NEW ROCHELLE, NY — State investigators were on scene today at the Davis Elementary School in New Rochelle, NY as part of an ongoing investigation of an asbestos exposure incident last July.
Three state investigators inspected Davis school. They were escorted through and around the school by John Gallagher, a consultant from Aramark who holds the school district title of Director of Environmental Services.
The asbestos exposure incident came to light as a result of a Talk of the Sound investigation. Inquires by Talk of the Sound to the New York State Department of Labor Asbestos Control Bureau, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Department of Education resulted in the DOL and DEC launching their own investigations.
Jennifer Krinsky, a spokesperson for the NYS Department of Labor, confirmed the investigation is ongoing but declined further comment.
Sources tell Talk of the sound that Gallagher has been implicated along with George Wood, a plumbing contractor hired by the District and working under Gallagher, as being responsible for the allegedly illegal removal, transportation and disposal of hazardous materials — asbestos fibers contained in floor tiles that were improperly removed from the principal’s office and main office at Davis School.
Any case brought as a result of the incident might involve county, state or federal prosecutors. There are criminal state statutes that could result in jail time but the most likely outcome would be large fines. The district would be in violation of AHERA, a federal law, for failing to notify those in the building of an asbestos exposure building.
The New Rochelle Board of Education commissioned an internal investigation by their outside counsel, Jeffrey Kehl. Past being prologue (recall the promised and then never-delivered Jose Martinez “investigation”) this will be a whitewash, amounting to nothing and not likely ever mentioned publicly.
Past Reporting by Talk of the Sound