Should New Rochelle School District Employees Be Allowed to Drive District Vehicles While on Synthetic Opiates Like Methadone?

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Should New Rochelle School District Employees Be Allowed to Drive District Vehicles While on Synthetic Opiates Like Methadone?

March 30, 2012 - 22:21

James Bonanno is one of two New Rochelle school district employees on a Methadone Maintenance Program. His primary job is to act as courier transporting supplies among school buildings in New Rochelle. As such, he is often driving a school vehicle under the influence of methadone, as well as illegal drugs like marijuana, sources say.

In the above video, Bonanno is seen driving a school district van to the Westchester County methadone clinic on Sickles Avenue in New Rochelle. After leaving the methadone clinic he drives onto North Avenue, then Lockwood and on to the buildings and grounds offices on Grove Street near Webster Avenue. Setting aside that Bonanno is doing all of this between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. during a workday which begins at 7 a.m., should the school district allow heroin addicts enrolled in methadone maintenance programs to operate district vehicles?

There is a wide range of conflicting literature on the topic.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Effects of Methadone on Driving: The drug manufacturer cautions that methadone may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks, and that the sedative effects of the drug may be enhanced by concurrent use of other CNS depressants, including alcohol. In healthy, non-methadone using volunteers, single doses of methadone will impair driving ability. Numerous European studies of long-term methadone maintenance patients have shown that appropriately administered methadone does not cause significant psychomotor or cognitive impairment when administered regularly and when the subject abstains from all other drugs. However, in the majority of cases, patients did not exhibit stable abstinence from drug use and had an increased occurrence of simultaneous psychiatric/neurotic disorders or personality disturbances which, by themselves, could be a reason to doubt their driving ability. In Germany, the Joint Advisory Council for Traffic Medicine at the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing and the Federal Ministry for Health issued the following recommendation: Heroin addicts treated with methadone are generally not fit to drive; however, these patients may be considered fit to drive if they show a period of methadone substitu­tion for more than a year; stable psychosocial integration; no evidence of the consumption of additional psy­chotropic substances; evidence of a subject’s readiness to feel responsible for himself/herself; therapy compliance; and no evidence of serious personality defects.

In New York State, people registered in methadone maintenance programs are allowed to drive while on methadone and cannot be arrested for DUI unless they are actually intoxicated not simply because they have methadone in their blood stream.

As the NHTSA points out, although long-term methadone maintenance patients like Bonanno do not exhibit significant psychomotor or cognitive impairment if they abstain from all other drugs this is not typically the case. In the majority of cases, "patients did not exhibit stable abstinence from drug use and had an increased occurrence of simultaneous psychiatric/neurotic disorders or personality disturbances which, by themselves, could be a reason to doubt their driving ability."

Bonanno is no exception. Sources tell Talk of the Sound that Bonanno has a daily marijuana habit. Bonanno and another employee leave Grove Street on most work days around 11:30 a.m. to get high. They purchase a cigar often at the Citgo gas station at the corner of Webster and Washington, and use that to make a "blunt", a cigar where the tobacco leaves are replaced with marijuana.

Bonanno is known to exhibit erratic behavior and is often found "sleeping" at Grove Street.

It was Bonanno, according to numerous sources, that painted the words "Bob Cox Sleeps with the Fishes" on his father's boat which is stored at the school district yard on Cliff Street in New Rochelle. At the time of the "fishes" incident, the boat was stored outside on a side of the property leased by Pro Fuel, an oil company. The boat has since been moved and is now stored inside the storage building at Cliff Street, on property leased by the City School District of New Rochelle.

Bonanno's father, Vincent "Jimmy" Bonanno, is a buildings and grounds supervisor whose long list of corrupt practices have been documented on Talk of the Sound.

There are 19 Comments

This employee should be fired just for leaving his door open. He creates a hazzard for himself and other motorist by leaving his door open with him in it. Thanks talk of the sound, someday the citizens will get it. Or we all will be moving out Like Warren.

The employee should be fired for drug use!!!!!!!!How does he still have his job????

The question is, does this participation result from a drug conviction or from his own attempt at wrestling his demons?

Not the story but the tactics. I would have much preferred this video not be shown, taken to the school administration to respond to. Then when you had the answers to the questions, the answers could have been posted. If he isn't violating any laws or work rules (we do't know yet) then this video and story would be nothing more than character assassination.


