New Rochelle Board of Education: Criminal Enterprise Masquerading as an Educational Institution – Part XIV

Written By: Robert Cox

This is Part XIV in Series.

This series has generated phone calls, emails and letters dropped in my mailbox asking why I did not say this or that about various persons. Simple, it only seems like I know everything. I rely on sources to provide information so if you provide it I can do something with it. So let me take a breather from recounting my experiences of gathering information over the past few years to share with readers the updates I have been getting since this series first started to run.

My publication of information provided to the district by Patrick Clark generated a new letter from Clark dated February 14, 2015. In the letter Clark raises questions about Scott Empara’s electrical license. Clark asks whether he took the test and got the license properly or whether he paid his “buddy” Bobby Chute of New Rochelle Electric who was “on the board about the time people were buying them before it went to the County”. Clark says that Chute was partners with Bruce Mogavero  that Mogavero was Scott Empara’s lawyer and “best friend” at the time. Clark mentions a company called Sha-Ro construction where he says Empara had 4 or 5 jobs. He is making the point that Empara was moved around by his bosses because he was not a good worker and, more to the point, Empara was unable to get the required 11.5 years of experience as an apprentice and electrician to qualify as a master electrician.

“I’m sure the electrical board would like to know about this,” says Clark. “He’s definitely not smart enough or fast enough to take the test.” I take that to mean that he is not smart enough to complete the test and pass it.

Clark says “no one new (sic) about the time stealing he did and still does whatever he wants, he is already telling everybody that these new assholes can’t catch him on anything because he left no paper trail. He took his boat out of the upper harbor because he got caught going there during work time so he moved it to the lower harbor so nobody would see him but several people have seen him during break time.

I had mentioned that Empara owned property in Gilbao, NY. Clark states that Empara bought a 130-acre property in Cairo, NY for about $250,000 to $300,000. Without an address, I was left to check the tax roll in Cairo but did not find any “Empara” owning property but if this was a new transaction it might not be updated. I also checked the Greene County online property tax database without success.

Clark states that the property was bought with “all the money he made on fake compensation cases, about $150,000 from what I’m told”. Clark says “he used to give all the winnings to Bruce Magavero to hide it from his then-wife Judy Badillo. Clark says “Bruce spent the money” and Empara “had to go to the DA to get his money back” and adds “all during work time, of course”.

I put in a call to the DA’s office to check on this and was able to determine that Bruce Mogavero of 41 Longview Drive, Eastchester, New York did plead guilty to two counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, class “C” Felonies and one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony. He was disbarred. A press release from the DA’s office states that Mogavero stole approximately $270,000 out of an escrow account related to a house sale, stole $82,700 in a similar manner from another client and stole money from nine additional individuals while he was either serving as an attorney for the individuals or as an attorney involved in a transaction or proceeding involving the individuals. It seems plausible that Scott Empara was one of the “nine additional individuals”.

Another reader called to say that Scott Empara’s son attends Albert Leonard Middle School, that his locker was raised, that he was selling drugs and condoms to students.

I have previously written about William J. Stump of NJB Security Services Inc. in Mount Vernon. He was the Executive Director of the Airport Security Council, a security agency for airports in the New York region partly financed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Stump set up and ran the airport’s crime-prevention program up until the time he was arrested by federal agents for fraud and embezzlement. An audit showed that Stump wrote checks on a council bank account and used a council credit card to pay personal expenses. He misappropriated $50,000 to buy lingerie from Victoria’s Secret and other personal items including personal vacations, plumbing repairs and cigars. 

Another update I received from a reader who has been following the series is that the maiden name of Jimmy Bonanno’s ex-wife Carole is Stump. In fact, she is now on Facebook going as Carole Stump-Bonanno. William J. Stump is the brother of Carole Stump-Bonanno, the ex-brother-in-law of Jimmy Bonanno, the uncle of Little Jimmy Bonanno. Stump is the guy at NJB Security Services Inc. I was told was effectively selling licenses to security guards in New Rochelle who had “dirty fingerprints” or were too dumb to pass a security licensing test. Stump is the guy who ran the Airport Security Council for the Port Authority but was arrested for embezzling $50,000 to buy lingerie from Victoria’s Secret and other personal items including personal vacations, plumbing repairs and cigars. Stump was charged with five counts of mail fraud and one count of credit card fraud. As part of a plea deal, he resigned his post, reimbursed the Airport Security Council for $44,000 and plead guilty to the two charges in Federal District Court. There was a plan at one time for the district to contract out running security in New Rochelle to NJB, where NJB would hire Bruce Daniele to get around the 211 waiver issues where the district was filing phony waivers to allow Daniele to get his full police pension and earn a full salary (plus overtime and various stipends) in violation of New York State law. The Stump family grew up at 24 Ronalds Avenue (Carole and Jimmy bought the house from her parents and then Jimmy got the house after he and Carole divorced). And of course this is all a few doors down the street from 5 Ronalds Avenue where Carole’s friend Laura DiBuono, the payroll clerk for the New Rochelle Board of Education, raised her family including Stephanie DiBuono who in 2009 was aiding her then-boyfriend Andrew Zayac, a drug-dealing associate of Louis Apicella, a painter for the New Rochelle Board of Education, by storing 68 pounds of marijuana at 5 Ronalds Avenue that Zayac had stolen from a Bronx drug dealer after kidnapping and murdering him. You can’t make this stuff up.

