U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee Robert L. Geltzer has ordered Don Coqui restaurant in New Rochelle, formerly known as MacMenamin’s Grill, to be shut down, the Journal News is reporting. Brian MacMenamin, the owner, brought in an investor group led by famed New York City restaurateur Jimmy Rodriguez after filing for bankruptcy last fall. Talk of the Sound has been reporting on questions that have been raised about business dealings between the City School District of New Rochelle and MacMenamin’s Grill since last fall: School Board Erupts When Questioned About MacMenamin’s Deal. In June 2008, the New York State Comptroller issued a report on the Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities for the City School District of New Rochelle for the period July 1, 2006 to September 26, 2007. The report criticized the district for many reasons related to not having proper financial controls in place including inadequate policies related to procurement and specifically cited the purchase of services from MacMenamin’s Grill.
Further investigation by Talk of the Sound revealed that the deal was not simply a no-bid contract but that there was no contract at all. Copies of invoices from and checks paid to MacMenamin’s Grill provided no details as to the purpose of the disbursements beyond line items such as “cooking class”. The School District has, so far, declined to respond to further requests for information.
Robert L. Geltzer was the trustee who brought a lawsuit against Dana Giacchetto, a convicted swindler who once managed money for Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Edward Burns, Cameron Diaz, Tobey Maguire, Heather Graham, and Leonardo DiCaprio.