Dozens of current and former New Rochelle police officers, primarily from the New Rochelle Police Department's Police And Community Together Unit (P.A.C.T.) have for the past 12 years paid tens of thousands of dollars into a high-stakes fantasy football league with team names, team web sites and helmet decals that glorify a brutish, hard-drinking, gangster mentality among officers within the unit.
[NOTE: A significant update to this story was published the week after this first story ran: City of New Rochelle Has "No Comment" on XXX-Rated P.F.F.L. Web Site Published by Current and Former NRPD Officers. Be sure to read both this story and that one which provides new details about the graphic pornography found throughout the web site]
Teams owned by New Rochelle police officers, including many high ranking officers, reference organized crime, vigilantism, police brutality, alcohol abuse, and a hostile misogynistic attitude towards women in a manner which raises serious questions about the fitness for duty of some NRPD officers and, more broadly, the leadership of New Rochelle Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll who has permitted the group to operate on his watch for over a decade.
Participating officers have owned teams with names which include Midnight Mutha F*s, Kill 'em All, The Hitmen, Bad Boyz, Goodfellas, New Jack City, Tuxedo Mafia, The Enforcers, Jack Daniels Boys, Da Drunks and Tits 'N' Ass. Images and helmet decals include one riddled with bullet holes, a woman in a skimpy red bikini, a whiskey label logo, an animation of beer bottles bouncing into a crate, a large-breasted woman in a white bikini, a mafia shooting scene, and a nude, heavily-tattooed woman standing naked, leaning back while holding a massive chainsaw between her legs pointing outwards to suggest a penis. References to male testes are also popular; teams include Harley's Balls, Fireballs, Balzy Bulls and Ball Breakers. One team -- Perri's Not Gay Ghosts - is vaguely homophobic (the team helmet is pink). Two teams appear to be mocking the police profession - The Hemmorroids and Get the Donuts.
According to the league web site, the PFFL was founded with 16 teams in 1998 by police officers from the New Rochelle Police Department and has now expanded to 40 teams in 4 conferences. Each conference has its own on-line website. All teams play a conference schedule with playoff games until two teams are left to play in the "PFFL Super Bowl" with the winner receiving "a engraved trophy and $$$". Teams that do not make the playoffs play in the "Toilet Bowl" a single elimination tournament. Teams have their own web page which includes a helmet with customized decal, an image selected by the team owner to "represent" the owner and his team (there are no women owners) and the team's won-loss record. In the recently ended 2009 season, team owners paid $260 to join the league plus additional fees to trade players. Proceeds were used to pay out over $10,000 in prize money and host a Super Bowl party on February 7, 2010.
Most of the officers involved in the league over the past 12 years are current or former members of P.A.C.T. or the Police and Community Together Unit which includes all NRPD Youth Officers, Beat Officers, and Housing Officers and is tasked, ironically, with NRPD Community Relations. The content of the web site appears to directly contravene a primary mission of the P.A.C.T. Unit: to present a positive, professional image of the police department within the New Rochelle community. The New Rochelle Police Department, the City of New Rochelle and the City School District of New Rochelle all employ current and former members of the P.A.C.T. Unit.
P.A.C.T. Youth Officers handle youth related investigations including the New Rochelle D.A.R.E. program, part of a national effort to keep kids away from involvement with drugs, gangs, and violence. P.A.C.T. Beat Officers and P.A.C.T. Housing Officers have as their main function to interact with members of the community, attending community association meetings, and organizing community functions involving the police department and the community. Overall, the P.A.C.T. Unit is responsible for maintaining and promoting community relations with the public which includes meetings with community leaders, school board officials, local elected representatives, Chamber of Commerce, and neighborhood associations.
The PFFL web site explicitly identifies the league with the P.A.C.T. Unit and the entire New Rochelle Police Department. The home page includes an image of the official NRPD patch with the words "New Rochelle Police" clearly visible. The PFFL site links back to the New Rochelle Police Department web site. The league history on the PFFL home page states the league was founded by "Police Officers from the New Rochelle, N.Y. Police Department."
The PFFL, both its intent and its expression on the league web site, appears to violate numerous departmental rules and regulations and the ethics code officers swear to uphold.
