This is Part IV in a Series.
The Bonanno lawsuit against Talk of the Sound and WVOX consisted of seven Causes of Action. Those 7 counts can be broken down several ways.
Of those 7 Causes of Action, 6 related to published articles on the Talk of the Sound web site and 1 related to a broadcast of the Talk of the Sound Radio Show on WVOX. Of those 7 Causes of Action, 6 related to Vincent James Bonanno or VJB or “Jimmy” or “Jimmy Senior” or “Big Jimmy” and 1 related to James Vincent Bonanno or JVB or “Little Jimmy”. Of those 7 Causes of Action, 4 of them related to my claim that Bonanno had district employees working under him do work on his girlfriends house in Orange County, 1 related to the death threat on the boat, 2 related to a general statement that Jimmy Bonanno engaged in all manner of corrupt practices. The “Orange County” story was first published on June 23rd, 2011 and was then first discussed on WVOX on the morning of June 24th, 2011. The Death Threat story was published on Talk of the Sound on October 16, 2011. The “all manner of corrupt practices” stories were published on March 30, 2012 and April 27, 2012.
So, to provide a calendar framework for the lawsuit, the Bonannos were suing over articles and a radio broadcast that were published or broadcast between June 23rd, 2011 until April 27, 2012. The lawsuit was filed in June 2012.
There were many exchanges that bordered on absurd. I am going to share a few of them here. Note that throughout the depositions, Bonanno’s lawyer would interrupt, cluttering the transcript with speeches and objections. Unless they have a direct bearing on the exchanges in the transcripts I am editing those out for clarity, where there longer interruptions, those are indicated with break lines like this “===“
In a deposition on September 13, 2013, Jimmy Bonanno testified that he was prescribed Xanax for anxiety brought on by the Talk of the Sound radio show which aired on June 24, 2011 and a story published on the Talk of the Sound web site on June 23, 2011 about Bonanno taking district workers to Orange County to perform work on his girlfriend’s house, a house where he elsewhere testified he had intended to live.
The only problem with these sworn statements is that the prescription was dated June 22, 2013, two days before the radio show aired. Not only was Bonanno contradicting his sworn statements given that day but the claims made in his complaint filed with the New York State Supreme Court to which he swore that he read, understood and knew to be true. Needless to say, the lawyer made mincemeat out of Bonanno’s sworn testimony, something that happened over and over again during his testimony.
Deposition of Vincent James Bonanno by Attorney for WVOX Radio
September 13, 2013
Q. This is a document that was provided by your lawyer. It’s got the Bates No. 7 on it. Can you identify this document?
Q. What is it?
A. This was a prescription for Xanax.
Q. Okay. And does this have anything to do with Mr. Cox’s radio show on WVOX?
A. Yes. To me, it did.
Q. Tell me about that.
A. I was getting real anxious, and I was tired of hearing people, and it just brought it back on. I don’t know why.
Q. So, the radio program on June 24th led you to get this prescription. Is that right?
A. Did you see what they were writing about me? Why do you make a face? I’m trying to answer you honestly.
Q. Don’t answer with a question. Is this prescription…
A. I feel it’s a result from this whole smear campaign against me.
Q. Including the radio program?
Q. Is that right?
Q. So, this is, in part, a consequence of the radio program? Is that your testimony?
Q. Okay. Thank you. What’s the date on this prescription?
Q. All right. That’s two days before the radio program; isn’t it?
A. I don’t know. I don’t know the date of the radio program.
Q. Well, you swore to your complaint. Right?
Q. Read into the record Paragraph 16 that you swore to.
A. Okay. I got it.
Q. Read it out loud, please.
A. “The next day, on June 24th, 2011, defendant Hudson broadcast its radio show starring defendant Cox as its host.”
Q. All right. Do you still swear to the truth of that?
A. I’m, like, confused. I don’t — like you’re confusing me now, so I don’t understand the questions.
Q. What’s confusing about that question? Do you still swear to the truth of that?
A. To this whole —
Q. What you just read, the sentence you just read.
Q. Okay. What’s the date of the prescription?
A. The 22nd.
Q. Is that two days before the radio broadcast?
Q. And one day before his column, right, that you’re suing over. Correct?
A. No, these columns were out before that.
Q. Read Paragraph 10 out loud, please.
A. “On June 23rd, 2011, via his Talk of the Sound website, Defendant Cox published an article entitled ‘No Show Supervisor James Misappropriates School District Employees To Work On Private Homes in Orange County.”
