The cost of doing business? Scarinci slams OFAC’s 2013 WNY report


West New York Town Attorney Donald Scarinci slammed the 2013 report done by the state’s Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance that said the mayor had “a hit list,” exclaiming that the transcripts made from employee interviews did not match what was in the final report.

The damning 23-page report, dated April 19, 2013, alleged that after conducting interviews with school employees, including former Superintendent of Schools John Fauta and his eventual successor Clara Brito Herrera, that politics played a huge role in the district.

One of the major allegations was that teachers were forced to buy political tickets to Mayor Felix Roque’s fundraisers in order to maintain their employment.

However, Scarinci painted an entirely different picture at today’s board of commissioners meeting, which was hosted at West New York Middle School.

He said that after suing the state last year to obtain copies of the audio tapes and transcripts that were the basis of the OFAC report, there were a number of major discrepancies between what was written in the report and what was actually said.

“He (Mr. Roth) was of the opinion that his purchases (of political tickets) were ‘the cost of doing business,'” the report states on page 17.

Yet, Scarinci noted that according to Roth’s interview with investigators, that isn’t what he said.

“Quoting Allan Roth: ‘the cost of doing business,’ said Allan Roth. “So, we look at the transcripts and the interview is recorded. Mr. Dettorre, Mr. Dettorre is one of the investigators, says quote, to Mr. Roth, ‘the cost of doing business?,’ leading question, he says,” Scarinci said during his PowerPoint presentation.

“Mr. Roth responds ‘no, just to support the mayor.’ Allan Roth never said that buying political tickets was the cost of doing business. Mr. Dettorre said that buying political tickets was the cost of doing business and Mr. Dettorre’s quote, not Mr. Roth’s quote, is what appeared in the OFAC report.”

Scarinci also noted that Roth, the assistant to the director of special education, never actually said he had anything to with the district’s hiring of former Commissioner Ruben Vargas and the same could be said of Herrera suggesting to hire Silvio Acosta’s wife – Silvio then being the deputy mayor.

Vargas has recently pleaded guilty to equity skimming and has been suspended without pay from his job at the town’s housing authority.

The founding partner of powerhouse law firm Scarinci Hollenbeck’s biggest issue seemed to be with the fact that no one interviewed ever actually used the term “hit list,” not even Michelle Lopez – who is also a former town commissioner.

Scarinci added that according to the transcript, Lopez cited no instances were she was personally approached to buy political tickets for Roque.

After conducting an analysis on the tapes, transcripts and the state report, Scarinci sent an 11-page report to State Education Commissioner David Hespe asking for the rebuttal to be included with the original report.

After the meeting, Scarinci declined to speculate on what caused the OFAC report to turn out the way it did.

Conversely, Roque said he knew who was behind getting the report written the way it is, but declined to mention who that is.

A spokesman for the state Department of Education could not be reached this evening.

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  1. So does this mean Roque will be facing more criminal charges ?
    Lets keep in mind folks, Roque is a Soldier and a Military man and I hope John understands this after 100 interviews….

  2. Why will Roque not say who he thinks was behind the report? Is it because he made friends with them recently and needs their support now that his trial is starting, or is he lying to push the blame as usual?

    • He thinks he doesn’t have any enemies left because he bought them all off with jobs and law suit settlements . All the town employees know buying Roque’s fundraiser tickets was a must , it wasn’t only in the board of education, and he did have a hit list . Ask all the town employees who got fired but got their jobs back after sueing the town.

    • So both Scarinci and Roque are claiming that the report was inaccurate and Roque is saying he “knows who was behind it”. So he’s saying that somebody influenced the investigators to write things about him that weren’t true. What a POS.
      Put your money where your mouth is, Felix, and come out with it. Tell us who you’re talking about.
      You don’t fool anybody. We’re not all as stupid as you are.

  3. Cosmo is not Innocent here people. What do I mean by this? Ask him a few tough questions John watch him freak out trying to answer you on this matter.

  4. Scarinci’s report is BullSh*t. He selectively chose a few out of context quotes to make his point, and not very effectively either. There was plenty of damning evidence in that report that he didn’t even touch on.
    Why didn’t any of these people come forward and refute these supposedly inaccurate statements back when the report first came out?

    I’m sick to death of that charlatan trying to clean up Roque’s image on taxpayers’ money. Let the lowlife Roque pay out of his own pocket. I suppose next year Roque and his commissioners will give Scarinci another big fat raise for this. Soon he’ll be getting – not earning, but getting – a million dollars a year of taxpayers’ money for his whitewash of Roque. Two disgusting greedy pigs.

    Anybody who believes the school board was not, and is not, still completely controlled by Roque is delusional.

  5. The article states:
    “After conducting an analysis on the tapes, transcripts and the state report, Scarinci sent an 11-page report to State Education Commissioner…”

    Q: Does this mean Scarinci billed the Town of WNY for his work? What a shame if he did, and possibly unethical, as it is outside the scope of his contract with the Town. The report relates to the WNY BOE.
    Another day in paradise.

  6. sorry but Roque is no real military man so please stop insulting the military, hes a con and fake only cares about him self and his but kissing followers. The town is a mess,look around see the truth.stop pitting him and for Gods sake STOP calling him a military man.