New Rochelle School District Employee Arraigned For Soliciting A “15 Year Old”

Time to read
16 minutes
Read so far

New Rochelle School District Employee Arraigned For Soliciting A “15 Year Old”

May 24, 2012 - 15:02

Patrick clark


Patrick Clark, an electrician working in the Buildings & Grounds department for the New Rochelle Board of Education was arrested by the Westchester County DA's office for proposing various sexual acts he would like to engage in with what he believed to be a 15-year old girl. The "girl" was an undercover Criminal Investigator working for the Westchester County District Attorney.

Sources tell Talk of the sound that Patrick Clark was sent home from work by supervisor Anthony Rigos after the district learned of the arrest which, sources say, took place over the weekend. After Talk of the Sound inquired about the word of an arrest yesterday afternoon, the DA's office released an official statement this morning.

Patrick J. Clark was hired April 1st, 2005. As of March 31, 2011 his salary was $87,213,

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced today that Patrick Clark, 42, of 50 Highland Avenue, New Rochelle, New York, has been arraigned on a Felony Complaint charging him with one count of Attempted Disseminating Indecent Material to Minors, in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony.

According to a statement released by the DA's office, between April 5th, 2012 and May 8th, 2012, an investigator from the Westchester County District Attorneys office, while acting in an undercover capacity, assumed the “role” of a fifteen year old female and engaged in a series of “chat” conversations with the defendant via an internet chat room.

The undercover made it clear to defendant that “she” was a fifteen years old girl. The defendant discussed specific sexual acts, in which he would like to engage with the "15 year old girl" including digital penetration, oral sex and sexual intercourse.

Clark is the fourth school district employee arrested since 2009. Jose Martinez was arrested in 2011 on charges related to repeatedly raping a student at Isaac E. Young Middle School. Dianna Wessel was arrested in 2010 after refusing to take a breathalyzer and drug test after crashing her vehicle into three parked vehicles and then flipping her own vehicle. Vito Costa was arrested in 2009 in charges related to working a no-show job in the Buildings & Grounds department.

Clark is just the latest in a series of district employees alleged to have engaged in various sex crimes involving students and district employees: Anthony Newman (Glazier, Buildings & Grounds Department) sexually assaulted a district employee in City Hall. Donna Henry (Security Guard) transmitted a nude image of a 14-year old girl to two other district employees (her son and her daughter-in-law). Suspended for 30 days with pay, hearing, given a pay increase and relocated to New Rochelle High School.

Several school employees were referred by the New Rochelle Board of Education to the Westchester County District Attorney Sex Crimes unit. Leroy Manuel (Security Guard) engaged in a sexual relationship with a student, as a result of which she became pregnant, moved to Florida and had the baby, sources say. Robert McLean (Security Guard) engaged in sex with students. Kyle Figueroa (Security Guard) engaged in sex with students. After the Jose Martinez arrest, Figueroa was caught on camera receiving oral sex from a student in area of Room 105/106. Walter Hubbard (Janitor) was terminated after being caught multiple times viewing pornography on school district computers. Also, engaged in sex with students.

Jerome Planter (Security Guard) and Geeta Singh (Security Guard) submitted falsified residency records to New Rochelle Civil Service Commission to obtain a position with New Rochelle residency requirement.

Frank DeMasi (Carpenter/Buildings & Grounds) misappropriated school equipment, converting school van and tools for personal use. Kareem Ali (Finance/Special Education) sexually harassed a senior official in the finance department; prohibited from having direct contact with the woman and not allowed to walk past a certain point in the hallway on the second floor. Ali resurfaced again when the New Rochelle Public Library discovered $300,000 unaccounted for in 2011. He has since been reassigned to Special Education department. Danielle Carter (Security Guard ) caught stealing at ShopRite grocery store on Palmer Avenue while wearing her City School District of New Rochelle security uniform. Rasool Hassan Williams (Buildings & Grounds) murdered a man in Ohio. Williams was a repeat offender for many years, drug use, drug possession. Arrested while employed by the district. Arrested for murder in Ohio three weeks after leaving employment of New Rochelle school district, convicted, sentenced to life in prison. Len Ricci (Buildings & Grounds) hired despite felony drug arrest. Phil Carino (Janitor) hung stuffed monkey on a noose, district settled lawsuit for racist behavior. Freddie Smith (Assistant Superintendent of Schools) numerous allegations of plagiarism, Doctorate revoked by University of Virginia, Fired at his next two jobs as these issues became known. Martin Freiman (Janitor): Suspended for making racist statements to children and staff at Jefferson Elementary School, long history of similar incidents. Jimmy Bonanno, Sr. (Buildings & Grounds) misappropriated school equipment and staff; directed school district employees to perform work on his girlfriend's house in Orange County.