Speaking of Bruce Daniele, I had some complaints for failing to mention that Daniele has two security guards — Tonya Rhett and Carol Bruzzese that do not stand post but basically work as Daniele’s clerical staff including a good deal of time dealing with the various sports teams Daniele coaches. Carol Bruzzese is the sister-in-law of Ellen Bruzzese, the purchasing manager for the district whom I have written about in the past.

I also got a call that Nancy O’Neill a security guard at Isaac E. Young Middle School was sent home in the last week or two for pushing a student off a chair.

I also got a bunch of angry emails from Vinnie Mirabile who was upset that in my longer security article I had implied he was fired as a security guard at Isaac and that I did not tell the truth. To address Mirabile’s concerns, let me clarify that Mirabile was not fired but rather resigned his position as a security guard. I hope that satisfies him on that point. In the interest of further addressing Mirabile’s concerns that I “tell the truth” let me add what I neglected to mention originally — that Mirabile was called to City Hall to meet with Joe Williams to discuss a video tape which showed Mirabile assaulting a student in the lunch room, specifically grabbing him by the neck. Mirabile claimed that the student assaulted him first. Unfortunately for him, there was no video that supported Mirabile’s account and so he was offered the opportunity to resign rather than face termination. The bigger question is why were the police not called and/or the matter referred to Child Protective Services but readers already know the answer to that question.

Several people complained to me about Kyle Minichino of Aramark — both people above and below him within the district. He is part of the new management team from Aramark that was ostensibly brought in to clean things up. The complaints are that he is really no different than the people that came before him and that he has “settled in” – gotten too close to the people he is supposed to manage and that he is maintaining the status quo (not a compliment). As I already mentioned, I work for tips! So, if readers have any actionable information about Kyle Minichino please drop me a line.

On the athletic department article I just ran, I got feedback already. One knowledgeable insider to told me that to be fair, Athletic Director Steve Young inherited a corrupt system he did not create it (his predecessor John Magnotta is another story). The problem is that he has not done anything about it either. This person told me that no one is tracking all the money sloshing around in the Athletic Department which includes money that comes in from tournament fees (when New Rochelle hosts a tournament like the Shoreline Wrestling Tournament), food and drink sales at events, and various sports camps either run using direct facilities or run by coaches and faculty members or both. For example, this reader said that Coach DeRienzo runs a football camp where checks are made payable to cash or DeRienzo personally. If this is true that raises a host of other considerations like tax fraud. It is widely know that DeRienzo is paid to teach Physical Education classes but is rarely seen doing so. I wrote several times about Theodore Washington, one of DeRienzo’s coaches who was placed in all sorts of odd positions like being paid $40 an hour to be a lifeguard at New Rochelle High School (even David Lacher had trouble swallowing that one, he said that at $40 an hour HE wanted the position). I recently wrote about Alex Smith, a security guard at the high school who spends his time watching movies while on post, who is “protected” because he works the “chain gang” during football games.

I also got a call about dogs being kept by Jimmy Bonanno at Cliff Street. I was told that there are no longer any dogs at Cliff Street. I was also told that Jimmy Bonanno has been going to the New Rochelle Humane Society and getting dogs to keep at Cliff Street for about 20 years, mostly German Shepards. I find it hard to imagine that the folks at the Humane Society would knowingly allow anyone to take dogs from them and keep them in the conditions they were kept at Cliff Street (uncared for, unclean and confined for the rest of their life to a cage). If I was not clear, the dogs were not pets; Jimmy was getting them to act as watch dogs and they were not treated too well.

Shortly after I published this article the mail arrived. It contained a letter making serious allegations about James Manning. I have been hearing about Manning for years. After describing what I had heard about Manning to a knowledgeable source, the only response I got was “everything you have heard about Jimmy Manning is true”. Manning is reported to be openly homosexual but this is not about his being a homosexual it is about often repeated allegations that he is a pedophile, that there have been many complaints by parents and staff to administrators and that nothing has been done about it.

James Manning is an Assistant Custodian working the night shift at New Rochelle High School. His nickname is Gunga Din because he makes Kool Aid for other workers. He has had incidents in every school he has been in; he has been moved from school to school. Former Schools Superintendent Linda Kelly liked him because he had a nice manner and saved his job on more than one occasion. 