It’s a June 23rd, 2011 article.
Q. Okay. Do you still swear to the truth of that?
Q. And what date was the prescription written?
A. June 22nd.
Q. Okay. So, all your testimony about the prescription being the result of the radio station is false. Isn’t that right?
Q. It’s not false?
Q. Did you testify earlier — and it’s in the record — that the radio station was, in part, a cause of your getting this prescription? And if you’d like, we’ll read back your testimony.
A. I believe I said it was in the whole smear campaign between all the articles that led into the radio show is what I meant.
Q. All right. But not the radio show itself?
A. Yes, I said that.
Q. No, you didn’t.
Q. So, you’re not claiming now — you only have one little claim against my radio client, my radio station client, and that’s the June 24th. What else did my client do to you, other than the June 24th —
A. There was more than one program where he spoke about me. Did you listen to them?
Q. Well, we’ll get to that. I don’t —
A. Well, then you should know if you listened to them.
Q. — was there a program — I’ve asked you this before, but you’re reopening it. Was there a program before June 24th where he talked about you, yes or no?
A. I don’t know.
Q. You don’t know. Okay. Thank you. So, what are you telling me now about the radio station? What did the radio station do to you?
A. They allowed Mr. Cox to do this smear campaign and keep it up on WVOX.
Q. Keep it up. How many times after that?
A. Did you ever hear him on there, screaming and yelling?
Q. One program. Are you talking beyond — I’m asking you whether after the June — you don’t know if you were ever mentioned on VOX before June 24th. Correct?
A. I don’t know.
Q. Right. Were you mentioned after June 24th?
A. I believe so, yes.
A. I don’t remember. I don’t have all my stuff in front of me.
Q. How many times?
A. I don’t remember.
Q. Would VOX have any way of knowing that you were unhappy with the June 24th program?
A. I don’t know.
Q. And that’s because you never complained?
A. You know, if somebody does something bad to me, I don’t want to be like them and be bad back. I just sat back and was taking it all, and it was bothering me.
Q. So, did you assume that it would continue on the radio station?
Q. And did nothing?
A. I didn’t do — did I do nothing?
Q. Yes, did you do anything. Too many negatives. Did you do anything?
Q. You just — you assumed they would do it again, and you let it happen?
A. No. I thought it would go away, but it didn’t.
Q. No. You just said you assumed it would continue.
Q. Did you assume it would continue or did you assume it would go away?
A. I don’t know.
Q. This prescription had nothing whatever to do with the radio program. Is that right?
A. I didn’t say that.
Q. Did the radio program, on June 24th, have anything to do with this prescription, yes or no?
A. I don’t know.
Q. Well, it’s dated two days earlier. How can you not know?
In a deposition on September 13, 2013, Jimmy Bonanno testified that on one occasion he filed a complaint against me for trespassing and swore repeatedly that he only made that one complaint, for trespassing, against me. He claimed that I had trespassed by coming on the Cliff Street yard property in February 2011.
The only problem with these sworn statements is that there are no police records of any trespassing complaint filed against me by anyone, ever, and certainly not Jimmy Bonanno. There were, however, two complaints filed against me in April 2011 for harassment by Jimmy and Little Jimmy. When Bonanno was shown a copy of the complaint he filed with the New Rochelle Police Department he testified that he was familiar with it, that he recognized as a complaint he filed with the New Rochelle Police Department in April, 2012 and this was the only complaint he ever filed. He then proceeded to deny every aspect of the complaints contained in the police report and the circumstances of the complaint. I later subpoenaed Detective Greg Herring of the New Rochelle Police Department who testified under oath that Bonanno had repeatedly lied in his sworn testimony.
What follows is several exchanges on this matter over a period of three different days of depositions.
Deposition of Vincent James Bonanno by Attorney for WVOX Radio
September 13, 2013
Q. All right. I’m going to digress for a minute. Have you ever brought a criminal complaint against Mr. Cox?
Q. How many times?
A. Once when he entered our property without permission.
Q. Which property was that?
A. 51 Cliff Street.
Q. And did you swear out a statement?
A. The police officer that came said a defective would call me and get my side of the complaint, and the detective never contacted me. He only contacted Mr. Cox.