The defendant was arrested and arraigned in White Plains City Court. The defendant is due back in court on May 31st, 2012. Bail was set at $2,500 cash or bond.

The defendant faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison.

Assistant District Attorney ToniAnn Gagliardi of the Investigations Division is prosecuting the case.

UPDATE: The Minister of Propaganda for the district school district spokesperson Paul Costiglio refused repeated requests for a statement from Talk of the Sound on news of the arrest but he later issued one to the district's propaganda outlet which we quote here:

“The DA has informed us that aside from his working for the school district, that nothing related to the charges is connected to the district in any way. We are offering our full cooperation to the DA."

There are 16 Comments

Robert Cox's picture

New Rochelle parents go back to sleep, put your head in the sand and everything will be OK. It only appears like the district's hiring practices are seriously flawed.

It only appears like there are deviants roaming around our school buildings raping children, viewing porn on district computers, transmitting nude images of children on their cell phones, molesting staff, and engaging in sex with students.

After all, even the best school districts have at least one of their employees being taken away in handcuffs every year just like New Rochelle. Nothing wrong with that!

So, don't be such a naysayer. All is well. What's a little sex among staff and students at the high school? So what if employees are not showing up for work but getting paid, using district equipment for private contracting, and looting everything that is not nailed down. This is common among all school districts, right? There are worse places, right? We're better than Yonkers, right?

And you taxpayers worried about your money -- stop your whining. These workers all deserve whatever money they can make even if they are double-dipping on pensions, racking up benefits while running side businesses, spending their mornings sipping coffee at a bagel shop.

All those honest employees of the school district are just suckers -- you know the ones that show up on time, work a full day, do the job they were hired to do.

And by all means, let's dole out as much private contracting work as possible because after all the guys at Zonzini, Bulfamente, T&G, George Wood and F&L Flooring all need to eat too. And if they want to "tip" John Gallagher or Anthony Rigos or Jimmy Bonanno for helping them get work from the district whose business is that anyway?

And to the rest of you -- shut up and move along. Nothing to see here.

Bob - this comment is priceless. However, I do believe that the dumb voters of NR get what they vote for. Like mindless drones, they keep electing Democrats for mayor & city council despite the fact that by any objective measure, the past 20 years under Democrat leadership have been an utter failure. And for school board, they keep electing people from north half of city that just act like puppets, hide as much as possible from voters and walk in lock-step with superintendent. Can someone please tell the school board that they have it all backwards - the superintendent works for them, not the other way around - and I have no idea why he is allowed to run their meetings.

Robert Cox's picture

There has been a long-standing charade that the Board of Education is non-partisan. Baloney. In terms of voter registration, you have 8 Democrats, 1 Independent and no Republicans. Last year 2 board members retired, both Democrats. The years before the still more Democrats rolled off the board.

If there was any doubt at all, then last' years election made that clear when Mayor Bramson took the unprecedented step of publicly endorsing candidates (all Democrats) and bringing the same sort of gutter politics to the school election that he has become known for in municipal elections.

Politics aside, the fundamental problem with the school board has been a failure to play an oversight role and demand accountability from the administration. In very small steps, that has begun to change. The pace is slow and yet to produce a meaningful re-ordering of the status quo ante; I do not expect it can really change until Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak departs. By any measure (financial, academic, crime, rankings, etc.) he has presided over the sharpest decline in the school district since anyone I have met can recall.

At the end of the day, these sexual assaults, and arrests and various crimes are his responsibility. He has got to go.

I've always felt it would be beneficial to have parties associated with school board candidates at least then you know where they're coming from.

Democrat- Not going to push the unions on anything, not going to support cuts to anything, supports ever higher property taxes.

Republican- Will look to save money at all costs. Might propose a budget with NO tax increase.

Robert Cox's picture

Speaking for myself, I am officially not registered with either party.

There is an odd notion that it is good be a "team player". A team with all "team players" is a team without a leader, without direction, without purpose.

What we really need is people who can work with the unions AND reduce costs. Union members pay property taxes too. And they are the ones most directly impacted by the corruption in the district.


Tell me if I am wrong. Isn't the Civil Service Commission and Domenic Procopio suppose to be screening the BoE employees before they are hired? Seems to me that the BoE can do what ever they want even if it doesn't comply with CS rules. This is just another example of that useless Commission AND the Mayors and City Managers failure to exert proper oversight.

AbeLincoln to be a dumb voter, you have to be a voter first,

New Rochelle, the insane are running the asylum! The people that want to help are told they are crazy for even trying anymore. Well call me crazy, but if you don’t try to change things, change will never come. The situation needs to be corrected by actions not blame games and cover ups. Wake up and speak up.

