New Rochelle Schools Transportation Manager Arrested for Drunk Driving, Drugs Found in Vehicle

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New Rochelle Schools Transportation Manager Arrested for Drunk Driving, Drugs Found in Vehicle

March 18, 2010 - 15:04

Dianna Wessel.jpgDianna Wessel, 35, of 7 Davenport Road in New Rochelle was arrested last night and charged by New Rochelle police with Driving While Intoxicated. Wessel is the head of transportation services for the City School District of New Rochelle.

According to sources with knowledge of the arrest, a search of the vehicle Wessel was driving turned up marijuana. The police report shows the vehicle was impounded. Under New York State law, the vehicle may be forfeited to authorities.

Sources who were on the scene at the time of the arrest say Wessell had struck three parked vehicles before her vehicle rolled over landing on the roof. Wessell exited the vehicle on her own with no significant injuries. No one else was injured. Based on the extent of the damage witnesses speculated that Wessel must have been driving at a high rate of speed prior to losing control of the vehicle.

The incident occurred just before midnight on St. Patrick's Day, just four blocks from Wessel's resIdence.

UPDATE: The school district web site lists Wessel as Transportation Assistant. Some readers have informed us that she runs the Transportation Department so, for now, we will refer to her as "Transportation Manager". Apparently there was some controversy when she was promoted from Assistant to the Assistant of Assistant Superintendent Margeret "Peg" Pecunia.

UPDATE: Wessel's Facebook Friends List shows quite a few names known to Talk of the Sound.

Dianna Wessel No Friends.jpg

UPDATE: Dianne Wessel has apparently modified her Facebook page and de-friended everyone. Fortunately, Talk of the Sound saved a copy of the list here.

UPDATE: I obtained a copy of the police report which shows she was arrested at 11:53 PM at Union Street and Locust Avenue. The report indicates Wessell was charged with DWI, her first offense.

Wessel Collision Map.jpg

NOTE: Wessel is the second public employee arrested this month for DWI. On March 2nd, New Rochelle Police Officer Jamillah Blair was arrested by Westchester County Police and charged with Driving While Intoxicated and Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident after a wrong-way collision on the Hutchinson River Parkway.

There are 39 Comments

It would seem to me that this young lady will suffer enough and pay dearly for her actions on the night of March 17. I really don't see how putting out a list of her facebook friends along with a map of the accident site and an arrow indicating where she lives adds to the story.

Robert Cox's picture

This "young lady", as you put it, is a grown woman. She is also woman who HAD (hopefully, we may learn more tonight) ) a job as the transportation director for the City School District of New Rochelle. In that job she is responsible for the transportation needs of about 11,000 children to get to/from school, for class trips, for school teams competing against other schools. She is Exhibit A in why putting people in public jobs with significant responsibility based on political connections can get people killed.

If you have come looking for sympathy for your friend you have come to the wrong place. Why don't you go to tell Amy Taylor about your concerns for Ms. Wessel because I have none. Of course, the conversation would be a bit one-sided as Ms. Taylor was killed less than a year ago by another drunk driver carrying drugs in the vehicle just ONE BLOCK away from the path Ms. Wessel was taking on her way home. Her trip home was interrupted by striking three parked vehicles before flipping over her own car.

If you would take a moment to look at that map and read this story about what happened to Ms. Taylor ( you might understand that significance of the map.

Ms. Wessel is a woman who could have chosen not to get drunk in the first place. This might have made sense given her job working for the school district. Having gotten drunk anyway she could have paid five or six dollars to get a taxi ride home. Instead she got behind the wheel.

Sympathy? She should be run out of town on a rail.

You jump to the conclusion that this women is my friend. I am wondering what your basis is for that comment? I am not looking for sympathy for the young lady, just questioning your reporting.

