Thursday, February 6, 2014



Over the last few months, Mount Vernon Exposed has exposed corruption, which is running rampant in the Mount Vernon School District. Mount Vernon Exposed has shed light on the misdeeds of Lenny Sarver, Tim Costello, Elias Gootzeit, Judith Johnson, etc. How is it possible that crooks are overrunning our school district? How is it possible, that the main objective of The Mount Vernon school district is to line the pockets of a few, and not to educate children. How could this happen?

On Tuesday February 4th, 2014, Mount Vernon Exposed tried to find answers, by calling school board President, Gerald Whiteside. Mount Vernon Exposed was blown away by what was revealed by Mr. Whiteside and it is not quite clear why the Mount Vernon School district is in serious trouble.

The President of the school board is the most powerful person in the district. The President sets policy and can avoid damaging hires and contracts from being voted on. It is clear, that Mr. Whiteside cannot handle these major responsibilities. The rumor that Lenny Sarver is making all of the President’s decisions has proven to be true.

The first question asked to Mr. Whiteside was about the budget. Mr. Whiteside was asked about tax increases, and how the budget committee was progressing. Although the board President sets up committees, Mr. Whiteside had no idea if there was a budget committee, nor did he know that he was responsible for putting one together. There are only a few short months before the 2014-2015 school year budget will be presented to the taxpayers of Mount Vernon, and the board President is clueless about what is going on with regard to monies that are spent in the district. Judith Johnson has been spending money recklessly, and Mr. Whiteside does not know if there is going to be a 1% tax increase or a 101% tax increase.  This type of behavior is unconscionable and troubling.

Mr. Whiteside was then asked about The Superintendent search, and the fact that Trustee Goodzeit did not want to supply the resumes of the candidates to his fellow board members. Mr. Whiteside said that giving those resumes to board members was not an issue. It’s obvious the fiduciary obligation the taxpayer entrusted President Whiteside with has not been realized. There was a huge dispute at a board meeting, because Trustee Goodzeit did not want to allow his fellow board members to have copies of the Superintendent candidate resumes. Board members had to apply pressure, and a vote took place in order to receive copies of the resumes.

Mount Vernon Exposed has stated long ago that the Superintendent search committee is a scam and fraudulent because the search committee is made up of political and church members, who are responsible for the destruction of our school district. Mr. Whiteside is either mistaken, or lying about the difficulties trustees had in receiving resumes of candidates. Maybe he is just protecting Mr. Goodzeit.

The buildings in the Mount Vernon School District are falling apart, yet Mr. Whiteside had no answer as to why Aramark is still in the district. Whiteside said publicly on many occasions that the buildings were a mess for years. Mr. Whiteside, you are now the President, and you have no solutions to anything wrong in the district.  Mount Vernon Exposed revealed last week that Lenny Sarver’s main goal is to protect the contracts of his favorite vendors. Mr. Whiteside could not explain why D’Angelo and Fuller receive 10% of every construction contract in the Mount Vernon City School District.  Mr. Whiteside replied, “I have no flaming idea”, when asked about the 10% premium charge by Sarver connected architectural firm Fuller & D’ Angelo. 

Mr. Whiteside was also questioned about the process in which teachers and other personnel are hired in the Mount Vernon School District.   Mr. Whiteside was also asked if supporting documentation is provided to board members so they can evaluate and make an informed decision on their own without relying on influence from Judith Johnson.  Both times, Mr. Whiteside referred inquiries to the Human Resources department. 

Davis Middle School is a failing school. When Mr. Whiteside was asked, why did the Superintendent hire a Principal from an underperforming school in NYC to head Davis, he was dumbfounded. The information obtained regarding the principal was obtained right off the Internet. The fact that a board President would allow such a hire without even checking the background of the applicant, is a dereliction of duty. Sources have informed Mount Vernon Exposed that Mr. Whiteside doesn’t check the background of any hires, or even vendors.  Our children deserve better from our Superintendent and board President. It became uncomfortable, even for Mount Vernon Exposed, to continue our conversation. It became quite clear that Mr. Whiteside was unable to answer even the simplest of questions.

 Gerald Whiteside was voted in as school board President, but he will go down as being the most ineffective school board President of all time. Mr. Whiteside did the worst thing a board President can do, and that is, taking the job under false pretenses. Sources have informed Mount Vernon Exposed, that Gerald Whiteside and corrupt school board Vice President Lenny Sarver made a secret deal. Mr. Whiteside would accept the Presidency, but Lenny Sarver would perform all the President’s functions. There have been corrupt board Presidents in the past, however, none of them betrayed the trust of the children and taxpayers of this city by handing over their Presidency to someone else.

Make no mistake about it, Lenny Sarver runs the board. He creates the tabs, and sets policy. Sources have informed Mount Vernon Exposed, that Lenny Sarver told Gerald Whiteside that he was going to hire Rene Davis, and created the voting tab. Instead of objecting to this bad hire, Mr. Whiteside did what he always does. Whiteside stepped aside and allowed Mr. Sarver to ruin the school district. How did Gerald Whiteside vote on the Rene Davis hire? He did not vote, because he did not show up to the meeting. It is clear to anyone attending school board meetings, or watching the telecast at home, that Mr. Whiteside does not attend meetings when controversial votes are cast. Mr. Whiteside allows Lenny Sarver to run the show. Mr. Whiteside has been constantly missing meetings recently.

Mr. Whiteside has turned his back on the children and taxpayers of Mount Vernon by allowing the fox to guard the hen house. Mr. Sarver and Mr. Whiteside have also turned their back on the people who voted to put them in office. Sources informed Mount Vernon Exposed, that Lenny Sarver has become the liaison between the school district and Ernie Davis, and the churches. 

It is not clear if Gerald Whiteside is benefiting financially for what he is doing, but it is clear that he is hurting this city. I hope he understands the future of our children are at stake. One thing is sure, once the federal investigation begins, Gerald Whiteside will have a lot of explaining to do.

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