There is another problem here with the voting in New Rochelle. It isn’t always just the voters who are to blame, but the lack of voters that actually turn out to vote in any election whether it is the School Board or City Council. Voting is one of our greatest rights next to freedom of speech. Yet people in New Rochelle neglect to use either one of them very often. Except for the same few that keep trying to wake up the others before it is too late. This isn’t about democrat or republican. It is our homes, or lives and our children’s lives that are at stake.

We have a non-voting, non-caring citizenry that out numbers the ones who care and love this city. The career politicians and boards thrive on it. The others that benefit are the friend and cronies that they use their influence to give and get cushy good paying jobs with great benefits. Even better they don’t have to be good at what they do because they aren’t being held accountable. We don’t follow our City Charter and have no ethics laws.

Look at the recently passed school budget vote. New Rochelle’s total population is approximately 72,000 and 41,087 registered voters. How many voted in school budget vote, 2504 people. We have become a transient community. People love to live here but will go to other communities such as Pelham, Mount Vernon, Port Chester, Scarsdale and White plains to shop. That is where all of the big anchor stores are. Even the small numbers of people with disposable income that live in Avalon and Trump most likely eat and shop in New York City before they come home. We have given out so many tax abatements that even if people had a place to shop, we wouldn’t probably see any real changes for years.

The school board falls in line with the way New Rochelle is run. People have been beaten down and become so disenfranchised that they have given up or moved out because they can’t afford to live here anymore. What newly married couple on at tight budget can swing $10K to $20K in taxes every year. Those of us that remain must keep fighting the way of today and force change with our votes or a march on City Hall if necessary.

Lucy! This is rediculess!
You got some 'splainin' to do.

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend Everyone!

Robert Cox's picture


The BoE tally shows 41,087 registered voters of which 1,774 voted for the budget or 4.3% of the registered voters.

The actual election is run by the school district per New York State law. This is a major flaw that must be corrected by the State Assembly. It is something that candidates ought to be asked about during the upcoming election season.

The district has absolutely no incentive to increase voter turnout per se only among a select group who benefit directly from increased spending (parents and BoE employees). This is why the only marketing of the election is at the school buildings themselves and in legally required documents like the propaganda-laden School News Bulletin which not only provides the budget information (required) but all the various reasons why the budget should be passed (in their view) and all the scary things that will happen if the budget is not passed.

I pointed this out on election night to a school official and noted that the school district wants to suppress voter turnout. This official took issue with that, stating that this was not true, that the district did not want to suppress voter turnout but that they do not want to doing anything that will increase voter turnout. That strikes me as a distinction without a difference.

The board and the administration (almost exclusively Democrats) are particularly sensitive on this point and for good reason. They do not want to be perceived as SUPPRESSING voter turnout because that is something done by bad people (i.e., Republicans, Whites in the South, etc.). Since the believe themselves to be the good people they cannot fathom the idea that they are, in fact, engaged in the same sort of attempts to keep voter turnout low that white Southerners did under Jim Crow or Protestants did to Catholics in Northern cities. That voter turnout is much lower in the Catholic, Black and Latino voting districts is dismissed as a "lack of interest".

In fact, the largely white North End political establishment, almost entirely Democrats, works aggressively to both increase turn out in their election districts and keeps the election as quite as possible in the rest of the City.

So, call in what you like but the term that you used is correct - disenfranchised. Not in the technical sense because all 41,087 registered voters have the right to vote; but few every do so they are effectively disenfranchised.

Voter turnout is often very low.

The exception being last year due to a particularly dynamic, polarizing candidate who brought out voters from all sides (me!). Last year there over 8,000 votes cast in the school board race (and many of my voters cast only one vote, not two). As some noted to this year, I got more votes last year for school board (1,796) as the budget got this year (1,774). But even last year was still a very small percentage of registered voters.

The district typically takes the view that all the people who do not vote at all are choosing not to vote because they are satisfied with the status quo and support the budget. That is a convenient position for them to take, and utterly without foundation. There is no data that is tracking the opinions of non-voters.

The only systemic solution I see right now is to change state law in ways designed to increase voter turnout. Hold the school elections in November with the general elections for all other offices and/or turn control of the election over to the County Board of Elections.

The real solution is to give voters real choice, a sense that they have a stake in the outcome and that their vote matters (and will be counted).

Willie Sutton, when asked why he robbed banks, is reported to have said "Because that's where the money is".

The "money" in New Rochelle is almost entirely in the hands of the school board. They take about 66 cents on the dollar in local taxes with the city and county splitting the rest. If you leave out the county, the school board takes 80% of the tax dollars in New Rochelle and yet we have one of the lowest performing school districts in Westchester and Putnam County.

The corrupt people who run the district and the many corrupt people whom they have hired laugh all day long at the voters in the New Rochelle. And rightfully so, in my opinion. These are people who kick voters in the rear end time and time again and every year the voters bend over and say the same thing "Please sir, May I have another." Why shouldn't they laugh?

I would however disagree on one point.

