Vito Costa, a former employees of the Buildings and Grounds department of the City School District of New Rochelle, was sentenced Wednesday to three years probation after keeping his nose clean over the past year and paying $30,000 in restitution at sentencing. Costa had been on interim probation for the past year. Under terms of his guilty plea last fall he was sentenced just on the misdemeanor charge of falsifying business records.
Last year Talk of the Sound reported on Costa's guilty plea.
Costa plead guilty on April 7, 2010 to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree and received Interim Probation. Costa will be re-sentenced on April 6, 2011 on the misdemeanor charge of Falsifying Billing Records, according to Westchester District Attorney Director of Communications Lucian Chalfen. Costa's conduct over the next year will play a large role in the sentencing.Read more
Talk of the Sound has confirmed that a key statement by Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak in the wake of the arrest of Jose Martinez was false. Martinez was arrested by New Rochelle police for sexual molestation of a 14-year old student at Isaac E. Young Middle School on March 24th. The following day, Organisciak issued the following statement.
Statement from Richard Organisciak, Superintendent of Schools
March 25, 2011
We are deeply concerned about the allegations that have been made against Assistant Principal, Jose Martinez. The safety and welfare of our students remains our priority.
Mr. Martinez was hired by the district in 2007 as Administrative Dean at Isaac E. Young Middle School. He was provided with clearance to work in the school district after passing the normal State criminal fingerprinting check. There had been no record of complaints from students or staff about Mr. Martinez.
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a Superseding Indictment in the case involving Forest City projects in Brooklyn including the Atlantic Yards project. Forest City is the developer of the Echo Bay Project in New Rochelle.
An eleven-count Superseding Indictment was filed today charging New York State Senator Carl Kruger, New York State Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr., former MediSys Health Network Chief Executive Officer David Rosen, and five other defendants with bribery, fraud, and other federal corruption crimes. Lobbyist Richard Lipsky, real estate developer Aaron Malinsky, health care consultant Solomon Kalish, former Chief Executive Officer of Parkway Hospital, Robert Aquino, and Michael Turano, a Manhattan-based gynecologist are also named. The defendants were originally charged in a three-count Complaint on March 10, 2011, and Rosen was subsequently indicted on March 31. With today’s Superseding Indictment, all eight defendants are now charged in a single Indictment. The defendants will be arraigned before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff on April 11, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. in Manhattan federal court.Read more
In a case that set of alarm bells all over Southern Westchester, Paula Izurieta, 30, of 17 Smart Street in Yonkers was convicted yesterday in New York State Supreme Court in New City, NY on all charges stemming from a burglary at the home of Richard Serpico, a Congers resident, 33 years old at the time of his death, who was killed in a motorcycle crash the weekend before the burglary occurred. Izurieta was convicted of two counts of Burglary-2nd Degree, both felonies.
Izurieta was arrested along with Ivan Murat on July 18, 2010 at the dead man's home. According to police they were taking everything out of the victims house including towels and even his bathing suits.Read more
Ten to fifteen supporters of Jose Martinez, the former Assistant Principal at Jefferson Elementary is scheduled to appear in the New Rochelle City Court today. After waiting for more than two hours to see Martinez, Judge Susan Kettner adjourned until 2:45 p.m.
UPDATE: Martinez' attorney waived his right to appear. Attorney Robert Marcus told Judge Susan Kettner that his client was in holding but did not wish to appear before the Judge. The next appearance date was set for April 15th. Marcus indicated that he was going to see a reduction in bail.Read more
Iona College has issues the following statement:
It is our understanding that Iona College’s former chief financial officer plead guilty today to federal fraud charges. As we have previously stated, the College took all proper actions in this situation when it was discovered almost two years ago and the majority of the missing funds were recovered. New procedures are in place to safeguard against a similar situation.
The court decided today to seek additional information from the individual and to proceed with the sentencing phase at a later date.Read more
Marie E. Thornton, 63, pled guilty to embezzlement from an organization that receives federal funds, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today. The conviction carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The Information also seeks forfeiture of all proceeds of the offense. Thornton is scheduled to be sentenced before the Honorable Kimba M. Wood on May 13, 2011.
Thornton, the former Vice President of Finance for Iona College, pled guilty today for embezzling more than $850,000 from the college. Thornton pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin N. Fox.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: "This is a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house. Marie Thornton was entrusted with the financial well-being of Iona College, but instead, she abused her access to cook the books and line her own pockets."Read more
After a wild chase liveblogged on Talk on the Sound involving police from New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Eastchester, and Bronxville police departments and the Westchester County Police as well as helicopters and K-9 units, Lance Baptiste, 32, of Waterbury, Conn., and Eddie Torres, 25, of Davidson Avenue, Bronx, were each charged today in US District Court in White Plains with Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Distribute.
The multi-agency Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force has joined the investigation and the two suspects will be prosecuted in Federal Court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Federal agents and local police, including detectives from the County Police, serve on the DEA Task Force.Read more