New Rochelle Building Inspector "Unexpectedly Resigns" Following Allegations of Extortion, Soliciting Bribes

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TinoD AbruzzoTino 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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Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 19:43

You get 3 minutes it has the viewing audience of 11 people. Peggy Godfrey and James OToole has been ripping them for 10 years with very little success although its always humorous.
This web site has been the venue to wake up Tammany hall and call a spade a spade. I take it you are a member of the Green Tree sitting their in the Speedo next to old Chuck. You remember the Green Tree they owe the City Tax Dollars and they get a repreave every quarter by paying the bare minimum.
We will be well rid of your buddy.

Bob McCaffrey on Wed, 07/20/2011 - 14:39

No, I am just a strait talker that believes in doing the right thing. That is the way I was brought up. Last time I was at Green Tree was as a kid. Pool hopping in the middle of the night when it got hot. I have no attachment to anyone or anything. I am free of any connections or obligations so I can speak freely. My conscience is clear. I can speak and look anyone straight in the eye. Maybe if that audience of 11 kept growing and people began to speak up things could change. I don’t necessarily disagree with most of the things that have been said. It is the manner and the tone that prevents any type of mature dialogue. I would almost say it is borderline bullying. It is very disappointing to hear and read all of these complaints and not see anyone attend these meetings. Maybe the eyes would stop rolling if they knew someone was out there watching them. Not just James and Peggy. Bob Cox keeps a good eye on thing also. I believe TOTS and The Patch have helped give a greater voice to the people as well. It can make a difference. I have seen it in action. I will comment no further. I am against that type of rhetoric. You treat people with respect and they will do the same to you. Yes with some it will take a little longer. Speak with your voice and your vote. Not anger. It puts up fences and lowers your credibility.

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Thu, 07/21/2011 - 10:20

Lets list the Strome accomplishments.
Allowing the Green Tree to play the cat and mouse game with tax payers dollars while sitting and lounging around the pool.
Writing a letter to the City of Stamford CT as a testimonial to Cappelli Enterprises. A hand written advertisement to a neighboring municipality telling them to wise up and follow New Rochelle's lead to Cappelli Paradise.
Presiding over the New Rochelle IDA as a favor to Noam Bramson to insure IDA PILOTS are doled out to their choice Cappelli Enterprise regardless of oversight regardless of proceedure regardless of no return on investment. The bullying is well known to those who sat previously on the IDA and new comers who ask questions and expect 2 plus 2 to add up. They are told shut up and play along. Look what all of this has done for the City.
Lets not even mention Fevang or the 10 other scandals Strome has presided over lets just keep going over to Citizens to be heard and let it all continue.
This City has problems but it also has some great employees, great citizens willing to begin the debate to fix it. It won't be fixed with Fertel and Sussman voting blindly to whatever drum Noam is banging today.
Mean time the City Manager has a obligation to be above board, open and continue to put one foot in front of the other and act with the uttmost integrity. None of that has occured during his tenure nor is it going on at this very moment. You are welcome to stay and make rational points I am sorry to be direct and to the point but these are my dollars floating down the crapper!!!

John Imburgia on Thu, 07/21/2011 - 12:07

Chuck Strome's authority has gone to his head. He has a "my way or the highway" approach to running the city and there is no room for discussion or compromise. Anyone who thinks Strome is open minded and fair is mistaken or delusional. He is only receptive to his and Bramson's supporters. All others can take a hike.

Bob McCaffrey on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 17:25

My point was not to create a political witch hunt for people’s jobs. It was that citizen and government must communicate at every level with transparency. It is that conversations are now being had. There is a forum to speak to City Council. Citizens to be Heard is the second Tuesday every month. It gives the taxpayer an opportunity to speak about any topic. Pick up the phone and write an e-mail to your Council Member or the Mayor and any of his staff. Their contact info is on the web site. You would be surprised by what can happen when dialogue is started. Not angry and aggressive postings with any type of handle or moniker to be left unknown. Speak up and be a part of the solution. Get involved in creating a better New Rochelle. Make sure we are going in the right direction. We are New Rochellians not Democrats or Republicans.

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 09:32

The City Manager by NY State rules for Open Government must not Sweep his dirt under his City Hall Rug. His actions although probably without Criminal action or without any personal self motivation still violate NY State Laws and Guidelines. In the end he must go. The City Council has a overwhelming obligation to let him go or ask him to resign so he can move to some other municial goverment cleansed like the Coleman.
Lets start to see our City Council members act in the propper manner rather than protect their 4-3 majority. Time to go for the City Manager.

