Never Before Seen Emails Reveal Former New Rochelle Board President Jeffrey Hastie to be a Petulant, Lying, Fraud

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — In a series of never-before-seen emails after Robert Cox confronted then-President Jeffrey Hastie with invoices documenting his thousands of dollars in overages on his taxpayer-funded mobile phone while traveling overseas with his girlfriend, Hastie revealed his puerile mentality while attempting to evade responsibility for sticking the community with his reckless, unauthorized spending.

The email exchange explains how he used supporters like former board candidate Peter Cantone to attack former Assistant Superintendent for Business & Administration Jeff White just days after the death of White’s child with fabricated stories about write-offs for accounts receivable.

In a strange twist, the exchange brings to light a multi-million dollar investigation undertaken in 2017-18 by White into so-called “District of Location” services tied to former Special Education Director Yvette Goorevitch. Hastie appears to have duped Cantone into believing the write-offs were proof of malfeasance by White. Records seen by Talk of the Sound show White was in the process of seeking to collect the monies. Sources tell Talk of the Sound, Interim Assistant Superintendent for Business & Administration Tom Ryan “wrote off” the accounts receivable at the direction of Hastie. At a subsequent board meeting Ryan repeatedly and falsely disparaged White, in violation of the Separation Agreement Hastie signed with White in December 2018. It appears Hastie was using Ryan and Cantone, and some board members, to spread false and malicious stories about White in order to justify Hastie ordering then-Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey to fire White because White would not take orders from Hastie generally and specifically refused to use district-funds to pay Hastie’s thousands of dollars in unauthorized international voice and data services while traveling in Europe, Africa, aircraft and cruise ships.

Goorevitch has been in the news for years after leaving New Rochelle in 2017 for Norwalk, CT with lawsuits and state investigations related to violations of state and federal laws. Goorevitch’s departure from New Rochelle led directly to the investigation into the millions in uncollected District of Location funds.

District of Location refers to special education services provided by one school district for students who reside in another district but attend school in the first district. In New Rochelle, most such “District of Location” students over the years attended private schools in New Rochelle such as Holy Family School, Blessed Sacrament, Ursuline School, Iona Lower School, Iona Prep, Salesian High School, Hudson Montessori School, Holy Name School, and others. For years, under Goorevitch there was a general failure to pursue collecting these funds from districts such as Mamaroneck, White Plains, the Bronx and others. White inherited the mess left by Goorevitch and was in the process of attempting to document the amounts involved and collect the money when Hastie ordered Parvey to fire White who “unexpectedly resigned” weeks later.

Goorevitch is currently in the running to replace Anthony Bongo as Assistant Superintendent.

RELATED: JUST SAY NO: Should Yvette Goorevitch Return to New Rochelle?

EMAIL EXCHANGE: May 2019

From: Robert Cox

Date: May 7, 2019, 8:51 PM -0400

To: New Rochelle Board of Education

Subject: Hastie Verizon Invoices

Attached are the invoices I referenced tonight.

The invoices show a charge for $400+ for “cruise ship” — as I have said I was told by my sources last month.

The records also show that Mr. Hastie was repeatedly notified he was incurring overages and continued to use the phone, contrary to his public statements.

Pretty much everything Mr. Hastie has said is contradicted by the records I have obtained including the documents attached. I expect to learn more when the full set of records is released pursuant to my FOIL request.

Robert Cox

Publisher and Managing Editor

Talk of the Sound


From: Jeffrey Hastie

Date: May 7, 2019, 10:29 PM -0400

To: Robert Cox

Cc: New Rochelle Board of Education

Subject: Re: Hastie Verizon Invoices

Ho hum

Thanks again for providing such entertainment on matters of high import. Maybe after this you can find time in your busy schedule to track down the $3.2M A/R write off last year.

Jeffrey Hastie

President, Board of Education

City School District of New Rochelle



From: Robert Cox <robertcox@talkofthesound.com>

Date: May 8, 2019, 12:36 AM -0400

To: Jeffrey Hastie <jhastie@nredlearn.org>

Cc: New Rochelle Board of Education <boe@nredlearn.org>

Subject: Re: Hastie Verizon Invoices

Mr. Hastie,

The $2,100 phone bill itself is not a matter of “high import” but your behavior regarding that phone bill is as was on display to the public a few hours ago. It is the withholding of that information from your board colleagues , it is the stonewalling of my 4/10/19 FOIL request and it id your repeated lies over the past month including tonight.

To the one specific point you seem so obsessed with — I told my readers that the reason I made the FOIL request is that I could not understand how in an era of cheap telecom and free internet phone calls anyone could incur a $2100 phone bill. Over the past two years I have traveled to Norway, Sweden, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and run up zero dollars in phone charges while calling back home every day by using WiFi and Facetime. What I heard back is that you received repeated alerts of overages but continued running up charges anyway and that among the charges were data charges from a cruise ship. When you made your various non-denial denials on WVOX you apparently irritated someone at City Hall enough that I unexpectedly received a stack of records (yes I have plenty more). Among other things these records confirm what I was told, that part of the $2100 is about $400 in charges from “International Waters – Cruise Ship”. There are also charges from an airplane and a trip to Morocco. What I really want to see is line by line billing for every call and data transfer. How much of this was school district business and how much was personal? Were you downloading movies and video-conferencing with board members?

I have no idea why your response to ny production of an invoice for charges from a cruise ship would be to demand I produce photos of you on a cruise ship. The records speak for themselves.

