Jack Wagner told Talk of the Sound he formally withdrew his name as a candidate for New Rochelle School Board earlier today following our exclusive report yesterday on his decision to step aside in the wake of a whisper campaign organized by supporters of his opponents for school board.
Wagner left the race after deciding there was no time this close to the election on May 19th to sufficiently explain the context for the consent decree and that his continued presence in the race would draw votes away from Vincent Malfetano the only remaining candidate with the support and name recognition with a good shot to defeat long-time candidate Deidre Polow.
A consensus has developed among many New Rochelle political observers that Ms. Polow created an opening for a challenger to take her seat following a disastrous, hostility-laced performance at the League of Women Voters forum at the New Rochelle Public Library on Monday. Many expect Vincent Malfetano will pick up much of Dr. Wagner’s support based on Malfetano’s call for an embrace of good government principles. He has called for greater transparency and fiscal responsibility.
As the only candidate supporting a “no” vote on the school budget this year, Malfetano should benefit from the expected rise in “no” votes on this year’s school budget from voters suffering as a result of the economic downturn and those unhappy with the poor leadership of the school district by Superintendent Richard Organisciak.
In response to our story yesterday, Wagner provided some context for the patient at the heart of the consent agreement. Wagner wrote:
My surgical practice at Montefiore was primarily taking high-risk cases referred to me from other surgeons. In this case, the patient involved was a 92 year old woman who had a DNR order which means not to resuscitate her if she has a heart attack or pulmonary embolus or stroke, etc. It does not mean do not treat for an illness. This lady had a cancer of the upper end of the stomach and esophagus that prevented her from even swallowing saliva. Consent was obtained from her health care proxy.
Most importantly, I was not the doctor who performed the trans-thoracic esophagogastrectomy (removal of the stomach and esophagus through the chest), which was the operation immediately preceding this 92 year old lady’s demise. The surgery was performed by Dr. Stanley Fell.
OPMC refused a delay of my initial hearing in order to permit me to have cataract surgery and the hearing was held “in absentia”. I agreed to enter into the consent decree with OPMC on the advice of my attorney who informed me that going to trial would cost in the neighborhood of $100,000, and that the decree would be a confidential way of handling the matter. OPMC insisted that I plead “no contest” to the charges in this case although I was not the operating surgeon.
Talk of the Sound sought comment on Dr. Wagner’s withdrwal from Deidre Polow, Jeff Hastie, and Vincent Malfetano. TOS did not have contact information for Kenneth Chorzewski.
Deidre Polow and Jeff Hastie whose supporters are widely believed to be the operatives behind the political hit job declined comment.
Vincent Malfetano issued a statement to Talk of the Sound:
I am sorry to hear of Dr. Wagner’s withdrawal form the school board race. The issues he has raised in this election should be addressed and the public should not be distracted from its task of selecting independent persons with new ideas to help our children and our schools become better without bankrupting the taxpayers. I am sure that there are powerful forces within our community affraid of change to the status quo and will leave no stone unturned to keep control of the School Board and will use any method to discourage any challenge to their power. Digging for dirt to damage people and silence opposition is the dirty politics of the past we need to get away from in our community. I should live so long. I wish Dr. Wagner all the best.
School District Hack Aman Ali of the Journal News has a story up on lohud in which he fails to credit Talk of the Sound.
A former doctor running for school board in the district has withdrawn his name from the race after admitting the state required him to stop practicing medicine in 2000 because of gross misconduct, The Journal News has learned.
Yeah, by reading Talk of the Sound! Heh!