What I have heard about James Manning sounds like classic “grooming” behavior of the same sort engaged in by Jose Martinez who was raping students in his office at Isaac E. Young Middle School.

I have had numerous reports that children buzz around him, asking for money, asking “Where’s Jimmy?” “Is Jimmy there?”, “Jimmy can I have some money?”, that he gives them $20-40 at a time, that he calls the kids his “nephews”, some of these kids are as young as 10 years old, that he carries a photo of a kid he claims to be his son (it is not but this sounds a lot like Jose Martinez brining his nephew to Isaac Young to attend school there). He does not make much money but is said to give a large chunk of his income to these kids, that he is always broke because he gives money to kids.

One source describing seeing a single light on in an office in the Athletic Department and upon investigating found Manning in the office with a 14 year old child. Another source said he was caught driving with a child in his lap, that he was caught giving fellatio to a young boy, that he loves young boys. A second source had more detail on the driving incident, that he crashed his car in Mamaroneck about 10 or more years ago, that the Mamaroneck Police Chief called Linda Kelly to tell her that Manning was found with his car crashed in the bushes, no pants on and a young boy sitting in his lap.

UPDATE: A reader calls to say the crash crash was at the Hommocks School parking lot, that the parents did not wish to press charges against Manning.

In my previous article in this series I mentioned how I have been getting contacted with additional stories and updates to my past reports. Not long after I published that article I received an anonymous letter from a person who describes themselves as a longtime employee of the City School District of New Rochelle, who loves their job and is afraid of losing it if they were to come forward and tell what they know about James Manning.

This letter states that his job does not require it, Manning is often hanging out in the boys locker room, that he likes to stay in the boys locker room when the football team is getting undressed and is often staring at the students as they undress and take showers. The letter describes what I have heard many times, that it is known throughout the district that Manning like to befriend young boys.

“He is known for giving young male students food, money and sneakers” and telling “young impressionable male students to call him ‘Uncle Jimmy.”

The letter states that there have been many allegations over the years that Manning has acted inappropriately in front of students and staff by expressing his feelings towards young impressionable high school students.

“Many students have alleged that James Manning have invited them to his apartment where they are given alcoholic beverages and drugs. At the time the students are drinking and using drugs Mr. Manning starts a conversation about sex and asks the students about their sex life. Some former NRHS students have reluctantly admitted to hanging out with Mr. Manning at his residence, getting high and indulging in sexual activities”.

The letter goes on to state that numerous complaints have been made to various administrators over the years and John Gallagher of Aramark and Marty Daly, the President of FUSE and that these complaints were not acted upon.

The person who wrote the letter says that people approach them year after year about the behavior of James Manning. They say there have been incidents where parents have complained at City Hall and at the high school. In one incident at the high school a parent issued warnings to Manning to stay away from their son. Security intervened as the person began yelling and screaming. The parent was escorted off the premises. In an incident at City Hall, where Manning perviously worked, another parent made similar warnings to Manning. In this case, the confrontation became physical and the parent assaulted Manning, breaking Manning’s toe. The letter writer says there have been a series of these sorts of incidents over the years, none of them documented, and nothing done about them.

This person notes that many people feel that something should be done about Manning but no one wants to stick their neck out out of fear of retaliation. This is a common refrain from many employees about many problems in the district. 

“I am well aware that when you go against the grain and dare to acknowledge or report any ills that may be occurring in the district it is highly likely that you will be ostracized.”

As for myself, I have no way to verify the allegations containing in the letter but I have heard enough about Manning that the letter comes across as credible to be. I have heard bits and pieces of some of these same allegations from about a dozen sources over the years, all describing various behaviors and incidents involving Manning behaving inappropriately with children. You might think with past incidents like Marissa Anton, the librarian trying to have sex with a student and Jose Martinez raping students in his office — both of whom were arrested and convicted on charges related to these crime — that the district would take these sorts of allegations seriously.

I should be clear that this has nothing to with James Manning being a homosexual; it is about serious allegations that he is a sexual predator which, by all accounts, have been known at all levels of administration in the district for many years with no referral to the New Rochelle Police Department or Child Protective Services. As was the case with Martinez, New York State law designated school district employees including administrators, teachers and security guards as mandated reporters and requires that they report credible allegations of child abuse to the police or CPS. The track record in New Rochelle is to do neither and so this letter is hardly a surprise.

That is about it  in terms of updating readers on what other readers are telling me about this series. If you have further information on stories I am writing do not just assume that I know what you know. You are welcome to call me or send me an email (see the contact section for details).

NEXT: New Rochelle Board of Education: Criminal Enterprise Masquerading as an Educational Institution – Part XV

New Rochelle Board of Education: Criminal Enterprise Masquerading as an Educational Institution – Table of Contents