West New York Town Attorney Donald Scarinci isn’t waiving the white flag in his ongoing battle with Superintendent of Schools John Fauta any time soon, writing that Fauta is “using OFAC as a weapon” in a letter sent to Interim Executive County Superintendent Monica Tone this afternoon.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In a follow-up from a story posted earlier today, Scarinci has reiterated his stance that the town of West New York will no longer communicate with Fauta, or his office, without mediation from an education official from the county or the state.
” … It is not prudent to have any communication with the Office of the Superintendent of Schools without mediation from your office or a from a representative of the Department of Education as I have requested from you on September 22, 2014,” he wrote.
Scarinci dismissed Fauta’s recent references to a report from the state Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance (OFAC) from last April, which accused Mayor Roque of using his political influence in the board of education, as an intimidation tactic.
“Sadly, he has even publicly threatened town officials and School Board members using OFAC as a weapon,” he stated in the letter.
“It is obvious to me that the Superintendent of Schools is attempting to intimidate, as he has in the past, town officials and West New York residents including those who serve as members of the Board of Education for some issue that has nothing to do with the issue of children’s safety.”
Towards the end of the letter, Scarinci lobs a heavy accusation: claiming that Fauta is trying to ensure he has a new contract by next year.
“OFAC is not, nor should it ever be used as a weapon by anyone, especially not by a Superintendent of Schools whose contract will automatically renew if the Board of Education members feel too intimidated to take action before January.”
When reached by Hudson County View, Fauta declined to immediately comment on the letter.
At last month’s board of education meeting, Fauta revealed that OFAC is investigating whether or not insurance contracts were properly approved by the board.
This is just the latest of many rounds of gloves-off sparring between Scarinci and Fauta, who are both refusing to give an inch on the ongoing issue of whether or not students will receive a new bus route to transport them to St. Joseph of the Palisades (the former high school).
Those students used to attend Harry L. Bain Elementary School, which is closed due to renovations this year. The school district made the decision to close the facility for repairs back in February.