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Former administrator in New Rochelle (N.Y.) district pleads guilty to taking bribes

Oct. 11, 2017
John C. Gallagher admits taking more than $150,000 in kickbacks over four years from a masonry contractor.

A former school administrator in the New Rochelle (N.Y.) district has pleaded guilty to accepting more than $150,000 in bribes over four years.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York says in a news release that John C. Gallagher, 53, the former director of environmental services for New Rochelle schools, has admitted taking cash bribes from a construction company, and keeping the cash in his car trunk so he could use the money for personal expenses without being detected. 

"“As he admitted today, John Gallagher demanded and received more than $150,000 in cash bribes from a contractor," Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim says.

Prosecutors gathered evidence that between 2009 and 2013, Gallagher solicited and accepted cash bribes from Mauro Zonzini, the owner of a construction company that had a contract with the New Rochelle district for masonry work.

"Routinely, after the school district paid [Zonzini's] company for work performed, Gallagher met in person with Zonzini in a parking lot, where Zonzini provided Gallagher with a kickback in the amount of 10 percent of the payment the company had received from the school district," the U.S. Attorney's Office says.

Zonzini pleaded guilty earlier this year to bribery and tax evasion.

Sentencing for each man is scheduled for early 2018.

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