Robert Cox's picture


Despite the unfortunate nature of the incident, why do you automatically assume that just because people are on someones friend list we are all close knit? There is such a thing as casual mutual friends, hence the "networking" on FB, or have you overlooked that point? Although I do not agree with the events that unfolded that night, she was wrong to get behind the wheel in a moment of bad judgement, I do not see what you could possibly gain by publishing her friends list while trying to drag her down. Her friends have nothing to do with it. Just wondering what your point is with the friends list. Does it make you feel more superior in a sick twisted way?

Robert Cox's picture

The head of transportation for a school district of 11,000 children -- a woman with direct responsibility for the drug and alcohol policy for school bus drivers -- allegedly gets drunk, hits three cars, flips her own vehicle, and gets arrested for driving while intoxicated. You think she needs MY help in "dragging" her down?

I think she has done a pretty good job herself.

If you think that her friends are improving her situation by making all sorts of public threats and absurd claims you are having your own "moment of bad judgement".

Okay. Got it. She's a bad role model and should be removed from her position and harshly punished by the courts.

We're agreed.

Now, why is it okay to post the names of her friends?

you say According to sources with knowledge of the arrest, a search of the vehicle Wessel was driving turned up marijuana. is that in police report you say you obtained ?

Robert Cox's picture

The police report does not mention the marijuana officers found in Ms. Wessel's vehicle.

Robert Cox's picture

I received an email today from a person identifying themselves as Jason Harbolic which reads as follows:

On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 11:42 AM, Jason Harbolic wrote:

To who runs this outlet;

THIS IS A CEASE AND DESIST REQUEST. I am hereby requesting that you remove my name from your article about Dianna Wessel. You have a list of facebook friends and my name is on that list. I am not in any way associated with this case or her doings, nor do I wish to be. I am taking this as you are implying that the people she was facebook friends with are like her, or do things that she is accused of, linking our names to this story is slanderous and emotionally traumatizing on our lives. You have until this Friday 3/26/2010 at 5PM to take it down or I and all affected by your article will pursue legal action against you.

Thank you for your time and cooperation.

Jason Harbolic

Robert Cox's picture

...I have no intention of editing the article in any way.

Have a nice day.

What do her Facebook friends have to do with her actions? I am a friend of hers and was also a close personal friend of Amy Taylor's and I grew up with both of them. I do not condone Dianna's actions nor I'm sure do any of her friends and family. How dare you publish Dianna's friends list as if it has anything to do with her actions at all and how dare you bring Amy's name and memory into it to defend your already thoughtless behavior. I will be contacting my attorney to find out what action can be taken against you and your publication for your poor judgment here.

Robert Cox's picture

...and I do not recall publishing anything about Ms. Wessel's friends having anything to do with her DWI arrest only that her friends list includes names that would be familiar to Talk of the Sound readers, which is true.

What her facebook friends have to do with this crime. By listing her facebook friends you are implying that they are somehow guilty of something. Perhaps you should explain how her facebook friends are relevant to this case.

I will also be reporting you to Facebook for the following violations of their terms of service:

You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory.

If you collect information from users, you will: obtain their consent, make it clear you (and not Facebook) are the one collecting their information, and post a privacy policy explaining what information you collect and how you will use it.

You will delete all data you received from us relating to any user who deauthorizes, disconnects, or otherwise disassociates from your application unless otherwise permitted in our Developer Principles and Policies.

Robert Cox's picture

The article and the list are published on Talk of the Sound, not Facebook, so the Terms of Service regarding the use of Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory do not apply. Further, there is nothing "unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory" about posting accurate, true information.

Your lawyer can explain to you that truth is an absolute defense against claims of defamation. My intent is not malicious nor it is misleading, the people on the list ARE (or were) were on Dianna Wessel's friends list. That you are embarrassed to have been associated with her is not the basis for a legal claim against Talk of the Sound.

In fact, if you are really concerned about Facebook's Terms of Service you should be more worried about Ms. Wessel's failure to use her full name but only "Dianna Marie"; that is a clear violation of the Facebook TOS.

