NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- New Rochelle Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll repeatedly intervened with public officials after Mauro Zonzini was arrested by Rye Police in 2008.
Carroll and Zonzini made numerous efforts to influence, directly or indirectly, various public officials to assist Zonzini, according to records and information obtained by Talk of the Sound.
In a recent interview, Zonzini said that Carroll called Rye Police officials on his behalf, wrote a character-reference letter on his and sent a uniformed New Rochelle Police Officer to Rye to retrieve his property, taken from him at the time of this arrest.
Mauro Zonzini, up until recently a Director of the New Rochelle Police Foundation and Vice President of the New Rochelle Police Advisory Board, was arrested by Rye Police on September 5, 2008 for impersonating a police officer and illegal possession of two loaded handguns.
Zonzini is well-connected politically throughout Westchester. In addition to raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in New Rochelle, according to Carroll, he has made large political contributions elsewhere.
Through his two companies, Zonzini Masonry and Zonzini Pipeline, has made over $30,000 in political contributions since 2006.
After his arrest, Zonzini says he reached out to Commissioner Carroll to intervene.
Zonzini said he called Police Commissioner Carroll from his jail cell to tell him what had happened. Carroll called back to tell him that the District Attorney had already filed a "C Felony". Carroll told him there was nothing he could do for him, that Zonzini would have to go through the legal process.
According to court papers later filed in Westchester County Court by Andrew J. Maggio, an attorney representing Zonzini, the District Attorney's file was marked "DISMISS" which Maggio believed to have been an instruction to the Assistant District Attorney appearing in Court indicating the matter was considered with more senior District Attorney staff prior to the first court appearance.
Criminal charges were later dropped in Rye City Court. Zonzini plead guilty to a traffic violation and paid a small fine.
In 2009, Zonzini's pistol permit license was later revoked as a result of the incident. He was ordered to surrender his firearms by a Westchester County Judge.
Police Commissioner Carroll involved himself in the Order to Show Cause hearing when County Attorney Charlene Indelicato sought to revoke Zonzini's pistol permit license.
Carroll wrote a character-reference letter -- submitted to Judge Cohen at Zonzini's pistol permit revocation hearing --for Zonzini dated September 11, 2008:
Mauro Zonzini, a business person and former resident of the City of New Rochelle, is a Director in good standing with the New Rochelle Police Foundation. He has been an active participant for the past six years raising hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the mission for this foundation; which is to enhance the professionalism of the New Rochelle Police Department through training, equipment and education.
The New Rochelle Police Foundation is a 501c3 organization which is recognized by the City of New Rochelle as a legitimate fundraiser for the New Rochelle Police Department. Accordingly, members of the New Rochelle Police Foundation are provIded with a Director's shield and a Police Department Identification Card to show their legitimacy when soliciting funds in the community.
Patrick J. Carroll Police Commissioner
After the Rye Court disposed of the case, Zonzini says the Rye Police Department refused to return the ID Card and Shield.
"I signed for everything but they did not give back the shield and ID," said Zonzini.
He says he repeatedly went to Rye to get the ID Card and Shield but Rye police would not give him the two items.
Zonzini says that he came to believe that he was being "jerked around" so he called Police Commissioner Carroll to intervene again.
According to Zonzini, Carroll contacted Rye Police Chief William L. Connors who initially refused to return the ID Card and Shield.
Six weeks after the ID Card and Shield were taken during the arrest, long after the case was disposed of in Rye City Court, an agreement was reached between Connors and Carroll whereby a New Rochelle police officer would retrieve the ID Card and Shield for Zonzini.
Zonzini says that New Rochelle Police Officer Michael Young met him in front of the Rye Police Headquarters. Young arrived in a marked New Rochelle police car.
Zonzini accompanied Young into the Rye police headquarters and observed as Young requested the ID Card and Shield. Zonzini says Young was handed both items in a Ziploc bag. Young then handed the ID Card and Shield to Zonzini.
Zonzini, a long-time New Rochelle-based contractor with clients including the City of New Rochelle, the New Rochelle Board of Education and the City of Mount Vernon, has categorically denied the account of events contained in Rye PD and Westchester County records.
This article is the fifth in a series.