The Personal and Professional Conduct section of the New Rochelle Police Department's Rules and Regulations states police officers are required to "conduct themselves at all times, both on and off duty, in such a manner as to reflect most favorably on the Department". Further, police officers "must not engage in conduct which brings the Department into disrepute or reflects discredit upon the officer as a member of the Department". Police officers must "maintain a level of moral conduct in their personal and business affairs, which is in keeping with the highest standards of the law enforcement profession" and precludes police officers from engaging in "any type of activity which expresses prejudice concerning race, sex, religion, politics, national origin, lifestyle or similar personal characteristics."
Based on a 2009 NRPD roster, most teams are owned by active duty police officers including more than a dozen police detectives, eight sergeants and two police lieutenants. Other team owners include police officers who first created teams while on activity duty but have since retired from the force.
Team Owners and Team Names - Active Duty Police Officers (as of 4/2009)
- Rodriquez/Wilson - Midnight Mutha F*s later changed to Kill 'em All
- Police Officer Ryan Downs - Devils Rejects (from 1996 film about a group of sadistic serial killers, tagline, "Hell doesn't want them. Hell doesn't need them. Hell doesn't love them. This world rejects them."
- Police Officer Paul D'erasmo - New Jack City (from 1999 file with tagline, "They're a new breed of gangster. The new public enemy. The new family of crime.")
- Detective Vincent Mirabile - Mirabile's Bad Boyz (from 1991 film "Boyz in the Hood" whose lead character is "torn by his desire to be a success and live up to his father's expectation and the pull of peer pressure to be more involved in the local gang culture").
- Police Officer Luigi Amico - Tuxedo Mafia, later changed to Excessive Force
- Police Officer Michael Regina - Domestic Dispute
- Police Officer Timothy Adrian - Jack Daniels Boys
- Detective Daniel Benge - Tail Gators
- Detective Evanngelos Geralis - Ball Breakers, later changed to Evil's Empire
- Sergeant Kevin Perri - Perri's Not Gay Ghosts
- Detective Bruce Daniele (retired) - La Maluchia (rough translation is "the naughty one")
- Detective Andres Fernandez - The Hemmorroids
- Police Officer Adam Castiglia - Get The Donuts
Team Owners and Team Names - Not on Active Duty Roster (as of 4/2009)
Some of the officers involved are well-known to Talk of the Sound.
Sergeant David Rodriguez
The precise identity of the "Rodriguez" listed as co-owner of a the "Midnight Mutha F*s" in 2003 and later "Kill em All" is not confirmed; the other co-owner "Wilson" which may be either Detective Jeff Wilson or Sergeant Kyle Wilson. There was a Sergeant David Rodriguez on the force until 2008. The PFFL's "Rodriguez" participated in the league until February 2008 and dropped out prior to the start of the 2008 NFL season which began in September 2008. The 2007 NFL season ended with Super Bowl XLII on February 3rd, 2008. Five days later, on February 8th, 2008, Sergeant Rodriguez was supervising as members of the P.A.C.T. Unit arrested a 35-year old man for threatening the mother of his child, a then-17-year old girl.
The unidentified girl told CBS 2's Tony Aiello that Rodriguez returned later that night (which would be after the end of Third Tour) around 12 PM, and raped her while her baby slept in a near by crib. After the girl was able to describe a unique feature of the officer's genitals, Sergeant Rodriguez was arrested on March 19th, 2008 and charged with first-degree rape. As part of a plea deal intended to spare the teen victim from having to testify at trial, the rape charge against Rodriguez was dropped. He admitted to having sexual contact with the girl, pleaded guilty to official misconduct, and received a one-year conditional release discharge. Rodriguez had resigned from the New Rochelle Police department the week before sentencing. Rodriguez was married to Darlene Rodriguez (née Pomales), co-anchor of Today in New York on WNBC, at the time of the incident.
If the Rodriguez/Wilson team refers to Sergeant David Rodriguez, the team name Midnight Mutha F*s takes on a new, more ominous meaning given the specific allegation by the victim -- that around midnight, David Rodriguez sexually assaulted a new mother while her infant child slept in a crib just a few feet away.
New Rochelle Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll defended Sergeant Rodriguez, claiming he had "a sterling record".
