TOTS Report’s Notebook: January 30, 2015

Written By: TOTS Reporter's Notebook
VIP in the Deep End of the Pool
The City of New Rochelle is pursuing legal action against the VIP Country Club on Davenport Neck after it sold tickets to a New Year’s Eve Party hosted by DJ Serg. It is illegal to sell tickets for a public event held at one of the Davenport beach clubs.
The VIP Country Club is incorporated as The Aqua Club, Inc., owned by Michael Morelli. 
The City learned of the event from advertising online (DJ Serg was promoting the event on this Facebook page, among other things). An undercover City employee went to the club, purchased tickets and documented various violations which became part of an injunction filed by the City in New Rochelle City Court.
Morelli did not return calls by Talk of the Sound.
All Lives Matter Rally Went Ahead Despite Pleas from City Officials to Wait until after NYPD Police Officer Funeral
City officials including City Manager Charles B. Strome, Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll and Mayor Noam Bramson, along with representatives of the New Rochelle PBA attended a meeting on December 23rd at the New York Covent Church in New Rochelle. The meeting was called to convince organizers of an “All Lives Matter” rally scheduled for Sunday December 28th to postpone the rally until after the funeral of NYPD Police Officer Wenjian Liu.
Pastors from 7 churches attended. Most were willing to wait but two organizers — Pastor DeQuiny Hentz of Shiloh Baptist Church and David Peters of New Rochelle Against Racism argued against postponing the event. Their position carried the day and the event proceeded over the objections of Strome, Carroll and the PBA leadership. Outgoing PBA President Ray Andoline was especially outspoken and critical of the decision to go forward.
That’s A Lot of Ribs
The DoubleRQ Freestyle BBQ was shut down after the owners discovered that approximately $200,000 was diverted by an employee after a Groupon account was set up to sell meals at the restaurant. No charges were filed. The employee reportedly left the country. Efforts to reach the former owners were unsuccessful.
District Buildings & Grounds Employees Called on the Carpet
At least five New Rochelle Board of Education employees received letters isntructing them to appear at City Hall, with legal representation, to discuss matters pertaining to an ongoing corruption investigation. James Bonanno, Sr. (a working-foreman in the grounds department), Anthony Raffa (plumber), Werner Graefe (locksmith), Louis Apicella (painter) and James Bonanno, Jr. (a delivery van driver) have been the subject of an investigation by Vigilant Resources International that began last spring. The five are part of a group of approxinately two dozen cases files developed by VRI.
Changing of the Guard at New Rochelle Industrial Development Agency
Former District 6 Council Member Marianne Sussman will chair her last meeting of the New Rochelle IDA next month. Sussman had occupied an IDA seat normally reserved for a member of City Council. Sussman retired from City Council in 2011 but remained on the IDA. She will be replaced by District 4 Council Member Ivar Hyden.
New Rochelle Coucil Member Proposes Police Wear Body Cameras
At the City Council meeting on January 13th, DIstrict 3 Council Member Jared Rice proposed that the New Rochelle Police Department consider outfitting officers with body cameras. The suggestion was dismissed out of hand by Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll. Talk of the Sound predicted over a month ago that Rice’s recent anti-police tirades on social media included an agenda to require police in New Rochelle to wear body cameras.