The sections of the TOS you cite about collecting information from users and deleting data applies only to Facebook Application developers. Talk of the Sound is not a developer of Facebook Applications.

Many of us have contacted attorneys who are also doing theirs. I am not embarassed to be associated with Dianna. You are implying that her friends list is somehow relevant in relation to this crime, which is misleading, malicious, and discriminatory. You are the one who should be embarassed. You are a poor excuse for a journalist and for a human being.

If you collect information from users, you will: obtain their consent, make it clear you (and not Facebook) are the one collecting their information, and post a privacy policy explaining what information you collect and how you will use it.

Robert Cox's picture


That is a section of the Facebook Terms of Service as it relates to developers of Facebook applications. It has nothing to do with me, my site or what I publish on Talk of the Sound.

Robert Cox's picture

I am well familiar with the laws regarding online publishing.

You are in violation of the tems of Facebook and privacy laws. You will be held accountable for this.

Your website is nothing but a tabloid no better than The national Enquirer. You should be careful of who you offend, not everybody just sits back and takes it.

I hope they see your ass in court and end up owning your rinky dink amature website.

Sincerely a loyal reader.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This comment was edited for language and use of all caps in the headline]

For those of you who have been linked to this article in a libleous way please contact the website host.

Zubr Communications
P.O. Box 13192
Philadelphia, PA 19101

Call their legal department 267-295-4705 and refer them to this page.

mr cox's you say According to sources with knowledge of the arrest, a search of the vehicle Wessel was driving turned up marijuana. is that in police report you say you obtained ???

Robert Cox's picture

The police report does not mention the marijuana officers found in Ms. Wessel's vehicle.

We are still waiting for you to substantiate where you obtained information that there were drugs in the car. Was this in the police report you obtained? Or is this just another liblous accusation from you?

You are a blogger and apparently believe in power to the people, well Cox the power will be shown and you will be shut down.

You cannot go and spread lies you should know this. If ever you wanted attention you may now have it but I am not sure it is the attention you are looking for.

Robert Cox's picture

The police report does not mention the marijuana officers found in Ms. Wessel's vehicle.

Who really cares about who she is friends with on facebook. The only reason why you are dragging this on is because she is head of transportation services for the City School District of New Rochelle and anyone who has ever read this site knowns how much you hate New Rochelle School System. And of course you had to bring up the New Rochelle Police Officer who was accused of DWI! You must be in heaven your 2 worst enemies and you got to bad mouth them.

Robert Cox's picture

I am not "dragging" anything on. It is "friends" of Ms. Wessel who continue to comment on the story and make all sorts of spurious legal claims.

In both cases these woman made the decision to get behind the wheel of a car and drive drunk. In one case a man was seriously injured and hospitalized. In the other three cars were struck. The second incident occurred a short distance from another DWI incident where a young woman was killed.

My view of drunk driving is that the person turns their car into a weapon and begins firing randomly. Sometimes the bullet hits a tree, sometimes it falls to the ground and sometimes it strikes an innocent human being. To drive drunk is to show a depraved indifference to human life.

As I have said elsewhere, I have absolutely no sympathy for either of them but in either case they got arrested, we just reported the arrest.

You still have not answered the question about wether the police report contained information that there were drugs in the car. You have made this accusation in your article and have not substantiated it. This is slander and false information, I do hope the accused sues you as well.

You are garbage. That picture of you is awful by the way, who the hell took that Glamour Shots? Should'nt you be wearing a cowboy hat?

What happened to you to make you such an ass. Did you get beat up as a kid and now you are an internet thug? You spread lies and effect peoples lives that have nothing to do with what you are writing about?

I hope you have no skeletons in the closet Cox because they will be brought to light.

Robert Cox's picture

The police report does not mention the marijuana officers found in Ms. Wessel's vehicle.

