The Journal News has significantly advanced the "Sister Susie" story and even credited Talk of the Sound and the Chronicle of Higher Education for first reporting the story.
Having been critical of the Journal News last week -- online and over the WVOX airwaves -- Talk of the Sound wants to credit the Journal News and their reporters -- Jonathon Bandler, Aman Ali and Noreen O'Donnell -- for what has become a full court press. The story now has the makings of becoming a national news story. The off-handed comment by former Iona College Coach Jeff Ruland that "Sister Susie" had "absconded with some funds or something down to Atlantic City" may prove irresistible to the national media. A question that may be asked was whether Sister Susie was betting on sports and in particular Iona College men's basketball.
Here are some of they key points developed by the Journal News over the past week:Read more
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (October 27, 2010) On May 26, 2009, it had been brought to my attention that a senior school official was involved in misappropriation of funds. That senior official was immediately terminated. The College continued to act swiftly. On June 5th, forensic accountants were brought in to investigate allegations of waste, fraud and abuse.
An exhaustive investigation was conducted over 6 months by experts in criminal investigations, forensic accounting and computer forensics. The investigation included interviews of Iona personnel and outside vendors. In addition, forensic analysis was conducted in a manner that identified the theft, how it occurred and whether other individuals were involved. Based on the firm’s findings, the College implemented additional procedures in order to safeguard against another situation. The College complied with regulatory reporting requirements.
Please rest assured that the College recovered a major amount of its loss.
Appropriate personnel actions were taken in accordance with our human resources practices. As per college policy, we do not discuss specific details of personnel matters.
Talk of the Sound has confirmed from multiple sources with direct knowledge of the matter that Sister Marie Thornton is the person fired by the college of using a college credit card to make personal purchases and writing college checks for her own benefit. A subordinate was also fired when college officials learned that the subordinate had approved purchases and checks at the direction of "Sister Susie" as Sister Marie Thornton was known, sources tell Talk of the Sound. An initial report by the Chronicle for Higher Education indicated that amount the college claimed stolen was about $80,000 over 10 years or about $800,000 but sources tell Talk of the Sound the figure is likely far higher.Read more
IEYMS Web page
Two weeks ago, I received three calls from IEYMS parents who ventured into the nred.org site looking to find IEYMS’ web page. When they found it, they noticed it had little to no information. One parent, out of curiosity, went to the Albert Leonard Middle School site and noticed a slew of up to date and useful information on current after-school activities, teacher’s schedule of when students could seek help and much more. I then sent a note to Mr. Bongo and the Board members encouraging them to update the IEYMS web page. I figure they must have this information already and someone could easily populate the site. Mr. Bongo responded to me the next day indicating that he would look into it. Another day passed, I wrote the Board of Ed and suggested they get on this since little things become big things. No response. I guess I have no influence anymore. A week later, the site remains empty, yet ALMS continues to update their site with vivid colors and much appreciated information for students and parents.
So if you go to the IEYMS school site you will notice the following:
• Parent Support site is empty of any information and was created in January 13, 2009;
• Pupil Services is also empty of any information as it has been since January 13, 2009;
The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that Iona College fired two employees after one stole $800,000 over a ten year period and the other helped try to cover up the fraud.
The Roman Catholic college reported on its 2008-9 Internal Revenue Service tax forms that an unnamed employee fraudulently misappropriated $80,000 per year for approximately 10 years. The employee obtained the money though a series of small-dollar transactions, approving a college credit card for personal use and fraudulently signing checks...Iona discovered the transactions during the 2009 fiscal year, and the employee was terminated after the matter was brought to the attention of Brother James A. Liguori, the college's president. Following an investigation, another employee thought to be involved in covering up the fraud was also fired.
When the New Rochelle Board of Education met on September 28, 2010 at Isaac E. Young Middle School to discuss the high school graduation rates, the definition of drop-out was requested. Susan Yom clarified that all students are included as "still enrolled." It was suggested the actual rate could be 2.6% or 4%. It was mentioned that GED's (General Equivalency Diplomas) are included as "still enrolled" at New Rochelle High School. The Superintendent of Schools, Richard Organisciak, added, "You are obligated to keep a child until he or she is at least 17 years old." However, the power point presentation on high school graduation rates titled, "Pathways to Graduation - Middle Schools." highlighted the much higher rate of students who had not graduated in four years.Read more
We decided to create this post as compilation piece on the climate of depraved indifference ever present at Isaac E. Young Middle School. This culture is ignored and tolerated and by default fostered and promoted by the Board of Education of the City School District of New Rochelle. The culture at Isaac E. Young is such that it endangers the moral, physical, emotional and psychological safety of children and other members of its community. We decided to utilize the institutional history and perspective recorded on Talk of the Sound to discuss and highlight this point. Our approach is simply a layperson’s approach to this legal concept.Read more
On Friday, October 1st, Iona Prep received a visit from the family of John Lance Geoghegan '59. After graduating from the Prep, John entered Pennsylvania Military Academy and later fought in the Vietnam War, where he was killed in battle. John's life was depicted in the book, We Were Soldiers Once...and Young. John's wife, Barbara and daughter, Cammie toured Iona Prep and visited the class of history department chair, Mr. Frank Conroy '75. Barbara and Cammie, who live in Virginia, returned to the area because John was being inducted into the Pelham Hall of Honor. Mr. Conroy attended the ceremony and spoke on behalf of Iona Prep.
Wikipedia: Born in Pelham, New York, Geoghegan was the only son of John J. and Camille D. Geoghegan. He married Barbara Weathers Geoghegan on June 13, 1964, and their daughter, Camille Ann Geoghegan, was born on June 8, 1965.