Q. Okay. That visit that you allege that Mr. Cox came on your property, does that relate to any of these articles? Is it the one where he took a picture of the boat?
20 A. Yes.
Q. …How many criminal complaints did you bring against Mr. Cox?
A. Only one.
Q. Only one?
Q. And that had to do with trespassing at Cliff Street?
Q. He says here that you reported to the police that he followed you to Ms. Reyes’ house. Did you ever report that to the police?
Q. Okay. This article says: “Vincent Jimmy Bonanno, the father of James, Little Jimmy Bonanno, recently filed a harassment complaint against Talk of the Sound reporter Robert Cox. The complaint was dismissed as baseless by the Westchester County District Attorney because the actions described in the complaint were not illegal. This is the second such rejected complaint rejected this month. Little Jimmy filed his own complaint last week, which was rejected by the DA n the same grounds.” Now, is it your understanding that the complaint lodged by you had to do with trespassing at 51 Cliff Street?
Q. Okay. The next paragraph says: “On April 2nd, New Rochelle police responded at 7:00 a.m. to 51 Cliff Street based on a complaint made against Robert Cox by Jimmy Bonanno. Like his son, the complaint is based on numerous false statements by Bonanno, Sr.” That refers to the alleged trespassing? Do you know what that refers to?
A. You’re confusing me. You said like his son from the other one.
Q. I’m reading it.
A. The first one you read — why —
Q. I’m reading the second paragraph.
A. The first one you said was by me. Then the second one you just said to me it referred to — you’re just like the son.
Q. Look, it could be Little Jimmy. In the second paragraph, where it starts on April 2nd: “Police responded at 7:00 a.m. to 51 Cliff Street based on a complaint made against Robert Cox by Jimmy Bonanno.” Is that you, do you think, in this sentence?
A. I don’t know.
Q. Right. And then it says: “According to police records obtained by Talk of the Sound, Bonanno told police that Cox followed him to his girlfriend’s house in Orange County and took pictures of Bonanno’s friends working on the house, claiming ‘it was city workers during school time.'” Did you ever tell the police anything like that?
Q. And so, if he has police records, they’re forgeries? He says he has police records. You never told the police anything like that?
Deposition of Vincent James Bonanno by Robert Cox, Pro Se
October 14, 2013
Q. So this is the police complaint that was filed April 2nd, 2012. What number are we up to? I think maybe VJB 24 now — I want to get this marked. (Exhibit VJB 27 was marked for Identification.)
Q. So I’ll give you a chance to take a look at this and then ask if you are familiar at all with this document.
A. (Document review) I’m familiar with it.
Q. So you recognize this as New Rochelle Police Department, it is a report record of a complaint that you filed in April of 2012?
Q. Other than this complaint, had you filed any other complaints with the New Rochelle Police Department about me, Robert Cox?
Q. Okay. Do you recall testifying the other day that you had filed a complaint of trespass against me?
Q. Do you see anywhere on here that it indicates that you filed a trespass complaint against me? Take as much time as you need.
A. I don’t even have to look, I know why it is not on there.
A. The police officer said a detective will come out and speak to me and get my complaint and what it was about, and after maybe two or three weeks, nobody came to see me. I went to the police station, they told me the detective that was handling the case, I went and seen him, he said he spoke to you and he took care of it. I said, “how could you take care of it without even talking to me, I was making the complaint.” He said, “I took care of it. If you are not happy, go to the DA,” and I went to the DA and the DA wouldn’t talk to me. That’s why it is not on there.
Q. Okay, but this date here of April 2nd, is that the date that you met with the police officer to file this complaint?
A. Yes, I was doing it on that day, correct.
Q. Okay. And do you see there at the second row there, it says there is a time indicated of 7:33, where it says report time? It is where the April 2nd, ’12 is, just to the right of it.
A. It is in this paragraph?
Q. It is in the second row right next to the dates and the time?
Q. 7:33, do you see that?
Q. And what do you understand that to indicate?
A. I indicate that it was 7:33.
Q. In the morning or evening?
A. In the morning.
Q. Okay, and are you familiar with the fact that another report was filed that day by your son?
Q. In fact, it is referenced in this document; correct?
Q. So couple of questions about that, one is what time does your workday start?
A. My workday starts at 7:00 a.m.
Q. Okay, and we can bring it up if we have to, but we have the other incident report from your son indicates the time of 7:00, this indicates 7:33, so is it fair to say that 7:33 you are being paid by the district and yet also meeting with the police to file this criminal complaint?
