NEW ROCHELLE, NY — A supervisor in the New Rochelle Department of Public Works was unexpectedly resigned yesterday following a police investigation into allegations that he diverted an unspecified amount of money from the City of New Rochelle by pocketing the cash from scrap metals acquired as part of his job with the city.
Joel “JJ” Serrano, Jr. earned $112,348 in 2019 as Manager of Refuse according the city website and payroll data on the seethroughny.net website. His unexpected resignation was announced this morning to DPW employees.
The Sanitation Division within the City’s Department of Public Works collects the city’s metals, including refrigerators, stoves, and copper coil that city residents leave on their curbs for home pick-up. The Sanitation Division then takes collected items to PASCAP, a scrap yard in the Bronx where the city has an account. In exchange, PASCAP writes a check to the city for the value of the metal turned in.
Over the years Talk of the Sound has received more than a half-dozen complaints about Serrano working with two other people to hide valuable scrap metal behind the New Rochelle Armory, next door to the DPW City Yard on East Main Street, then pick it up on weekends to sell it to PASCAP in the Bronx and J. Bass & Sons in Mount Vernon for his own benefit.
The City has looked into past allegations against Serrano over the years but past DPW Commissioners reported the allegations to be unfounded. This time the matter was referred to the New Rochelle Police Department. The investigation into Serrano is said to be complete but has since expanded, sources tell Talk of the Sound.