Fauta: OFAC is investigating how the West New York BOE chose insurance firms


Superintendent of Schools John Fauta announced at the West New York Board of Education meeting last night that the state Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance, better known as OFAC, is compiling a report on the way insurance firms were hired by the board earlier this summer.

Fauta broke the news during the Superintendent’s report portion of the meeting. According to documents obtained by Hudson County View, Alamo Insurance, of North Bergen, Acrisure, of Wood Bridge, and Brown & Brown Metro Inc., of Florham Park, submitted proposals to the West New York Board of Ed on May 7.

The insurance contract was awarded to Brown & Brown on June 11, which was signed by Business Administrator Kevin Franchetta, then-BOE President Vilma Reyes and Matthew Struck, the Public Entity Division Manager of the firm.

However, just two weeks later, on June 25, the contract was suddenly awarded to Alamo Insurance.

In an undated letter from Brown & Brown sent to the WNY board of ed sometime last summer, the firm outright accuses Louis Alamo, the owner of Alamo Insurance, and his unnamed business partner of taking part “in inappropriate conversations that tainted the open and fair process put forth by the board.”

Alamo Insurance was awarded a contract by the WNY BOE on July 25, 2013, although Brown & Brown claims their contract was renewed by the board on July 1 of the same year.

As only Hudson County View has reported, the FBI has on ongoing investigation involving members of the West New York Board of Education, previously interviewing Reyes and board member Angela Duval.

Sources told us that the probe at least partially had to do with how the board awarded contracts, though an FBI spokeswoman also said it’s standard procedure to decline confirming or denying the existence, let alone the nature, of an investigation.

Back in April of last year, OFAC released a damning report, alleging that Mayor Felix Roque was manipulating board of education employees to buy and sell tickets for political fundraisers, as well as giving political supporters jobs in the board of ed.

Roque’s administration denied the allegations put forth in the 2013 report shortly after it was released and no one mentioned in the report has been charged criminally – as of this report.

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  1. The hypocrisy of the law firm that represents our Board of Education was on full display when it first allowed the board to overturn its decision to rescind its approval on contract with Brown and Brown Metro, Inc. and then allowed that board to give said contract to Alamo, even apparently after the contract was signed. The same boe firm then tried to throw cold water on the courageous motion led by astute Trustee Cheng to overturn the board’s previous reversal of the board’s awarding of contract to Brown and Brown. Perhaps our Board of Education’s law firm should be investigated.

    Patrick Cullen
    WNY 2014 School Board Trustee Candidate