A. No, it doesn’t mean that.
Q. What does it mean?
A. It means that 7:33 I was acting on behalf of New Rochelle School District filing a complaint against somebody who trespassed on school property.
Q. Again, let’s go to the narrative section at the bottom.
Q. Okay, can you just read the whole thing out loud, please, starting with “at approximately.”
A. I can’t see. It is too small. I don’t have my reading glasses on.
Q. Okay. Would it be better if I read out loud to you and you can tell me how I’m doing?
Q. “At approximately 0700 hours” and I’m going to adjust the abbreviations to English “I responded to incident location on a report of past harassment.” Anything in there so far about trespass?
A. I already explained to you, they didn’t tell me —
Q. I’m just saying if you see in this report that there is anything about trespass?
A. I already told you there is nothing in there. I said that before.
Q. Okay. “Upon our arrival I spoke with the comp” — complainant — “who stated that in addition to Bob Cox following the son, he had been following him over the past year,” is that accurate so far?
A. He’s stating that I said that?
Q. This reads I spoke with the complainant who stated that in addition to Bob Cox following his son, he had been following him over the past year?
A. I don’t remember ever saying that to the police officer. All I remember the police officer saying that he would send the detective down to take my complaint and the detective never came.
Q. So are you disputing that this occurred that you told this to the police?
A. Yes, I don’t remember ever saying that. I remember them, again, saying they were going to send a detective down to take the complaint, and I was talking about trespassing on school district property when we clearly have a sign that says no trespassing.
Q. So I’m going to continue. It says — it reads “complainant stated that NI Cox’s actions included following him from New Rochelle to his girlfriend’s house in Orange County last summer and taking pictures of the complainant’s friends working on the girlfriend’s house claiming it was city workers working during school time.” So I’m going to ask you again, are you saying this in your previous statement that you never said that either?
A. I don’t remember saying that. He might have been listening to my son or maybe somebody else there, but again, he told me a detective would come to make the complaint. I had no idea he was writing anything down.
Q. You had no idea he was writing anything down, that’s not quite the same thing as you didn’t say it, so is this something that you said that you didn’t intend for him to write down?
A. I don’t remember saying it.
Q. And then the next line says “complainant stated that during a radio program, NI Cox threatened that he was coming for complainant. Complainant continued to tell me that NI Cox was posting various claims on his website, Talk of the Sound, located at” — I’ll abbreviate, newrochelletalk.com — “including the accusation of the complainant was extorting money from Chris’s Mobile.” So any recollection of telling that to the police officer?
Q. And the next line, it is really the last one for our purposes, “the complainant was advised to keep a log documenting all encounters with NI Cox.” Do you recall being told to do that?
A. I don’t remember that, I remember them telling me a detective was coming down and he never came. They said he would contact me.
Q. And they told you why a detective wasn’t going to come down?
A. I don’t know. The detective told me he spoke to you though, but he didn’t speak to me.
Q. Do you recall the name of the detective?
A. If you say the name, I’ll remember it.
Q. Does the name Greg Herring sound familiar?
A. That’s him.
Q. Okay. And who did you speak to in the District Attorney’s office?
A. The secretary.
Q. And did they give you an explanation as to why they wouldn’t talk to you?
A. They said the DA won’t talk to you.
Q. I understand. No reason given?
A. No explanation.
Q. So are you aware of any other records that would support your claim that you made a trespassing complaint against me?
A. Can you repeat that.
Q. Are you aware of any other records that would indicate that you made a trespassing complaint against me?
A. I think I’m misunderstanding. You mean like proof, like, you were on our property taking pictures?
Q. Like this document, like a record?
A. I have seen no other record.
Q. So you think the police are in the habit of not making records of criminal complaints?
A. I really don’t know their job.
Q. And you think somehow maybe the police officer is just fabricating this narrative that’s in this document?
A. No, I don’t believe that. I said to you my son was there talking, saying a lot of stuff. Maybe it came out of his mouth and he wrote it, but I don’t remember saying any of that to him —
Q. Do you think — sorry go ahead.
A. I was calling to complain about the trespassing on the school property. Q. Right, so you think maybe that’s what you just said, that your son was talking about these things and that the police officer incorrectly ascribed them to you?