Last time I checked, smoking marijuana during the middle of the work day IS a violation of work rules. MAT programs typically prohibit use of other drugs as part of the program. Driving while under the influence of marijuana is also illegal.

As far as taking anything to the administration, do you think his supervisors are not aware of this -- and more? His supervisors include some of the biggest users of illegal drugs employed by the district.

Wake up, dude. The entire thing is rotten from top to bottom. There is no one to go to in the administration.

I watched the video, I didn't see him smoking marijuana. I don't know much about it so maybe I missed something.

There is an article AND a video.

The article is reporting on Jimmy's marijuana use. He is at the methadone clinic during work hours. He is using the school district vehicle for personal use.

Not sure what else you want to know about this but for most people this would raise a few eyebrows.

Methadone is a legal drug administered by a gov't program. As part of treatment for a disease, it has a legitimate medical use. The claims of marijuana use are just that, claims. I personally think whomever took the video has a personal grip with Mr. Bonano. Is it in retaliation for the "bob cox sleeps with the fishes" incident? I hope not. I hope this is not what this site is about. If Mr. Bonano has a disease and is seeking legal treatment, then I wish him well. To the taker of this video, maybe you could stalk a psychiatrists office and see if any city employees walk out, then we can all speculate if they are a danger to society and should be fired. This story is a poor reflection on the author. imho

If you represent this site and you did not take this story to city officials to even ask if he has permission to go the clinic during work hours, what the city's policy is on this matter, have any evidence to support your claim of marijuana use during work hours or anything other than take hidden video and post it along with nothing but speculation and hearsay, then this is not a news site.
Mr. Bonano is a public employee NOT a public figure. This entire story is an invasion of privacy and character assassination.
I love this site, but even the doers of good must be vigilant that they too do not become drunk with power.

Everything about that is disturbing. It's very disturbing that so many city and government workers get to have access to "Official" cars, and use them for their own personal use. Like Doug Colety. He takes home with him is "official" car every night, and parks it in the fire lane ALL NIGHT LONG, where he lives on a one way block in New Rochelle off Harding Drive. It's unbelievable. Westchester tax payers are paying for these people to have a good time and take advantage. This whole entire county is corrupt.

Your a terrible man who keeps making up lies....mark my will pay for everything you do and have no proof on either accusation you made about Jimmy..its all heresay just like most of your stories..maybe that's why youwent into hiding for a couple of months but this time you will pay for your actions you fat piece of shit...make sure you got your camera wherever you go so you can videotape and post it on your bullsgit website. Aberfoyle rd will be a very busy street in the upcoming months..

Robert Cox's picture

Thanks for proving my point that the Buildings and Grounds department of the City School District of New Rochelle is the most corrupt public sector enterprise in Westchester (excepting Yonkers, of course).

Keep up the good work.

Keep holding hands with Ricky Dibuono in church and keep believing all the bullshit he feeds to you ...your a wortless piece of shit and nobody listens to what you say anyway..can't wait when you go to the nrpd for help and they laugh at wanna play in the game you gotta play all 9 innings you fat wortless piece of garbage....Pull your pants up in when your in public I don't wanna see your ass... Tour gonna find out how many corrupt people work for B and G now....

heresay? It's fact, I've seen it with my own eyes on union ave smoking a nice fat blunt, this kid is a junkie. I've seen him out from time to time, this kid was so wasted that he looked like he had no life in his eyes. So rat, don't say it's not true when in fact it is 110% true. And don't make theats when you know you aren't going to do anything, ok Internet tough guy!!

now your saying little jimmy smokes blunts on union ave? You mine as well say he smokes blunts in City Hall's main lobby...cmon you people are all pussy's who hide behind the computer....internet tough guy? be a man and put your real name on your posts and see how long before this internet tough guy is knocking at your door Don

Robert Cox's picture

Does anyone else find it amusing to see two guys on the internet using fake names calling each other out over using fake names on the internet?

tough guy. I have a fake name and everything. So what do i do now ? Let's see
1 - find guy

2 - knock on door

3 - what if nobody's home?

4 - check with neighbor ?

Oh hell , i'm not cut out for this internet stuff.

I'm not calling him out for using a fake name. I'm calling him out for posting that he is going to kick ass on abefoyl rd, when he knows he is not going to do anything. That is the point I'm trying to make, if he was such a tough guy he would just do it, not write about it. So bob you have. Nothing to worry about from this soft ass hump. Just like when they wrote you are going to sleep with the fish, are you? No.