment and no credits have been applied to the invoice. The boat registration information and insurance documents indicate Fevang resides at 2716 Schurz Avenue in the Bronx not "276".

Taken all together, it appears that Fevang was billed less than $5,000 for what is about $50,000 in services -- and there is not a single document that he ever paid anything.

For those with experience with boats and the New Rochelle Marina, the documents likely indicate other problems as well. Talk of the Sound would like to compare New Rochelle Marina from 2005 to 2010 with those provided by the City of New Rochelle so if you keep or kept a boat there or know someone who did please contact us so we can review the documents side by side.

The documents obtained raise questions such as:

Why was Fevang being charged as a non-resident when he lives in the Bronx?

Why was Fevang not being charged a Summer Season fee or either fees related to putting the boat in the water and keeping it there or penalties for not putting the boat in the water?

Why is Richard Fevang getting an education discount on his boat owners insurance? Why does his insurance say the boat is moored in the Bronx when the receipts indicate the boat has been dry docked at the New Rochelle Marina since 2005?

Some sources have claimed that payments were made in cash with no receipt. Has the City ever had a full inventory done of moorings and boats to make sure that there are proper invoices and payments for every boat in every slip or mooring?

Was the Marina overcharging everyone .125% in 2005, 2006 and 2007? Are these boat owners entitled to refunds? If the average cost of keeping a boat at the New Rochelle Marina is $3,000 and there are 350 moorings that would be over $1,300 per year or about $4,000 in overcharges.

How many other people are not being charged a non-resident fee? How many people are using a phony address to claim residency status? When was the last time the City of New Rochelle did a residency audit for Marina permit holders?

Sources tell Talk of the Sound that one place the District Attorney might look is DMV to see which vehicles previously owned by the City of New Rochelle were ever owned by Salvatore Gugliara and how such a transfer took place.

Please add your own questions or additional information in the comments below or contact us via email or phone.

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS:

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Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Fiddle on Fri, 01/28/2011 - 07:45

The Westchester County DA should also be checking out Alan Kantor and Frank Gallello that occupy the
basement office in City Hall.These two Geeks is sucking the City budget,by doing nothing, entertain
outside contractors that do business with the City
Of New Rochelle.On any week day, between 7:00am & 7:45am you can see those contractors heading for the basement garage to have coffee and pay off those
two kick back kings.Why not plant some kind of device in the office to captured voices and video
image device.

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Mon, 01/10/2011 - 15:32

The fact that the Whistle Blower on the DPW case knew that going to Strome would produce a "Sweep It Under the Rug" result is quite telling. The fact that Council Member Trangucci was forced to go around the City Manager and direct to the Westchester DA's office is telling.
The fact that Commisioner Carol supported this and went around the City Manager although I would think under other circumstances he may have taken the path to Strome is telling.
Under those circumstances those charged with Ethical considerations high up in the administration of the City of New Rochelle must ask the same question.

namenda on Mon, 01/10/2011 - 00:50
Title: Parks & Rec.

Zimmerman should be completely checked out.

He is nothing but a Bramson yoyo.

If he is even found remotely dirty, fire him on the spot.

The whole town will be better off without him!

TheWestchesterShadow on Mon, 01/10/2011 - 02:16

Did he buy this boat with the money he stole from the City of New Rochelle? If so, this boat should be forfeited and auctioned. Why is this boat named Second Chance? Oh yeah, Fevang is boasting he got off the first time and now this is his Second Chance! Lets hope he does not get a third chance, buy a bigger boat, and keep stealing. BUT I Forgot, It's New Rochelle. The more Fevang and his counterparts steal, the more encouragement they get from the rest of the City of New Rochelle crooks! There is a sign that reads "City of New Rochelle, Queen City of the Sound." This sign should really read, "City of New Rochelle, You line our pockets with illicit funds and we will line yours!"
Regarding the pictures. Look at the picture that shows the back of the boat, it looks as if a bird took a huge crap on the words "Second Chance." Hey Fevang, you see that?, your "Second Chance" got crapped on!