A. Both police officers were there at the same time and, I think, I’m not sure if it is the same police officer that did both of them. I guess you’ll know by looking at the signatures of the police officers.
Q. Right, but I guess, I’ll try it this way, was your son saying something like this that they maybe accidentally ascribed it to you?
A. Again, I don’t know. There were a few guys there and they were talking about all the stuff you do and maybe that’s how the cops got it. I called about trespassing and they told me a detective would come and see, and it never happened.
Q. Did your son call them?
A. I don’t know if my son called for himself. I called for myself.
Q. Okay. Just to be clear, right, your son doesn’t have a girlfriend that lives in Orange County; right?
Q. It is not likely he would have been talking about that with the police nearby?
A. There were a few guys and they were all talking. Even the police, they know the stuff you do. So I guess, I don’t know where they got it from, but —
Q. So who was there?
A. I don’t remember.
Q. You just remember that there was some guys there?
A. I remember my son and a couple of guys, but I don’t remember their names.
Q. These guys that were standing around with you and your son and the police officers, they are employees of yours?
A. Yes, they were working in the front yard.
Q. If I said some names, might that help you recollect some of the names —
A. It was a while ago. You can say the names. I don’t have that many workers so I don’t remember exactly who was there or not.
Q. Sal Porretto, was he there?
A. I don’t think Sal was there. I don’t know. It was early. I don’t know.
Q. Phil Rosetti, was he there?
A. I don’t know.
Q. Well, just to nail this down just a little bit here, do you believe or did you ever thought that — I guess I’ll — has it ever been on your mind that I was following you around for any period of time?
A. Absolutely not, never.
Q. Okay. And was it ever something you thought or was on your mind that I followed you up to your girlfriend’s house in Orange County?
A. No, absolutely not.
Q. Okay. So really what you are saying is that the police officers would have just fabricated this report?
A. I’m not saying that. I’m saying the police officer said the detective would come down, take my complaint personally, and I thought he would come, take my complaint and he would make a report. I had no idea they wrote all this stuff and I don’t remember saying any of it.
Q. Right, but didn’t you just testify earlier that you were familiar with this document and you had seen it before?
A. No, I didn’t see this. I saw the one you showed my son.
Q. Yeah, that was his report?
A. Right, but I’ve never seen this one before today.
Q. Again, didn’t you testify right off the top that you were familiar with this document and seen it before?
A. No, I never said that.
Q. Did you ever tell the police that I was taking pictures of your friends up at your house?
Q. And then we’ve already kind of been through it so you knew that I took some pictures up there with Charley Servelli; right?
Q. So were you also there that day?
A. I don’t know when you took it.
Q. I’m basing that on this statement here from the police, which I gather you are saying they just made up. I guess we’ll get to bring the police officers in and we can ask them what their notes say.
Deposition of Detective Greg Herring of the New Rochelle Police Department by Robert Cox, Pro Se
April 8, 2014
Q. Okay. So, I have a couple of documents here that — that I want to enter in. Make sure I’ve got the right one here. So, I have this exhibit, which is — looking for a number here. Well, I don’t know what to call it exactly, but it’s a police incident report dated April 2nd, 2012. (Whereupon, POLICE INCIDENT REPORT DATED 4/2/12 was marked as Defendant’s Exhibit K for identification)
Q. Okay. So, did you get a chance to familiarize yourself with that?
Q. Do you recognize this document?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. Can you tell me what you know about this report.
A. It’s a harassment report from, looks like, April 2nd, 2012.
Q. Okay. And do you recognize the name of the victim in this, Vincent James Bonanno?
Q. What do you know about him?
A. That he made a complaint and this was handed to me by my lieutenant, and I followed it up.
Q. Okay. And, so a few things about this. One is: Did you ever speak to Mr. Bonanno directly?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Okay. Can you tell me about that conversation.
A. I called him in. Once I received the report, I called him in. He came in, and he went over what his complaint was.
Q. Okay. And does this document reflect that discussion —
Q. — what his complaint was?
Q. Did he ever discuss with you trespassing?
A. He — in reference to this report, he made a claim that you had, I guess, harassed him by taking video. I told him, you know, from reading the report and listening to what he had to say and speaking to the district attorney, just to follow up on what I had known, that there was nothing illegal with what you had done, that you were in — there was no — you didn’t violate — you didn’t trespass. You didn’t go to — inside any, you know, private place to take footage. So, I explained that to him. And then thereafter that, I had contacted you and told you the same thing.
