Monday, October 28, 2013




Sources have told Mount Vernon Exposed that a massive cover-up is under way at the Board of Education central office located at 165 N. Columbus Avenue.  Mount Vernon School Chief Judith Johnson is spearheading the cover up with assistance from School Board Vice-President Len Sarver and Assistant Superintendent of Business Timothy Costello.

According to sources deemed reliable, school personnel, on orders from Judith Johnson have been working night and day shredding documents and destroying any paper trail regarding asbestos reports for schools within the district.  Inspectors from the New York State Department of Health cited Mount Vernon school officials in December 2012 for negligence in remediating asbestos in the district. 

The Mount Vernon City School district has been negligent in properly maintaining safe and healthy learning environments for the past 25 years.  Voters have gone to the polls twice approving upwards of $130 million dollars to repair the aging and dilapidated schools in Mount Vernon. 

“They stole all the money”, is a phase often used by school board Vice President Len Sarver.  We must now investigate to find out who “they” is that Sarver frequently refers to. 

There also seems to be a strange and uncanny connection between City Hall and the Mount Vernon City School district.   While city officials are elected to handle city business, they often meddle in the affairs of the Mount Vernon City School District. 

In 2009, County Legislator Lyndon Williams headed up an aggressive and fierce campaign to persuade voters to vote yes on the ballot for a $20 Million dollar EXCEL bond.  Williams made his pitch by stating that the $20M million bond would have no tax implications for homeowners.  A stipulation of this bond was that the funds can only be used for construction and could not be transferred into the general fund balance to offset or lower the tax levy. 

Timothy Costello, the shyster, CFO of the Mount Vernon City School District, began to shuffle monies around and place it in areas that would be financially beneficial to him. 

Costello talks out of both sides of his mouth and cannot be entrusted to prepare a budget in excess of $215 million.  This is just another example of the fox watching the henhouse.  An example of Costello’s hypocrisy was displayed during the heated public debate of the Armani Charter School, which, according to public statements made by Costello, would drain the already scare resources of the Mount Vernon City School district. 

Costello was working as a double agent during the several years long legal battle over the Armani charter school.  Costello worked hand in hand with former School Board President Charles Stern to find out where the money was to start the Armani Charter School. Stern also attends the Sinai Free Synagogue with his fellow partners in crime, Len Sarver and Timothy Costello. Stern’s wife Debra is the Executive Director of the Armani Charter School and pulls in an $80K salary courtesy of Mount Vernon taxpayers.  Not bad for someone who doesn’t have a teaching certification.  Stern is a licensed Social Worker. 

Sources allege that in exchange for receiving 100% healthcare coverage, Costello would then help Stern find where the money was to start the Armani Charter School.  

The Armani charter school leases space in the basement of The Friendship Worship Center.   They also rent four classrooms on the first floor of St. Ursula School located on Lincoln Avenue.   Armani charter school did not file the necessary paperwork with the City of Mount Vernon building department.  Homeowners again were cheated out of thousands of dollars of building permit fees.

On Friday, investigators with Mount Vernon Exposed visited St. Ursula School after an anonymous tip was received that major funds have been expended in the past month in excess of $200,000.  Investigators discovered a brand new Dell file server, dozens of brand new laptops, custom purple molding, custom purple chairs, and brand new desks.  The laptops were not secured and left in plain sight. 

Investigators also discovered new electrical lines installed.  Sources familiar with investigation told Mount Vernon Exposed that the company that did the electrical work is a close friend of Trustee Len Sarver, who is also a Licensed Electrician. 

Where did all of this money come from?  How much did Stern, Costello, and Sarver unjustly enrich themselves?

Just this past summer, Costello with the assistance of Trustee Len Sarver, spent in excess of $1.3M to install a brand new roof at Pennington School.  Undocumented illegal immigrants were used at the direction of Trustee Len Sarver and Timothy Costello to install the roof.   Sources also told Mount Vernon Exposed that the company hired to install the roof also is connected to Costello and Sarver.  Any person with an ounce of common sense knows that a roof doesn’t cost $1.3M to replace.

It is important that which board members voted to approve the expenditure of the funds to replace the roof at Pennington.  Where did Costello find the money to replace the roof?  This is the same Timothy Costello that said he couldn’t find $750K to provide buses so that the children could get to and from school.  There are no buses in the City of Mount Vernon.  Children must get to school the best way they can. 

Tonight school board members are meeting to discuss important issues regarding the school district.  School board members can no longer remain silent while officials high up the food chain continue to fleece taxpayers.  School board members must step up to the plate and demand that school officials do right by our children.  We can no longer have 2 or 3 board members fighting for what is right while the other board members allow Judith Johnson, Timothy Costello, and Len Sarver destroy the City of Mount Vernon.  

When it was made public that there was asbestos at Parker School, School Board Trustee Francis Wynn told News 12 that she was going to investigate the matter immediately.  Instead Wynn is working behind the scenes with Sarver and Johnson to cover up the asbestos at Parker School and other schools in the district.  Attached to this article you will hear the full-unedited interview between News 12 and Francis Wynn.

School Board Trustee Francis Wynn’s relationship with Judith Johnson is troubling.  Wynn defends Johnson at any cost, even when the education and the safety of our children have been compromised.  Over the next few weeks, Mount Vernon Exposed will inform the public as to which board members are working interest of the taxpayers and which ones that need to be fired next year come election time.  Stay tuned…To be continued…………..

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