NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Two recent New Rochelle school board candidates have violated Regulations of the New York State Education Commissioner in a voter fraud Appeal to the Commissioner filed by a former school board candidate.
In letters dated July 29, 2014, the New York State Education Department notified Dr. Salvatore A. Fernandez and Rick Monzon that they had been named as respondents in the voter fraud complaint filed by Malfetano.
They were each noted for failing to comply with Sections 275.9 and 275.13 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education which require that "each respondent upon whom a copy of a petition has been served shall serve and file an answer thereto".
The NYSED letters note that Fernandez and Monzon were served with a petition in Malfetano's appeal but that no answer was filed within the time allotted and that the decision making process would move forward regardless.
Fernandez was sworn in as the newest member of the New Rochelle Board of Education on July 1, 2014.
In a complaint filed by Vincent Malfetano in May, the former school board candidate and frequent critic of the school board, requests the Ricardo Monzon and Dr. Salvador A. Fernandez be disqualified as candidates for the New Rochelle Board of Education in the election held on May 20, 2014, that their candidacies be declared void, that votes for Ricardo Monzon and Dr. Salvador A. Fernandez be disregarded and the remaining two highest voter-getters be seated on the Board.
If Fernandez were disqualified but not Monzon, Jeffrey Hastie would the first highest vote-getter and retain his seat. Rick Monzon would be the second highest vote getter and replace Fernandez on the board.
If Monzon were disqualified but not Fernandez, Jeffrey Hastie would the first highest vote-getter and retain his seat. Rick Monzon would be the second highest vote getter and replace Fernandez on the board.
If Monzon and Fernandez were disqualified, Jeffrey Hastie would the first highest vote-getter and retain his seat. Robert Cox, a last-minute write-in candidate, would be the second highest vote getter and replace Fernandez on the board.
The complaint was filed by Vincent J. Malfetano, a former school board candidate.
Malfetano's complaint states "the first (Fernandez) and third (Monzon) highest vote-getters in the election for two seats on the board from among the top four vote-getters appears to have personally engaged in and benefited from persistent fraud which permeates the petitions filed by them; and that election irregularities actually affected the outcome of the election."
100 valid signatures are required on petitions to be placed on the ballot for a school board election in New Rochelle.
In New York State school elections and budget referendums are run by the local school district, an obvious conflict of interest, that will change next year when County Board of Elections take over school elections along with village elections.
A complaint seeking a stay of the certification of the voting results, also filed in May, was made moot when the Commissioner's Office of Counsel failed to reply in a timely basis to the complaint. As a result, the votes cast on May 20, 2014 were certified by the New Rochelle Board of Education on June 3, 2014.
Sara Richmond, former New Rochelle Board of Education President, who was hired by the District's law firm a few weeks after leaving the board in 2011, is representing the District. Richmond has made repeated requests for extensions to file their response to the complaint by Malfetano which were granted.