NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The City School District of New Rochelle has undertaken a purge of the Aramark Management Team led by John Gallagher which will be completed a week from Friday.
In a letter dated July 16, 2014, Aramark was given formal written notice that the District wished to replace the entire management team.
The notice contained an indirect explanation as to the cause:
Unless you feel it necessary, I don't think there is a need to go into detail regarding the reasons for this decision, other than to say that the School District wants a new team to have demonstrated proficiency in managing maintenance and repair projects undertaken both by School District staff and by outside contractors, in monitoring required record-keeping and training under best practices and applicable federal and state requirements, and in supervising facilities staff performance and monitoring overtime.
Everything after "other than to say" is the list of what Gallagher and the rest of Aramark failed to do and therefore what needs to be corrected in replacing them.
- Managing maintenance and repair projects by School District staff.
- Managing maintenance and repair projects by outside contractors.
- Monitoring required record-keeping under best practices and applicable federal and state requirements.
- Monitoring required training under best practices and applicable federal and state requirements.
- Supervising facilities staff performance.
- Monitoring overtime.
The departure of John Gallagher along with other members of the Aramark team -- Godfrey Daphness, Anthony Rigos, and James Purdie -- was unthinkable for many just a few short years ago. The outcome has been years in the making and the result of the combined effort of many individuals, both inside and outside the District, but most especially through articles published on Talk of the Sound.
So, yes we are going to take a victory lap here and enjoy the moment.
These individuals, along with John Quinn, the recently "retired" Assistant Superintendent for Business & Administration, were responsible for the two departments that have been the greatest source of corruption, fraud and theft in New Rochelle for many years. The amounts involved run into the millions of dollars.
Talk of the Sound intends to document the full scope of the corruption starting today. It is what I meant in my remarks to the board on August 5th -- that their decision to severely curtail public input into board meetings was a declaration of war on the people of New Rochelle and would be met by "Global Thermonuclear War" by me, that I would lay out for the public the full scope of the corruption in New Rochelle schools until I run out of material (which will be a long time from now).
John Gallagher worked in New Rochelle under a consulting contract between Aramark and the New Rochelle school system. Despite never working for the District, Gallagher carried formal district titles including Director of Buildings & Grounds and Director of Environmental Services. The District web site, various legal documents and letterhead all indicated that John Gallagher was an employee of the school district when he was not. Records show that Gallagher acted in a legal capacity to bind the District in violation of school board policy and the previous Aramark contract.
Over the past several years, Talk of the Sound has published a series of investigative reports showing massive corruption involving Gallagher and employees in the Buildings & Grounds department and the business affairs office of the District, all on the watch of John Quinn.
For the past six months, the District has employed private investigators from Vigilant Resources International (VRI). This is the same company that conducted the District's security audit in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy after years of our calling for just such an audit. This time, VRI was hired to investigate the corruption reported by Talk of the Sound, most of which (but not all) involves people working in the business office under John Quinn and the Buildings & Grounds department under John Gallagher.
So far, the corruption has focused primarily on falsified time sheets on a massive scale involving hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, wholesale theft of supplies and rigged bids for maintenance mechanic contracts involving make-work projects and kickbacks. The investigation covers more than two dozen individuals currently employed by the District beyond Quinn and the Aramark team.
There is a core group of employees, consultants and outside contractors at the center of the corruption and regardless of recent claims to the contrary by Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne it is this corruption that is for this reason that Quinn and Gallagher were fired.