Detective Bruce Daniele (ret.)
Detective Bruce Daniele (ret.), currently the head of security for the City School District of New Rochelle, was a founding member of the league and owner of "La Maluchia". While the intended meaning of the term is not stated on the PFFL web site, Malucha in Spanish means "naughty" or "wayward"; "La Maluchia" can be understood to mean "the naughty one".
Daniele was among three school district employees who the New York State Civil Service Commission determined had been hired without following proper procedures. Daniele, along with former New Rochelle police officer Robert Coyne and New York City police officer Rolf Koehler were the subject of an inaccurate and illicit board resolution passed by the Board of Education in September 2009. Collins Coyne is the owner of Loose Change, another PFFL team.
The resolution was necessitated by an order from the New York State Civil Service Commission which investigated the hiring of the three former police officers and found the New Rochelle Civil Service Commission and the City School District of New Rochelle had filled the positions improperly. The Chairman of the New Rochelle Civil Service Commission Domenic Procopio has been at the center of a number of irregularities in New Rochelle, including personally accepting tens of thousands of dollars in illicit property tax exemptions including over $2,000 in benefits reserved exclusively for Combat Veterans. Procopio, who never served in the military and who is, according to former director Beverly Silverman "never" in the Civil Service Commission office at City Hall, regularly holds court at Mamma Francesca's Trattoria 414 Pelham Road. His frequent guest, according to numerous sources, is Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll.
In 2009, the State ordered the scheduling of competitive civil service exams to occur doing the 2009-10 school year with the understanding that Daniele, Coyne and Koehler could keep their high-paying positions with the district until the end of the school year at which time the district would have the option to hired them properly, depending on the outcome of the exams. Civil service examinations for the three positions were scheduled for January 11, 2010 and February 6, 2010 although concerns over irregularities have since been raised about the job description promulgated by the New Rochelle Civil Service Commission.
The resolution was improper because the criteria described in the board resolution did not comply with the Statutory Criteria for 211 Waivers. The district failed to prepare a detailed recruitment plan for the three positions, failed to undertake extensive recruitment efforts, and failed to demonstrate an urgent need for their services. The vacancies the district sought to fill were not unplanned, unpredictable, or unexpected as required by State law were the appointments being treated as "non-permanent" as they appear to be the final filling of the position. The resolution further stated that the three men were recruited based on their prior service as New Rochelle police officers. Koehler never never served with the New Rochelle Police Department. The school board resolution was later changed, voted on a second time and again approved.
Detective Jason Buono
Detective Jason Buono owned"The Hitmen", later changed to "Smashmouth". Detective Buono will be familiar to Talk of the Sound readers. He is the officer sent by Isaac E. Young Middle School Principal Anthony Bongo, Jr. to this reporter's house with a false police report in November 2008 in a crude attempt to suppress a Talk of the Sound story about his routine violation of state law and NYSED police. Bongo's father, Anthony Bongo, Sr. is the owner of PAB Construction, a major contractor for the City of New Rochelle and a close personal friend of New Rochelle Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll. Buono's initial claims about the nature of the complaint, who had made it and what actions he had taken as a result were later all directly contradicted by Buono's own incident report. This reporter later alleged to police officials that Buono was acting as a "messenger boy" for Bongo in an attempt at intimidation, that there had been no "plate lookup" at DMV and that Bongo had simply sent his cousin on an errand in the hopes of quashing the story about his illicit cigar smoking on school grounds. No record of a DMV lookup of this reporter's vehicle by NRPD was ever produced in response.
Detective Ray Andolina
Detective Ray Andolina is the youth officer who told the Journal News a security guard at Isaac E. Young Middle School had been cleared of charges of assault an an 8th grade student at the school despite no charges having been filed. In that case, the mother of the child went to the police station on North Avenue on three separate occasions to file a complaint against the guard. Detective Andolina actively and aggressively discouraged the mother from filing her complaint, in direct violation of NRPD Procedures. Having refused to accept the complaint from the mother Detective Andolina told the Journal News that the "charge was dismissed" despite not having taken a complaint form the victim or the mother. In an astonishing display of defiant arrogance, Andolina then blamed the mother in the newspaper, saying she must not have taken the matter seriously because she did not file charges. Andolina also made the false claim that the mother wanted to deal with school officials instead of the police.
