NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Vincent James "Jimmy" Bonanno, a notoriously corrupt working/foreman in the Buildings and Grounds Department, has been suspended by the City School District of New Rochelle for 30 days pursuant to Section 75 of the New York State Civil Service Code, the due process requirements for removal and other disciplinary action, sources tell Talk of the Sound. Along with Bonanno, Anthony Raffa, a plumber, has also been suspended by the District for 30 days under Section 75. 30-day suspensions are typically a preliminary step towards termination.
The disciplinary actions took place as a result of reporting by Talk of the Sound. Last year, after a long campaign by Talk of the Sound, the District installed GPS tracking devices on District vehicles. At the beginning of the current school year, the District began enforcing a long-standing policy prohibiting District employees from driving their personal vehicles while working for the District, another campaign by Talk of the Sound. The combination proved fatal for Bonanno's employment with the District.
Bonanno, who has for years been paid large sums of money, including massive amounts of overtime, for hours when he was not working, sought to avoid detection for his schemes by having other District employees, mostly Bruno Montessoro and Phil Rossetti, drive E-72, the vehicle assigned to Bonanno. That backfired on Bonanno last winter when Talk of the Sound reported, and GPS records confirmed, that Montessoro was using E-72 to clear snow from private driveways on District time using District equipment.
Over the past week Bonanno had been parking his District vehicle, a white Dodge Ram pickup with dark-tinted windows, in the back of Ward Elementary School for hours at a time. This was part of a more recent scheme by Bonanno where he would drive E-72 himself but park it for an hour or two at a school then move to another school so that if anyone questioned him about his whereabouts he could claim that he was visiting different schools to "check on his men". In fact, Bonanno was driving around New Rochelle, parking for a while, and not working, usually accompanied by Phil Rosetti or Anthony Raffa or both.
Yesterday, Bonanno was once again observed parked behind Ward School with Rosetti, Raffa and a dog in his truck. Talk of the Sound relayed this information to the District which checked the information against GPS records and Bonanno and Raffa called into the District central office and notified by Assistant to the Superintendent Joe Williams that they were suspended.
Bonanno and Raffa are just a small part of a larger group of about two dozen District employees who have been under investigation for the better part of the past year, based on reporting by Talk of the Sound. Last spring, at the urging of Talk of the Sound, the District hired a private investigations firm to follow up on information obtained by Talk of the Sound.
Vigilant Resources International, the same company that conducted the District's security audit, engaged in records audits, interviews and surveillance of District employees for months and built dossiers on 22 District employees.
Vigilant Resources International is the same company that performed the District's Security Audit. Talk of the Sound had pushed for the security audit for years but the District only took action in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. The audit showed significant flaws in District security, some of which has been rectified since.
Talk of the Sound previously reported how Bonanno, Raffa and Phil Rosetti, Bonanno's factotum, spent hours earlier this year at a Dunkin' Donuts on East Main Street in New Rochelle and later filed time sheets claiming they were working during those hours and were paid for those hours. Bonanno later claimed the video shot by Talk of the Sound depicted a "strategy meeting".
Bonanno has engaged in all manner of corrupt practices for years. Based on Talk of the Sound's reporting of his corrupt conduct, Bonanno, along with his son, James Vincent "Little Jimmy" filed a lawsuit claiming defamation in 2012 against Robert Cox of Talk of the Sound and Hudson-Westchester Radio which owns WVOX-AM which had previously broadcast the Talk of the Sound radio show. The Bonanno's lost. The case was formally resolved on November 29, 2014. Talk of the Sound will have a full report on our victory in that case in the near future.