Q. Okay. So, did he then pursue the matter any further beyond you?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Did you ever direct him to go speak to the district attorney?
A. I told him — no, because I already told him I spoke to the district attorney, and he agreed with me that there was nothing illegal about it. If he chose to go, then I wouldn’t have any idea he did.
Q. If he testified previously that you told him to go to the DA, that would not be accurate?
A. Not to — no, because I had already spoke to the district attorney about it. I mean, if he did, then he did it on his own. I told him that I already spoke to the district attorney, district attorney agreed with me that there was nothing illegal from what was said in the report and verbal. And that was it, so —
Q. Okay. I just have some notes. I want to refer to them. So, just give me a second to make sure I cover everything I want to cover with you. (Pause in proceedings) So, can you see on here, this report, when this report was taken?
A. This report was taken on the 2nd of April.
Q. Can you see the time?
A. 7:33 in the morning.
Q. And I gather you weren’t present at that time?
Q. Okay. Do you know from this report or from talking to anybody who took this report what was going on down there at this location when — at 51 Cliff Street when they took the report?
A. No, I didn’t speak to anybody in regards to the report. Once I usually get a report, call the complainant in; the complainant comes in, verbalizes, basically, what’s in the report. And from there, I explained to him the situation was dead. It was not illegal. There was nothing — you know, he didn’t — there was nothing, you know, criminal about it. That was basically the end of it.
Q. Okay. And in what capacity, based on this report and your discussions with him, was he reporting this alleged crime or crimes? As an individual? As representing anybody?
A. I believe there were two reports. One was for him, and one was for his son, but representing himself.
. Okay. Did he ever tell you that he was there in the capacity as a representative of the City School District of New Rochelle?
A. He told me he worked for the school district. He didn’t tell me he was representing the school district.
Q. And then — so, the individual — this, I guess, doesn’t indicate — does this indicate the
7 individual officers who took this report?
A. No. No, it does not.
Q. Okay. And is that something that could be determined through police records?
Q. Okay. So, is there — looking at the narrative section, was this already typed up and available when you met with Mr. Bonanno?
Q. Okay. Did he look at it?
A. I did not give it to him. I don’t know if he took — had a copy of his own that he saw, but I didn’t show it to him, other than the fact that it was on my desk.
Q. Okay. Did you recount for him your understanding of what this narrative said?
Q. So, I want to go through that individually, okay? So, if we’re looking at the narrative — if we’re looking at the narrative here, it said that — second sentence it says that “I spoke with the complainant who stated that in addition to Bob Cox following his son, he had been following him over the past year.” Did you discuss his allegation that I had been following him over the past year?
A. I discussed it in reference to his son,because I had the second report in reference to his son. I explained to him — you know, I probably did ask him what did he mean by that. And he reflected back to the report as far as videotapes — videotaping. And from where he said the videotapes came, there was nothing criminal at — you know, from what he was telling me. He was telling me something about his — going over the report — following him from New Rochelle to his girlfriend’s house in Orange County last summer, taking pictures of college friends working on his girlfriend’s house. I explained to him that it was — Orange County is outside our jurisdiction, that there is nothing that’s illegal about — you know, just like what was accused in the other report — on his son’s report, there’s nothing illegal about someone videotaping or taking footage from a public place, and that was basically it. He never claimed any — nothing that he stated fell into the realms of being criminal.
Q. Okay. How long do you think you spent talking to him?
A. Twenty-five minutes, 30 minutes maybe.
Q. And this was mostly the focus of the conversation, this report?
A. Yeah, both reports. Both reports were the same situation. There was nothing illegal.
Q. Did his son accompany him?
A. I would have to go on the report, and I believe his son was — I can’t remember if his son was there. But I remember that I had both reports, and he — from both reports was the same situation, there was nothing criminal whatsoever. If I remember correctly, I think his son was not there. And I explained to him that the same situation — ’cause he had brought up this situation with his son and something, if I remember, that there was video footage of his son driving a Board of Ed vehicle to the methadone clinic on Sickles Avenue. I explained to him there’s nothing illegal, that the footage was taken from a public place. There was no footage inside the methadone clinic and henceforth there was nothing illegal about that act.