Andolina is the officer who failed to fully investigate the "sexting" incident at Albert Leonard Middle School because, according to Andolina "police did not find anything that would warrant official charges" and saying he could not be expected to "track down every cell phone that received the photo". In that case, Donna Henry, a security guard at Albert Leonard Middle School obtained the nude photo and transmitted the photo to two other school district employees. The nude photo of a child was then widely disseminated among public employees including numerous school district employees at Isaac E. Young Middle School and New Rochelle High School. Andolina did not seek to track down any phones that might have received the nude image or even determine whether nude images of a child had been transmitted using the phone he took into evidence. The phone was later returned to its owner and evidence in the case destroyed under the direction of the supervising sergeant.
Tits 'N' Ass' Team and the Nude Woman with the Chainsaw Penis
The single most disturbing team and team web site in the PFFL is Michael Lore's team Tits 'N' Ass which displays an image of a nude woman holding a large chainsaw (right). A Google image search for "nude tattoo chainsaw" returned, as the first result, the same photo on Lore's team page. The woman in the photo models, acts and performs under the stage name "Spurna" and she is described as a "goth" porn star on several web sites which we will not link to here. The image on Lore's site were copied from Barely Evil, a goth porn site. They were part of a series of photos taken at the home of David J. Schow a well-known horror writer whose film credits include screenplays for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. These films and other Schow works are part of a horror sub-genre known as splatterpunk, a term Schow coined, to distinguish his "graphic, often gory, depiction of violence and 'hyperintensive horror with no limits.'"
Spurna's body of work includes stints as a nude model, actress in pornographic films, and fronting an eponymous all-girl goth rock band. Incongruously, she also appeared in a country music video for Brooks and Dunn's song Hillbilly Deluxe. In April 2009, Spurna's California home was raided by "20 swat officers with machine guns" shortly after she posed nude holding large amounts of marijuana buds on serving trays. She and her housemates were arrested although she claims charged against her were later dismissed.
"Slasher" movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and A Nightmare on Elm Streetoften depict violence that occurs during or after sexual activity. Psychologists have long considered such films as part of a process of mental conditioning which has a desensitizing effect on men. Such films that juxtapose sexual images with explicit violence dull men's emotional reaction to film violence so that men become less disturbed by scenes of extreme violence and degradation directed at women. In turn, this tends to "reduce feelings of concern or empathy for female victims of violence in other settings".
Possible Violations of New Rochelle Police Department Rules and Regulations
Fantasy sports leagues are legal so long as no one involved is "taking a cut". In 2006, in Humphrey v. Viacom a federal judge in New Jersey ruled that when an entry fee is paid unconditionally and the prize is for an amount certain and is guaranteed to be won by a participant, a contest does not morph into gambling under the law. Congress later passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which "broadly prohibits Internet gambling, establishes that fantasy sports leagues are not gambling operations...because all prizes are announced in advance and do not depend on the number of participants and the amount of fees paid by them, the winning outcomes reflect knowledge and skill of participants and are based on accumulated statistical results of the performance of individual athletes, and winning outcomes are not based on the score, point-spread or any performance of a single real-world individual or team."
More questionable are the "football boxes" betting that appear to have run for Monday Night Football and the Super Bowl. For the most recent season, payouts were close to $30,000 . In those cases the winning outcomes are based on the score of a a single real-world team which would appear to indicate the web site is reporting on the outcomes of illegal gambling by New Rochelle police officers. Such illegal gambling would represent a clear conflict of interest as the Genovese and Gambino crime families are known to run illegal bookmaking operations in New Rochelle.
Legal or not, the amounts involved run into the tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, which raises further questions as to whether winners have declared the amounts on their tax returns.
Under NRPD Rules and Regulations police officers are not allowed to engage in any activity or personal business that would cause them to neglect or be inattentive to their duties", not engage in conversations with other members of the Department for any other purpose than the exchange of information relative to the business of the Department when assigned to duty outside of headquarters, while on patrol, members of the Department will not read or possess books, newspapers, magazines, or other reading materials unless such material is related to the business of the Department and shall not use personal communications devices while on patrol. While the P.A.C.T. Fantasy Football League may be legal, participation in such leagues is known to create work-place issues and companies have begun to ban such leagues and other sports-related wagering such as "March Madness" bracket tournaments.
