Tino D'Abruzzo, a building inspector for the City of New Rochelle, was "resigned unexpectedly" this week after complaints were made to the City of New Rochelle alleging that D'Abruzzo had demanded bribes in exchange for approving inspected properties and threatening to withhold approval if the bribes were not paid, sources say. An email to the City Manager's office requesting comment and further information was not returned.
The sudden resignation of a housing inspector in the Department of Development following allegations of extortion and bribery comes three weeks after a 66-count fraud indictment against former DPW Fleet Manager Richard Fevang.
Sources familiar with the department tell Talk of the Sound that D'Abruzzo worked previously for New Rochelle as a housing inspector. After conditional promotion to the position of building inspector and code inspector, D'Abruzzo was required to pass a civil service exam. He failed the exam twice, according to one source. Under New York State Civil Law, an employee with a provisional appointment must pass the exam after no more than three attempts.
At the time of his resignation, Talk of the Sound was in the process of investigating allegations that Tino D'Abruzzo was spending extended periods of time during the work day at the Sound Shore Fishing Club on Union Avenue in New Rochelle. The Sound Shore Fishing Club has known mafia connections. According to New Rochelle police, in 2009 club manager Vincent "Vinnie Limo" Zarcone was brutally attacked by two men armed with a meat cleaver after running up a $30,000 debt. While Maurice Mann held him in a bear hug, Christopher Calise hacked at his wrist, almost completely severing the hand. All three are connected to major crime families in the New York area.
While working as a City inspector, D'Abruzzo was assigned to the City's Cabaret Task Force, a combination of various City and County officials that make surprise inspections for a range of code violations, often resulting in very large fines. While a member of the Cabaret Task Force D'Abruzzo was employed as a bouncer at Spectator's Pub, a bar on North Avenue that has a cabaret license, a clear conflict of interest. Using information obtained a member of the Cabaret Task Force, D'Abruzzo would tip off the ownership of Spectator's Pub of a pending raid by the task force, sources tell Talk of the Sound.
UPDATE (July 19, 2011): City of New Rochelle issued a statement "Tino D'Abruzzo resigned on Thursday. At the time, the City was prepared to pursue administrative action based on failure to perform his duties."
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