Monday, November 16, 2015



Corruption Alive And Flourishing In Mount Vernon City School 

Mount Vernon Exposed had great hopes for Mount Vernon School District Business Manager Ken Silver, who replaced embattled Business Manager Tim Costello. However, sources have informed us that Silver is being controlled by ex board member, Lenny Sarver, and Ex Business Manager, Tim Costello. We were informed that at the urging of Sarver and Costello, Silver wants a $150 million bond, which needs approval, by Mount Vernon’s taxpayers. Both Sarver and Costello handpicked Silver as Costello’s replacement, and sources say, they are running the show. Sarver who is a crony of Ernie Davis, and Costello who is beholden to Mount Vernon’s meddling churches, appear to be in control of the School District’s financial agenda. Sarver successfully pushed for Architects, Fuller and D’Angelo to continue to have complete control of the Architect business in the Mount Vernon City School District. Sources say that Sarver is on Fuller and D’ Angelo’s payroll. Sarver had such a close relationship with these Architects when he was a board member, that he recused himself on votes regarding the firm. Sources explain that behind the scenes, Sarver is steering the entire District’s Architect business to Fuller and D’Angelo, which is costing taxpayers millions. Sarver also secured a job for former school employee John Zambelli, with Fuller and D’Angelo. With the help of Sarver, Zambelli, who retired from the district in 2013, tried to receive a consulting contract with the district, but the resolution was voted down. Many workers in the district accused Zambelli of stealing millions of dollars of the school district’s equipment. Zambelli is back in the district with the help of Sarver and Silver.

Sources say that Rev. Franklyn Richardson of Grace Baptist, and Ernie Davis want their hands on any upcoming bond. All bonds in the past 20 years were mismanaged or outright stolen. Costello refused to open up investigations of past bond thefts, and we can be certain that Silver will follow suit. Rev. Richardson, who also has a personal relationship with Fuller and D’Angelo, is the main culprit in the decline of Mt Vernon’s school District.

Rev. Richardson spearheaded the takeover of the Mount Vernon school board in 1997. Richardson rescued Mt Vernon’s blue ribbon school district from the Italian Civic Association “ICA”. In the next 19 years, Mt Vernon’s school district has imploded, and gone from Blue Ribbon status, to one of the worse school districts in the state.

Richardson’s group, C.E.P.A.A. or The Coalition for the Empowerment of People of African Ancestry has been resurrected in the City of Mount Vernon.  This time C.E.P.A.A. is going under a different name. The Mount Vernon Board Campaign Action Committee, Inc. was organized by former School Board Trustee Elias Gootzeit, and spearheaded by Rev Mizell of Grace Baptist and Delia Farquharson. Ms. Farquharson was strongly supported by Tim Costello in her failed bid for a seat on the City Council.

Bond Theft


CEPAA and Mayor Ernie Davis were determined to provide jobs for their friends and family members. However, their main goal was to make themselves rich. Educating children was not going to be a priority of the CEPAA controlled board. A golden opportunity to “cash in” came when Mount Vernon Voters approved a $100 million bond. This bond was to be used to build Longfellow Middle School and Grimes elementary school.

Prior to 2002, Mount Vernon Schools were immaculately maintained. They had a very good buildings and grounds department, headed by Buildings and Grounds Superintendent Robin Cole, and Maintenance Foreman, Steven Lewis. These two gentlemen performed their jobs effectively. They were extremely knowledgeable. It is difficult to steal money earmarked for the construction and repair of school buildings, with an honest Buildings and Grounds management in place. Crooked churches and our crooked Mayor wanted Cole and Lewis out of the picture.

 Civil Service law prevented the firing of the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, and Maintenance Foreman, so on June 30, 2002; the last day of the school year the board could vote, they terminated the entire Buildings and Grounds department positions. The resolutions were 02-406, and 02-405. The board members who terminated these positions were, Francis Wynn, Carol Ben Rubin, Gerald Coleman, Diane Munro, Marlene Dandridge, Lynn McBride, and Gloria Colman.

The elimination of a buildings and Grounds Department is unprecedented, especially when major construction was to begin. However, stealing public bond money can only take place by eliminating oversight. It was imperative that they get rid of knowledgeable district workers who could witness corruption. The firings opened the way for crooks to get their hands on the $100,000,000 bond earmarked for the repair of the aging school infrastructure, and to build Longfellow and Grimes. Longfellow and Grimes were erected with poor material and poor labor. Our tax money went out the back door.

So much money went missing, that additional bonds totaling $28 million were obtained at the expense of taxpayers to finish projects. Crooks lined their pockets with taxpayer money, and now Longfellow and Grimes need millions of dollars of additional taxpayer monies to fix problems associated with the ill fated bonds. A company named Mount Vernon Architect was the Architects for the 2002 projects. Mount Vernon Architect did not exist prior to the bond and quickly disbanded after our money was stolen.

Groups are now circling the proposed “Bond” wagon, waiting for money to fall off. Architects were the main culprits in past bond thefts in the City of Mt Vernon.

 Former board member, Francis Wynn who continues to meddle in district affairs, needs to explain to the public, why she voted to eliminate the buildings and grounds department in 2002. Her actions opened the way for illegal acts to be waged against the people of Mt Vernon. The biggest decline in Mt Vernon’s school district came under Wynn’s watch as School Board Trustee. Her votes helped ruin our district.

The district needs to investigate the mishandling of previous bonds. The district also needs to reject any meddling from religious institutions, former employees, former trustees, and elected officials. Sources say that Rev Richardson has Trustee Omar McDowell fighting to keep out oversight, and to handpick Fuller and D’Angelo as Architects.

Corruption is alive and flourishing in the school district and Mount Vernon Exposed calls for the board to investigate any connection Ken Silver has to Sarver, Costello, Ernie Davis, and Rev Richardson.  No bond will ever be approved by the voters in Mount Vernon if outside forces are calling the shots.

Lenny Sarver needs to “get out” of the district’s business. He ran his Father’s electrical company into the ground, and now appears to be making his money through back door deals in illegal school contracts. Sarver has cost the taxpayers money in the past. He lobbied votes for Richard Tomko during the 2014 Superintendent search. Tomko, a failed Elmwood Park NJ, Superintendent, walked away with $200,000 of taxpayer’s money, by suing our poor district. Tomko’s hiring was rejected, and we can only guess that Sarver secretly signed his contract before the board approved his appointment. The taxpayers became liable.

It appears that Ken Silver is letting outside people control him, and this cannot happen. Mount Vernon is a poor community that has suffered from years of corruption. Mount Vernon Exposed calls for a Federal investigation of the Business office at Mt Vernon’s School District. Mount Vernon Exposed also urges the Citizens of Mount Vernon to reject any bond put in front of them while people who were ousted from the district continue to control it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.