I have learned that what we have here is known as false light invasion of privacy, and also defamation, and is not covered by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Truth is not a defense here. We have respectfully requested that this information be removed. That is the first step. The next steps are to follow.

Robert Cox's picture


Stick to stand up. You are a terrible lawyer.

New York State does not recognize "false light" as a cause of action.

No idea how you think Section 230 bears on this but it this is all becoming rather humorous. Don't give up!

But I do not joke around when it comes to my reputation being called into question in connection with a crime that I have nothing to do with, nor when it comes to scumbags who use my deceased friends as a defense for their disgusting and unwarranted behavior.

The false light and Section 230 references came from my preliminary consultation with an attorney from California, the attorney of another user you have listed here. I will not give up. If there's anything I can do, I will do it.

You are causing emotional distress to myself and the others you have implicated here. We have respectfully asked that you remove this information.

Robert Cox's picture

This will save you a lot of heartache because your lawyer can explain why none of the wild accusations you have made are the basis for any sort of legal claim against me, this site, my web hosting provider or Facebook.

I would be curious as to what sort of lawyer would advise you that you have a false light claim when the State of New York does not recognize such claims.

Likewise, Section 230 provides protections for ME as the operator of this web site and my hosting provider for the use of his web server. You have it completely backwards.

While there are various protections for me as the operator of this web site, you do not have such protections and, in fact, a good lawyer would be telling you to stop digging yourself a hole by publishing statements to the web, sending emails and leaving voice mails as all of these things can be used against you in a court of law.

Now, I have no burning desire to litigate with anyone but you may want to have your lawyer do his homework. He might quickly discover that another party to this matter has a long history of successfully litigating against people in your position.

Again, I do not believe you have had the advise of an attorney because you are proceeding to behave in a manner which not only undermines your credibility in a court room but is providing the basis for an action against you. No good attorney would endorse your approach in this matter and everyone of them would have told you to stop "talking".

Now, as I see you flailing around here, desperately trying to find some sort of legal foothold, I am going to give you some help.

There IS a legal basis on which you CAN make a claim against Talk of the Sound. It has nothing do with the Facebook TOS or False Light claims or Libel.

To get you started here are three clues.

1. It is a FEDERAL LAW.

2. It was signed into law by President Clinton.

3. You have violated this law on your
MySpace page

If you want more clues let me know. And if you guess right I will let you know.

As I said, my preliminary consultation was with an attorney in California, where false light invasion of privacy is actionable and is not covered by Section 230.

This is not usual behavior for me, but as I also said, I am emotionally distraught over what you have posted here. I'm sure you would like me to stop talking, but I am just a blogger just like you, and like you I like to report facts.

I don't know if the Clinton law you're referring to is the Internet Privacy Act which he never signed, and I don't really care, but thanks for the publicity.

Robert Cox's picture

You are welcome to continue to post here so long as you do not use all caps and the topic is relevant to New Rochelle.

I do not mind if you continue to post here but, as I said, I cannot imagine an attorney would advise you to do so. In fact, quite the opposite.

As for your attorney in California, the person you consulted must not have any experience in these matters because, what I said, about truth being an absolute defense in defamation also applies to a false light claim in California; it must be based on the implication of a false fact. Everything I wrote is true and your claim that I have implied that the people on Ms. Wessel's Facebook Friends list are somehow guilty of a DWI will not stand even the most cursory scrutiny.

As for publicity, as a comic from New Rochelle you are welcome to publish here and promote yourself. If you would like you can embed your videos from your myspace page and invite people to watch your standup routine.

You continue to bark up the wrong tree with these "privacy" issues. You do not have any claim based on privacy or defamation. There is no expectation of privacy when you publish information about yourself onto the web. One of your rights MAY have been violated but you need to take a specific affirmative action.

Here is another clue.

4. Although you are not too quick on the up take you may be quick on the take down.

Robert Cox's picture

I said the police report does not say there was marijuana in the car.