Q. Okay. I mean, you’re referring to the article. I asked you personally, do you know that facility yourself?
A. Have I been inside the facility? Yes.
Q. Do you know it at all?
Q. When you say it’s a methadone clinic, you know it to be that personally?
Q. And what goes on there?
A. I know on the basement there is a — let’s put this the right way — a mental health facility. Upstairs there’s a methadone clinic. I don’t know what else — other facilities are inside, but I do know that from working with the two, that there are definitely a methadone clinic and a mental health facility on location.
Q. Okay. So, would it surprise you then if Mr. Bonanno testified that he never said any of the things contained in this report?
A. Yes, because that’s what the report would reflect. That’s what I would talk to him.
Q. Okay. So, to take a few specifically, it would surprise you that if Mr. Bonanno said he never told police that I followed him up to his girlfriend’s house in Orange County?
A. He — that would be a lie.
Q. Okay. Similarly, that on that trip there, that he never told anybody that — told police that I was taking pictures of his friends working on his girlfriend’s house?
A. That would be a lie.
Q. Okay. And how about telling — he never told police — would it surprise you that he has testified that he never told police that I claimed it was city workers working during school time?
A. That would be a lie.
A. Everything that’s in the narrative of this report I went over with him individually. And at no time did he deny that any of these things were not said by him at any given time. He actually discussed each one of them. I explained to him that nothing was illegal. Once again, confirmed that with the district attorney’s office, and told him that.
A. He never mentioned anything that — anything that was in the narrative was either wrong or not put in correctly or misrepresented.
Q. Is it possible that somehow the officers or you who either created this report or were discussing with Mr. Bonanno confused the information, that this information actually was provided by the son, not by the father?
A. As far as the report goes, I don’t know. I didn’t write this report. So, I don’t know who — if the son was present when this report — or the information came from the son. I just follow up on the report. And so I wouldn’t know — I would assume, because the son’s name is not on this report, that the son had nothing to say about it. But that’s an assumption on my behalf, because usually in police reports if there’s another person, such as the son, his name would be there.
Q. Okay. And he never mentioned to you that this information may have come from his son, not from him?
For this installment in our story, I will share one more series of exchanges.
Willie Clark is a district employee who worked under Bonanno in the Grounds Maintenance department. He is one of the four district employees that Bonanno testified went to Orange County and worked, for no pay, on at least three different days, on a house owned by Heidi Reyes. Bonanno testified that she had been his girlfriend and that he had intended to move into the house with her.
On September 13, 2013, Bonanno testifies under oath that Clark is a personal friend, that he grew up with him and that they are such good friends that Clark is willing not only to work for free on Jimmy’s girlfriend’s house in Orange County but he is willing to use up his paid vacation days in order to do so. He also testifies that he has seen an article published on Talk of the Sound on October 23, 2012 about the arrest and conviction of Willie Clark on various assault charges. Bonanno testifies that he made photocopies of the article. He testifies that he knows Willie Clark was arrested at night, when he was not working for the district. He testifies that the arrest involved three college students.
Bonanno recalls there was a question of whether the school district had allowed Clark to return to work but cannot recall if the district allowed him to come back to work before or after the district got a copy of the police report on the incident. This statement would appear to contradict a previously given sworn statement that Clark was not suspended as a result of the assault incident.
On October 14th, 2013, Bonanno testifies under oath that he did testify previously that he did not know that Willie Clark was a convicted criminal. But he also testifies that he did recall the Talk of the Sound article published on October 23, 2012, one that he had read and made photocopies of which states that Clark was a convicted criminal.
Deposition of Vincent James Bonanno by WVOX Attorney
September 13, 2013
Q. Do you know the name Willie Clark? You just mentioned the name Willie Clark.
Q. Did he ever work on Ms. Reyes’ house?
Q. Just the one Saturday that you mentioned?
A. Yes. He helped clean up the — you know, we ripped up some floor. He helped load it in a container.
Q. Who paid them? Did anyone pay them?
A. No pay.
Q. They did it for the fun of it on their Saturday?
A. I grew up with these guys. We all help each other. We don’t take money from each other.
Q. You grew up with Willie Clark?
A. Yes. He went to school with my ex-wife. I knew him a long time.
Q. All right. Take — please, take a look at the article that’s dated October 23, 2012, picture of Willie Clark. Do you see that?
