Friday, October 25, 2013




It has been one week now since news broke of the asbestos scandal involving Mount Vernon School Chief Judith Johnson.  Johnson still isn’t forthcoming and still has not provided board members with asbestos reports even though the reports have been made public on this site.  Instead she has been hiding behind school board attorneys and using tactics to stall and deny information to the public and school board members. 

Johnson treats board members as if they are her servants and her employees. Johnson lacks integrity and accountability.  Three guidance counselors personally hired by Johnson are now facing criminal charges for changing test scores in Peekskill, Johnson’s last place of employment. 

Judith Johnson must come clean with the taxpayers and the children of Mount Vernon.  Why hasn’t she released the reports to the public or to School Board Trustees? Are our children at risk for asthma and lung cancer?

We must get to the root cause analysis on exactly how these problems came to exist in city schools and why they went unaddressed for such a long time.  Mount Vernon Exposed will now begin to connect the dots and show the public how long the corruption has been permeating the Mount Vernon City School District.

Money disappearing from school budgets and going into a slush fund for Superintendents started with the hire of Assistant Superintendent of Business Timothy Costello, a very close friend of embattled school board trustee Len Sarver.  Len Sarver stands accused alongside Mount Vernon School Chief Judith Johnson of purposely hiding asbestos reports from the public and steering lucrative school contracts to vendors favorable to both.

Mount Vernon Exposed is pleased to announce that work was done at Cecil H. Parker Elementary School to remediate the mold issue.  Sources have reported to Mount Vernon Exposed that crews have been working feverishly day and night to cover up any trace of mold and water damage after it was made public that Parker school has been neglected since 2005 and didn’t address deficiencies found by inspectors from the New York State Department of Health.  However, sources confirmed to Mount Vernon exposed that friable asbestos wasn’t disposed of properly in accordance with applicable state laws. 

Many questions remain regarding the removal of mold and the abatement of asbestos at Cecil H. Parker Middle School.  For starters, who removed the mold?  Was this put out for competitive bid?  Did Judith Johnson and school board trustees Len Sarver unjustly enrich themselves by awarding lucrative construction and electrical contracts to vendors of their choosing?  Was the mold and asbestos removed by a licensed professional?   

Let’s get back to Timothy Costello.  Mr. Costello is a crook and a sheister in every sense of the word.  Costello was hired by former Mount Vernon Superintendent W.L. Sawyer, another crook who was more concerned about having sexual relations with his subordinates than the education of the children.  Sawyer was cited for having an improper relationship with an employee of the Mount Vernon City School District. 

Costello, a failure, never surpassed the $100K salary mark in life.  That is until he came to the Mount Vernon City School District to drink from the public till.  Costello’s salary prior to arriving in Mount Vernon was $92,000.  Today Costello receives a whopping $190,000+ salary and benefits courtesy of Mount Vernon taxpayers.  Not bad Timothy.

Timothy purchased his current house at 4 Alameda Place in 2007 for $478,000.  In recent weeks, Mount Vernon Exposed has received complaints from taxpayers in Costello’s neighborhood stating his property assessment is well below the average that homeowners in Costello’s neighborhood pay for similar structures with the same square footage.


Costello also receives several other perks not afforded to other employees of the Mount Vernon City School district.  Mr. Costello receives 100% medical coverage courtesy of taxpayers while Administrators and teachers pay 50% towards their medical coverage and civil services employees contribute 35% towards their health care costs.  What type of quid pro quo arrangement is in place that allows Timmy to receive 100% medical coverage? It is time for Obamacare Mr. Costello. 

So why does Timothy get 100% medical coverage?  Timothy wins favor with every school Superintendent that he works for.  Timothy is responsible for preparing the budget and finances as the Assistant Superintendent for Business.  In other words, he is the Chief Financial officer or CFO for the Mount Vernon City School district. 

Every school is allotted $150K per year for textbooks, visual aids, and other materials for educating our children.  The schools that are succeeding and have passing test scores spend all of their allotted funds by the end of the school year while the failing schools, had nearly 90% of the $150K left in their budget at the end of the school year.  Makes no sense. 

So Timothy, thinking he was a genius, illegally and without authorization from the School Board Trustees, diverted the funds from the schools that never used their textbook money into something called the “general fund”.  Such diversion requires approval from the State legislature.  At the time of press, Mount Vernon Exposed could find no such legislation authorization Mr. Costello’s unethical actions.

Timothy then goes to the Superintendent and tells them that he has “newfound” money and they are free to spend it how they see fit.  They Superintendent’s are now beholden to Mr. Costello and free to hire as many consultants as possible.  Consultants connected to Costello are now legally allowed to rape Mount Vernon taxpayers for millions and millions of dollars.   The consultants are usually friends of Costello and Johnson or Costello and Johnson are looking to gain employment from after their tenure is done with Mount Vernon City Schools.     

Mount Vernon Exposed has also gathered evidence to suggest School Board Trustee Len Sarver is in financial trouble.  The evidence also suggest that former school board trustee Marc Stuckey was correct when he stated that Sarver’s hand is in the cookie jar. 

Sarver owns property located at 138-140 N. 5th Avenue.  This is also the building where Sarver runs his  “so called” electrical business.  On June 23, 2010 Sarver put the building up for sale for $599,000 and also for lease at $10 per square foot or $4583.33 per month. 


With no buyers in site, Sarver again put the property back on the market on October 25, 2012 at $525,000 and also for lease at $12 per square foot or $5,500 per month. 

On October 18, 2013 the very next day after a press conference was held announcing the asbestos cover up at Cecil H. Parker elementary; school trustee Len Sarver put the property located at 138-140 N. 5th Avenue, back on the market for $500K, $100K less than he was seeking.

All evidence suggests that Sarver is trying to unload this property very quickly because he is having cash flow issues.  Could it be that Sarver knows it is only a matter of time before he is indicted for betraying the public trust?  Does Sarver need the proceeds from the sale of the house for his legal defense?  If Sarver was such a successful businessman, why is he selling the building where he runs his business?

Mount Vernon Exposed checked with city officials and it was discovered that taxes are up to date on 138-140 North 5th Avenue and on Sarver’s primary address located at 12 Carwall Avenue.  Where is Sarver getting the funds to pay his property taxes taxes?  School board trustees serve 3 year unpaid terms. 

Timothy Costello and Len Sarver are good friends and also attend together, the Sinai Free Synagogue located at 550 N. Columbus Avenue.

Next Issue………”Millions diverted from school fund balance to contractors connected to Timothy Costello and Len Sarver” ………

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