There is some measure of accountability in New Rochelle today that did not exist 5 years ago. You are looking at it.

Stop worrying about convincing people to do something they do not want to do and focus on what you can do. Identify and report corruption and malfeasance on this site. Among the group of us, we all know who these people are and what they do. Do what I have done. Publish their names and expose them. It might be slow but slow and steady wins the race.

I want to corroborate an essential point in Bob's presentation that confounds people and is often misrepresented by school, even city officials.

There is no reason why the school board and budget elections cannot be held in November and thus, made part of the overall voting schema and, so, people can be more attuned to the importance of school district elections and perhaps, it might even lure politicians on the ballot that year to take a position on issues prior to the general election.

I believe Albany has fairly recently did exactly that; moved the voting over to November to attract more voters to cast ballots on district budgets and board members.

As some of you know, Ron Tocci was instrumental in developing the NYS law that gives the community the right to vote on trustees and the district budget. He confirms that the bill he introduced said nothing about the role a City Administration under the top 4 (NYC, etc) must play in formally subscribing to a specific relationship with a School District to protect its interest via its planning and development as well, no more important, the community at large's interest.

I would think that if a City politician or party takes the time to endorse candidates, it is expressing some interest in the outcomes, so why not take that to its proper level to ensure visible impact on attracting new investors and residents.

The School District will raise some arguments around the traditional budgetary period and activities held in the late Spring that justify a May ballot date. This is sophistry again. Nothing stops them from at least critically reviewing the problems of doing so and reporting their findings to the community.

Chrissane seems like a solid and committee new head of the board, and surely Jeff Hastie has to see the logic and levity of a formal arrangement between the Administration and all members cannot evade the civic responsibility of embracing the entire community in ensuring as much parity as possible on this important issue.

Chrissane, this will establish your bona fides and reinforce your integrity even more deeply in the Community. Examine the issue while Jeff points out the business and development connections which are unavoidable.

I actually think the school board might be open to this. Bob has established a beachhead and, while the going forward is difficult, it is not insurmountable.

This is the exact sort of issue of almost crisis interest to the growth of our City that you all should be interested and committed to.

It is disgraceful that not only did some of these hires slip through the cracks but that they remain on the job and in some cases get raises! Only in New Rochelle,than raise my taxes to pay them.They are disgraceful people.How can I get a job with the district? Seems they live by their own set of laws and job security is guarenteed.To think especially Ms Henry is still working and with a raise totally boggles the mind.Fire them all,top to bottom,nobodys safe.And fire and police are the ones fighting to keep their jobs,something is seriously wrong.The only explanation is those at the top just dont care.Get em all out!!!!!!!!!!

"The defendant faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison."

Jose Martinez got nothing (probation) for having sex with a minor, now how are they going to sentence this guy for digital penetration. I like to see how this all plays out.

Jose Martinez should of had the 4 years along with this scumbag!

Robert Cox's picture

Digital penetration does NOT refer to computers, it refers to FINGERS.

yes I see that now , but it was talked about not done. I was trying to say the other guy get probation and this guy might get 4 year, Martinez actually had sex with a minor and got off basically a free sex offender due to plea bargain and a blind DA

Robert Cox's picture

You will get no argument from me on that point.

That Martinez did not get years in prison is quite amazing.

My hope has been that by publishing his story on Talk of the Sound and all the press that followed he will easily be identified as a sexual predator wherever he goes and not allowed to have any sort of opportunity to be near children again.

For those who do not know, the district tried to keep the entire thing with Martinez secret. Even the school board was not informed when Martinez "disappeared" last year. I have absolutely no doubt that Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak and his pals had hoped that Martinez would just fade away and be forgotten. That doing so would allow him to continue to work in our school systems seem to have been the least of the administration's worries. It's all about the PR, baby!

Robert Cox's picture

Mr. Costiglio offers parents of New Rochelle school children the comfort of knowing that the most recent arrest of a sexual predator working for the school district did not actually involve the raping of a student in a school building like last time.

In fact the charges are not connected to the district in any way --other than the guy has been an employee with a badge and uniform that provided him ready access to children in our schools. You might think at some point that someone in the district might consider psychological screening of new employees as the current approach of hiring from the friends and family network in New Rochelle appears to produce a disproportionate number of criminals and sexual deviants. Just maybe it is NOT a good idea to make it a practice to hire heroin addicts because their father works for the district, or various other criminals because they have connections to the civil service administrators and commissioners or have an uncle or cousin working elsewhere in the district. It apparently never occurs to the people who run our schools that buying political favors by giving out jobs to degenerates and criminals has consequences.

Our school system needs to reconsider the idea that just because everyone has a right to earn a living does not somehow qualify them to be placed in a position of trust that involves our children.

...and I'd never tell you how to run your Blog, but, how much longer do we have to look at this ugly bastards face on the opening page?