I also have records of you insisting Verizon refund all of the charges because they are “absurd” but what I do not see is any record of you disputing the cruise ship charges because you were not on a cruise ship. If what you have been saying lately were true how come you never made this claim part of your effort to dispute the bill?

What I do know is that I was told, and what I said I was told, is entirely consistent with the invoices I shared with the board tonight. You WERE charged $400+ for data from a cruise ship. The taxpayers paid that bill. No amount of snarky comments and unprofessional behavior is going to get around that.

As many board members are in their first term they were not on the board five years ago when you made motions (which I scripted for you) aimed at removing David Lacher from the school board because he ran up charges on a District account, refused to pay the charges, stonewalled my FOIL requests and lied about me and the charges. I see little difference between what Lacher did then and what you are doing now so to be consistent perhaps you should remove yourself from the board.

As for the $3.2 mm A/R write off last year (and it may be $3.7 mm), I believe you are aware I have been attempting to track down that money for months. I made a FOIL request at the end of January but to a different purpose.

It is interesting that you bring it up now, in this way, apropos to nothing in my remarks tonight, which suggests to me that what many people said to me may actually be true – that it was you who put Peter Cantone up to his speech on the write offs at the last board meeting and his rather involved Facebook post saying that Jeff White was fired because of $3.7 mm in write offs in 2017-18 school year. I actually told people that I did not think even you would stoop that low. Apparently I was wrong.

I did not think you would do that because it would mean you were directly involved in making disparaging remarks about Jeff White (with Cantone as your puppet) in violation of the contract you signed with Jeff White — one of many violations — when you also knew that Jeff White filed a notice of claim against the District for prior violations of the contract. Obviously your conduct has implications for pending litigation and is against the interest of the school district.

Even more despicably though it would mean that you thought it appropriate to engage in this conduct to publicly disparage Jeff White a few days after he buried his 17-year old daughter. I spoke to Cantone the next day, he told me he had no idea about Katie White, felt badly about it and amended his remarks on Facebook. That would mean you put Cantone up to that without telling him about Jeff White’s family tragedy.

So, that would be a new low even for you. And Peter thinks you are his friend. Poor guy.

I am going to go further and guess from this email and Cantone’s remarks that the justification you offered to your board colleagues to fire Jeff White revolved in some way around the write offs. And I am going to guess further that your board members did not bother to investigate your claims themselves. Which would mean that the rest of you fired Jeff White on a false pretext – basically more lies by Jeffrey Hastie.

Considering all this, I do not think the timing of the refusal of Jeff White’s staff to pay for the international roaming overages you recklessly and knowingly incurred and his termination is coincidental. It seems that you might feel that anyone who would not go along with your demands needed to go (I note that you have yet to address the issue of your obtaining employee emails without board approval which would be a crime according to NYSSBA; Jeff White, the guy who fired Christine Coleman for reading employee emails, would never have allowed that but apparently Tom Ryan did)

And this might then explain your unhinged response to my investigating the phone bills AND the write-offs.

I made a FOIL request in January not for “write offs” but for District of Location records. I believe they pertain to mismanagement of the Special Education Department under Yvette Goorevitch going back to when the law changed to create DOL students.

For those who may not know, DOL refers to 504/IEP students who live outside the City School District of New Rochelle but attend school in New Rochelle (e.g., Iona Prep, Ursuline, Salesian, etc). A decade ago the law changed, before that a youngsters home district managed the case.

There are a lot of documents. I paid $140 for them. I got them a few days ago. When I have time I will go through them. Hopefully, this weekend. And hopefully the records will be a complete fill of my request.

Maybe they will tell a story. Maybe they will support your version of events. Maybe not. We shall see.

But to circle back to your “suggestion”, I have been tracking down the DOL / Write-offs for more than three months so no need to worry as I will be digging into them soon along with your phone bills and 5 years of all Verizon records which I expect will show even more abuse of District phones like people no longer working for the District retaining their district phones and God knows what else.

Robert Cox

Publisher and Managing Editor

Talk of the Sound

http://www.talkofthesound.com

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On May 7, 2019, 10:29 PM -0400, Jeffrey Hastie <jhastie@nredlearn.org>, wrote:

Ho hum

Thanks again for providing such entertainment on matters of high import. Maybe after this you can find time in your busy schedule to track down the $3.2M A/R write off last year.

Jeffrey Hastie

President, Board of Education

City School District of New Rochelle


From: Jeffrey Hastie

Date: May 8, 2019, 6:41 AM -0400

To: Robert Cox

Cc: New Rochelle Board of Education

Subject: Re: Hastie Verizon Invoices

Hey there Don Quixote,

Waiting with bated breath for your next long winded email/story masquerading as journalism.

Tally ho!


Here is my response to Jeffrey Hastie’s email sent May 8, 2019:

Recently Departed School Board President Charged Personal Expenses to New Rochelle Taxpayers (July 14, 2019)

Here is the school board’s response a few days later:

New Rochelle Board of Education Launches Investigation of Former President Jeffrey Hastie (August 7, 2019)

Here is the Auditor’s response confirming and expanding upon our reporting:

Abrams Report (October 29, 2019)

Here is our reporting after a year of obfuscation and stonewalling:

Audit into Alleged Fraud and Abuse by Former New Rochelle BOE President Jeffrey Hastie Reveals Thousands in Unauthorized Budget Transfers by Former Board Clerk (October 16, 2020)

Here is my conclusion on Hastie:

Hastie is a proven liar and fraud. Case closed.

Now it is time for the district to compel Hastie to pay up.

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