John Imburgia on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 23:14

What people don't understand is that Strome is most likely aware of what is going on but chooses to deal with it behind closed doors to keep it away from the public. Hence, I wouldn't be suprised if Strome asked this guy to resign quitely rather than it rising to the Fevang level. All Strome wants is for the city to come out smelling like a rose no matter how corrupt it is.

NRinfo on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 19:32
Bob McCaffrey on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 16:20

What is going on is nothing new. We finally have some people who aren’t afraid to speak up.The sham of it all is that no one feels comfortable going to The Mayor, The City Manager and some City Council members. Most of these issues are being brought out because people have started to get involved. Conversations are now being had. Up front, not behind closed doors. Don’t sweep the issues under the carpet. Gather it up and put it out on the table for everyone to see. I believe that all bad deeds will eventually come out. It is better to be up front and honest about anything we do in life. If we do this at home, work and most importantly with yourself, you can look each other in the eye when we speak.

As stated before, we all need to step-up and get involved in our city to hold everyone accountable and make sure we are going in the right direction. We need leaders with some foresight and vision who will lead to make this happen. Good thing this is an election year.

Warren Gross on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 21:49
Title: Bob is Right

Transparency works both ways. This is a particularly damaging situation. It can stand alone as a reason to call for a full disclosure on whatever or whoever is silent on these issues. It requires a full session of an open council meeting with council members bringing up why they feel these matters are happening. This one is alarming to me because it might touch on serious issues of patonage.

I think that following the coucil meeting provisions should be made to community input and questions. Here is a case where there did not seem to be any previous cause or case against this individual (unlike Favang). Now I really hope that City Councl does hold formal hearings to get past the opinion and onto the fact. Voters as Bob says, can make determinations on what they hear and who they hear from.

This is 100% of the American way and I have enormous faith in people in ou community who will listen, evaluate, judge and act.

I don't know how it happened, it may be procedural, political, or the act of individuals in power. Now we have a County involvement.

I fully support the rationale input of bob mccaffrey who continues to fight openly and bravely for his neighborhood associatioin and it strenghtens the city to have such a open and honest voice.

Timknows on Sat, 07/16/2011 - 14:11

So much for Fervang being an "isolated incident" and there being "one bad apple". There is a culture in city hall which allows corruption either by malfeasance, ignorance or collaboration. You can't save a house with a rotten foundation. Time to tear it down and start all over again, anew from the top down!

John Imburgia on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 13:04

My exact thoughts. Procopio, Fevang and now the building inspector. When people in the city don't follow the rules, they are being mis-managed. Move over Bramson, get a real leader in there.

Boxcarsix on Sun, 07/17/2011 - 14:44

Why not go after the owner of Westchester Rockland Electrical Inspections as well? he has been shaking down contractors and homeowners for years. He operates without any certifications to be an electrical inspector, does drive by inspections amongst other things. Imagine letting a guy like this inspect the Trump Tower! Unbelievable! Ask Tino to spill the beans,,, he will sing like a cornered songbird! they are in it together. The county does nothing about this. They let these bums intimidate the contractors and ask for their envelopes, while not even checking the work.. Shame on New Rochelle for letting a guy like this operate.

He also is on the same cabaret task force, and if Tino was taking bribes and shaking down owners,, you can be sure that he was teaching Tino how to do it.. Contractors, home and cabaret owners come
forward. Don't let this man intimidate you any longer.Wake Up, get rid of this bum. I worked for this guy for 4 years and he fired me for finding out about all his crooked dealings!!! Where's the DA on this?
Here's the best part... This guy has an active electrical contractors license, given to him by the county licensing board. He has an electrical contracting company reistered to his home address and feeds himself work when all the other contractors are STARVING! Conflict of interest? No other inspector carries one, they shelve their licenses out of respect for the electrical contractors.
I probably will be sleeping with the fishes when his "friends in high places" read this.. All his friends in high places are in SING SING or should be along with him.

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Sat, 07/16/2011 - 10:29

Amazing what goes on when those running the City are either inept, politically motivated or worse corrupt.

onewhoknows on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 20:44

Actually, City Hall smells worse than a dog pound. I worked at 90 Beaufort, the stench is sickening.

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