A publicly accessible web site such as the P.A.C.T. Fantasy Football League may create a variety of legal issues for the New Rochelle Police Department as it might be considered a form of harassment or intimidation towards the public or members of the department. The web site might also be the basis for claims of sexual harassment or creating a hostile work environment.
The PFFL site has numerous references to alcohol and alcohol abuse. Sworn members of the New Rochelle Police Department are never permitted to "drink alcoholic beverages to the extent that they become intoxicated" because they are generally required to carry their weapon and badge at all times, they may be called into service at any time in emergency situations and their personal behavior reflects on the entire department.
The nature and intent of the PFFL may mean that police officers who own teams in the league are in violation of Section 2.20 which states that "Members of the Department will not belong to any group or organization whose constitution, regulations, by-laws or intent, however expressed, would prevent the member from carrying out the policies and duties of the Department."
While many of the police officers involved in the league have chosen benign team names, logos and images for the web site, they are all required to immediately report, to their Commanding Officer, any "delinquency, dereliction of duty, violation of the Rules and Regulations, or any other conduct they observe or have knowledge of, that may adversely affect the good order, efficiency and discipline of the Department." The problem here is that many senior officers are owners of teams in the P.A.C.T. Fantasy Football League including 22 active duty detectives, sergeants and lieutenants.
While not specifically addressing web sites such as the P.A.C.T. Fantasy Football League, it is a violation of NRPD policy for police officers, without proper authority, to "represent the Department before the media (Print, Radio, or Television) or address any public gatherings or private groups. Officers are not allowed to "wear, use, display or possess a police shield or other similar object" except as authorized by the Police Commissioner. That would appear to apply both to the NRPD patch image on the site as well as the photo of an officer in uniform holding the the P.A.C.T. Fantasy Football League trophy. The photo appears to indicate additional violations: the officer in the photo, Sergeant Kevin Perri, appears to be wearing the uniform coat completely unzipped in violation of policy which requires that the jacket be zippered at least three quarters of the way up. Police officers are not allowed to appear in uniform in any publication or photograph in which they promote, endorse or otherwise advertise any commercial or private enterprise without the permission of the Police Commissioner.
Transactions among team owners in the P.A.C.T. Fantasy Football League take place on third-party web sites. If department computers are being used to access the Internet or send email the police officer doing so would be violating a number of department Rules and Regulations which prohibits the use of department computers for "personal, recreational, commercial, illegal, unprofessional or other non-work related uses". Anyone trading with teams such as Midnight Mutha F*sor Kill 'em All, to name a few, or viewing the Tits 'N' Ass team web site with its chainsaw-wielding naked woman would likely be violating rules against sending messages that are "derogatory, obscene or otherwise inappropriate or unrelated to Department business" or sending "material which may cause a hostile working environment and/or which is in contravention of the City of New Rochelle’s Harassment in the Workplace policy".
Some of the teams use copyrighted logos (Jack Daniels, Dunkin' Donuts, NFL, Super Bowl, New York Football Giants, Miami Dolphins, etc.) and so violate NRPD rules against sending or obtaining information that is "inconsistent with the copyright laws of the United States".
Professional Police Ethics Issues
More broadly, the entire web site and every officer associated with the PFFL appears to have failed to abide by the "Professional Police Ethics" guidelines distributed to each officer which they are required by their oath to uphold: "I WILL keep my private life unsullied as an example to all...I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department."
Private Conduct: The law enforcement officer shall be mindful of his special identification by the public as an upholder of the law. Laxity of conduct or manner in private life, expressing either disrespect for the law or seeking to gain special privilege, cannot but reflect upon the police officer and the police service. The community and the service require that the law enforcement officer lead the life of a decent and honorable man. Following the career of a policeman gives no man special privileges. It does give the satisfaction and pride of following and furthering an unbroken tradition of safeguarding the American republic. The officer who reflects upon this tradition will not degrade it. Rather, he will so conduct his private life that the public will regard him as an example of stability, fidelity, morality and integrity.
