NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Alex Tergis has resigned as Commissioner of Public Works. He has been replaced, for now, by disgraced former Rye City Manager Scott Pickup.
Tergis' resignation is effective July 1, 2016. He was first hired by the City of New Rochelle on November 15, 2010. He came to New Rochelle from Connecticut where he managed multiple divisions for the City of Stamford including Solid Waste and Recycling, Road Maintenance, Fleet Management, Citizen Service Center and Cashiering and Permitting divisions. Tergis received his undergraduate and graduate degree in Civil Engineering at Manhattan College, where he also subsequently served as instructor. He succeeds Jeffrey Coleman, who vacated the position in August.
City Manager Charles B. Strome has notified City Council that he has appointed Scott Pickup as Interim DPW Commissioner until a new DPW Commissioner is hired.
Pickup was hired by the City of New Rochelle in October 2014 as Deputy Commissioner of Public Works in charge of Operations after James Moran was promoted to City Engineer to fill that spot after former City Engineer John Clemente was fired. Moran had taken over the position of Deputy Commissioner after Joe Cotroneo was fired in June, 2011, the same month that Richard Fevang was fired after he was indicated on a 66-count fraud indictment by the Westchester County District Attorney.
Pickup left Rye when he was forced to resign effective, April 23, 2014, several months after former Rye Golf Club manager Scott Yandrasevich was arraigned on one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class “C” Felony at Rye City Court on Nov. 19, 2013. The charges came following a criminal referral to the District Attorney by lawyers hired by the City described in a Report on the finances of the Rye Golf Club. Those charges were later expanded by the District Attorney's Public Integrity Bureau based on further investigation to include ten counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, class “E” Felonies.
"Between April 10th, 2007 and August 20, 2012, the defendant, who was the General Manager of the Rye Golf Club, stole approximately $342,120 from the Club and the City of Rye" said Westchester County District Attorney spokesperson Lucian Chalfen. "[Yandrasevich] knowingly submitting false invoices to the City of Rye for fictitious employees over this approximate four and a half year period."
Yandrasevich, 50, of Danbury, CT accomplished the alleged larceny by setting up and effectively controlling a staffing company called RM Staffing for the purposes of billing the City of Rye for services provided to the Club. According to a statement by the DA's office, Yandrasevich submitted false bi-weekly invoices on RM Staffing stationary listing individuals who were falsely described as working in “Administration,” “Restaurant” and/or “Operations” at the Club, when in fact no such persons worked for the Club. After RM Staffing received the money, it was transferred back to the defendant, who used the money for his own personal use.
Yandrasevich was sentenced to between one and three years in state prison in August 2015. The plea deal stipulated that Yandrasevich would spend just a year in prison if he paid restitution before the sentencing date which he failed to do. He ultimately did make restitution and was released from prison earlier this year.
The City of Rye sued Travelers Casualty and Surety, their insurance company, to cover the losses and reached a deal to receive $1.55 million from the insurance company. The City had sued for $1.9 million in unpaid insurance claims.
As City Manager, Scott Pickup, signed-off on a majority of the more than $7 million in purchase orders submitted by Yandrasevich going back to 2006. Yandrasevich was first hired by the city as the golf club’s general manager in 2002 and set up RM Staffing in 2006 while Pickup was Assistant City Manager.
City Manager Charles B. Strome has appointed Scott Pickup as Interim Commissioner of Public Works until a new Commissioner can be hired.