NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Scott Pickup was unexpectedly resigned Monday as New Rochelle Public Works Commissioner in the wake of a police investigation into allegations Manager of Refuse Joel Serrano diverted an unspecified amount of money from the City of New Rochelle by pocketing the cash from scrap metal acquired as part of his job with the city. Serrano reported to Pickup. City Manager Charles B. Strome confirmed the investigation is ongoing.
Pickup has had a rocky past.
Scott Pickup was hired by the City of Rye on July 9th, 1992. He was promoted to Assistant City Manager in 2005 and promoted again to City Manager in 2010. He was unexpectedly resigned effective, April 23, 2014. Under an Employee Separation Agreement, Scott Pickup remained employed by the city as Assistant to the City Manager until July 10, 2014.
As Rye City Manager, Scott Pickup, signed-off on a majority of more than $7 million in purchase orders submitted former Rye Golf Club manager Scott Yandrasevich.
“Between April 10th, 2007 and August 20, 2012, Yandrasevich, who was the General Manager of the Rye Golf Club, stole approximately $342,120 from the Club and the City of Rye” said a Westchester County District Attorney spokesperson at the time. “Yandrasevich knowingly submitting false invoices to the City of Rye for fictitious employees over this approximate four and a half year period.”
Yandrasevich was first hired by the city as the golf club’s general manager in 2002 and set up RM Staffing in 2006 while Pickup was Assistant City Manager.
Pickup came to New Rochelle from Rye in 2014 under the cloud of an active DA prosecution involving invoices and payments he authorized.
Despite this he was hired by the City of New Rochelle in October 2014 as Deputy Commissioner of Public Works in charge of Operations then appointed Interim DPW Commissioner by Strome in July 2016 when Alex Tergis resigned as DPW Commissioner. Pickup was made permanent later in 2016.
Over the years Talk of the Sound has received more than a half-dozen complaints about Serrano working with two other DPW employees 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 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 or J. Bass & Sons in Mount Vernon where the city has accounts. In exchange, PASCAP or J. Bass & Sons pays the city for the value of the metal.
The City has looked into past allegations against Serrano over the years. As Deputy Commissioner of Public Works in charge of Operations, Scott Pickup asserted that claims against Serrano were unfounded.