Conduct Toward the Public: The law enforcement officer be mindful of his responsibility to the whole community, shall deal with individuals of the community in a manner calculated to instill respect for its laws and its police service. The law enforcement officer shall conduct his official life in a manner that will inspire confidence and trust.
Attitude Toward Profession: He shall appreciate the importance and responsibility of his office, and hold police work to be an honorable profession rendering valuable service to his community and his country.
The P.A.C.T. Fantasy Football League was formed in 1998 and consisted of 16 teams. The name was taken from the Police And Community Together Unit of the New Rochelle Police Department as 11 of the founding owners were members of the PACT Unit. There were two conferences with 8 teams each. Bill Odell was appointed Commissioner of the National Conference and Neil Reynolds the American Conference. A Super Bowl was held at the end of the season. Bruce Daniele owner of La Maluchia beat Terry Legeret(South Park Cows) in the inaugural game. A quite large trophy was purchased and the winning team and record is inscribed on a plaque and attached to the trophy. A Toilet Bowl (for all teams not making playoffs) was also started. In 1999 the league expanded to 24 teams, 2 Conferences, 3 divisions each, 4 teams per division. Kevin Perri (Po'Perri) defeated Bruce Daniele ( LaMaluchia) in the Super Bowl.. In 2000 the league again expanded, this time to 30 teams. An additional conference was added and Terry Legeret was named Commissioner. A 3 way Super Bowl Game was held with Terry Legeret(South Park Cows) beating Vinny Mirabile(The Cigars) and Jeff Wilson(Buffs Blazers). In 2001 The South Park Cows won their second consectutive Super Bowl beating Tony Colotti(The Throwbacks) and Steve D'Onofrio(The Dawgs). In 2002 John Pastore(The Hangovers) won the Super Bowl beating Evie Geralis(The BallBreakers) and Bob Madden and Jim Sheehys "Blue Fins". In 2003 the league again expanded, this time to 40 teams and an additional conference will be added. The Super Bowl will be returned to it's original format, the two remaining teams
From the new league web site:
The P.A.C.T. Fantasy Football league was formed in 1998 with 16 teams. The league consisted of Police Officers from the New Rochelle, N.Y. Police Department. The League has expanded to 4 Conferences and 40 teams. Each conference has its own on-line website. All teams play a conference schedule with playoff games until two teams are left to play in the PFFL Super Bowl with the winner receiving a engraved trophy and $$$. Teams that do not make the playoffs play in the "Toilet Bowl" a single elimination tournament.
The Police and Community Together Unit (P.A.C.T.) is headed by a Department supervisor (P.A.C.T. Commander) and is comprised of several different units.
Youth Officers handle investigations regarding crimes committed by persons under the age of 16, missing youths, Persons in Need of Supervision(PINS), and other youth related investigations. The Departments Youth Officers administer and teach the D.A.R.E. program within the City.
There are currently 10 beat officers assigned to the P.A.C.T. Unit. These officers are assigned specific beats within the city. Their main function is to interact with members of the community in solving problems related to the community. The Beat Officers also direct their activities towards criminal and quality of life problems on their beats. Beat Officers attend community association meetings, organize community functions involving the police department and the community, develop special projects and interact and assist other units within the Department. Beat officers utilize foot, bicycle,undercover operations and radio car patrol on their beats.
There are currently 2 housing police officers. Their primary area of responsibilities are the Municipal Housing Complexes (Hartley & Bracey Complexes). Their main function is to interact with members of the community in solving problems related to the community. The Housing Officers also direct their activities towards criminal and quality of life . Housing Officers attend community association meetings, organize community functions involving the police department and the community, develop special projects and interact and assist other units within the Department. Housing Officers utilize foot, bicycle,undercover operations and radio car patrol on their beats.
The P.A.C.T. Unit is responsible for maintaining and promoting community relations with the public. Meetings with community leaders, school board officials,local elected representatives,Chamber of Commerce, community crime watches and neighborhood associations are attended on a regular basis by members of the unit.
Problem Oriented Policing
The P.A.C.T. Unit has developed several Problem Oriented Policing projects, among those,the Combat Auto Theft Project, Bicycle Anti-Theft Program and Combat Auto Theft Sticker Registration Program.