Q. Have you ever seen this before?
Q. When did you see it before?
A. This is one of the articles where he wrote I’m in every article, I’m in this article, so I sent copies to my lawyer.
Q. All right. Let’s go ahead to October 23, 2012. And there’s an article about Willie Clark. Correct?
He works for you. Correct?
Q. He worked for you when he got arrested?
A. He wasn’t working. He was off. It was at night.
Q. Well, during this time period, during the week in which he got arrested, he worked for you?
Q. And this article says: “Talk of the Sound learned of the arrest several weeks ago in relation to an investigation of James Vincent Bonanno, subsequent to a lawsuit filed by Bonanno and his son against Robert Cox, managing editor of Talk of the Sound and Hudson-Westchester radio, owners of WVOX 1460 AM. Sources tell Talk of the Sound that Bonanno was aware of Clark’s arrest, allowed Clark to leave work to attend the criminal case against him, and failed to report the arrest to his superiors.” That’s what it says. I have a question. Do you dispute that sources told Cox that?
A. I misunderstand that. I don’t know where he got it from, but it never happened. I never knew City Hall was notified by Mr. Clark himself when he got arrested. I didn’t know he got arrested.
Q. Was he ever suspended from work?
A. Not to my knowledge he wasn’t.
Q. He continued to work for you on your crew?
A. Yes, I believe so. I’m not sure.
Q. What part of that aren’t you sure of?
A. Well, I don’t remember if they waited until they got a police report on the incident before they let him come back to work. You’d have to check with civil service. They’ll know more about it.
Q. Do you have any memory of his not showing up for work at this —
A. I don’t remember.
Q. — at or about the time he got arrested?
A. No, I don’t remember.
Q. And it says here: “Clark was one of the district employees sent by Bonanno to Orange County to work on the home of Heidi Reyes, Bonanno’s girlfriend, on school district time.” Is any of that accurate?
A. No, it’s not accurate.
Q. Clark did go up to the house?
A. You said on school district time.
Q. I said is any of it accurate. Did Clark go up to the house?
A. I told you he did already.
Q. Yes, okay. And that’s because you asked him to do you a favor? Right.
Q. For no money?
A. Don’t you have friends? Don’t your friends help each other? That’s what real friends do. Are you not aware of that in life? We help each other, our friends.
Q. By the way, Willie Clark is now on probation?
A. I don’t know that.
Q. You don’t know that?
Q. He still works for you?
Q. Do you know if he’s a convicted criminal?
A. I don’t know that.
Deposition of Vincent James Bonanno by Robert Cox, Pro Se
October 14, 2013
Q. Did you read the article that I wrote about Willie Clark?
A. I don’t remember reading it now.
Q. You remember copying it?
A. No, I remember telling you I remember it involved 3 college students, that’s all I remember telling you.
Q. And you remember what his interaction was with these college students?
A. All I heard was a girl hit him over the head with a glass or something. I really didn’t — this is none of my business. I found all this out way after the incident.
Q. So let’s talk about Willie Clark for a little bit. You recall testifying the other day that you did not know that Willie Clark was a convicted criminal?
Q. So would it surprise you to know that he’s currently on probation?
A. Have no idea about Willie Clark. I don’t know none of his personal business.
Q. So would it be surprise you to know that he was on probation?
A. I don’t know what you mean surprise me, it is his personal business. I don’t know about it. You are telling me now.
Q. Okay. Are you required to sign any documents on behalf of Willie Clark with the office of probation or any other government agency regarding his probation or employment?
Q. Do you recall testifying that Willie Clark was arrested at night?
A. I don’t remember saying that, but I know he got in a fight or something, yes.
Q. Well, to my question, do you know anything about him being arrested at night?
Q. So you never testified to that?
A. Your question is a little confusing. I don’t remember what I testified. At the time he got arrested, I didn’t know.
Q. Well, what you testified was the truth; right?
A. Yes, everything I told has been the truth.
Q. So I can pull it up, but you recall we actually looked at a story about Willie Clark being arrested; do you recall that?
Q. Okay. So do you now know that he was, in fact, arrested?
A. I know from your stories and from gossip, but nobody from the school district has ever told me anything as far as City Hall.
Q. How about Willie Clark himself, has he ever talked to you about it?
Q. Did he ever ask you for any time off so he can go to court?
That’s enough for this installment. Next up, we’ll have a few more moments with the Jimmy Bonanno depositions before moving on to the Little Jimmy depositions.