14 GANG MEMBERS, ALL UNDER 28 YEARS OLD, & ASSOCIATES FROM NEWBURGH, POUGHKEEPSIE CHARGED WITH RACKETEERING, NARCOTICS, FIREARMS OFFENSES

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WPCNR FBI WIRE. From the Federal Bureau of Investigation. December 2, 2022:

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”),announced the unsealing of a 10-Count Indictment charging 14 members of the Young Gunnaz Gang (“YG”), including the gang’s high-ranking street leaders, with committing various racketeering, narcotics, and firearms offenses.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas.

The Indictment charges several YG members and associates with acts of violence. 

This includes KASHAD SAMPSON, a/k/a “Shoca,” a YG leader who is charged with participating in multiple assaults with a dangerous weapon in Poughkeepsie and Newburgh, New York. 

In addition to serious acts of violence, the gang was also responsible for trafficking large amounts of narcotics across the City of Newburgh and New York State and perpetrating fraud schemes to enrich members of the gang. 

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:

“When I was sworn in as U.S. Attorney, I promised that this Office would be relentless in rooting out violent crime, in every corner of this District.  That’s a promise I am determined to keep.  Today, we’re announcing a sweeping RICO indictment charging 14 members and associates of a violent gang that we allege was up to no good:  Running open air drug markets, engaging in shootouts in the broad daylight, and doing whatever it took to control the streets and do their dirt.  Well, not anymore.  Let today’s massive takedown be a warning to all gang members.  The feds are watching.  And you better believe we don’t quit.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll said:

“Many communities are seeing a dramatic increase in violent crime, putting people on edge.  The FBI, and our law enforcement partners, are doing all we can to search out and stop these gangs from terrorizing towns in the Hudson Valley.  This investigation should be viewed as a warning to others – we will hold you accountable.”

As alleged in public court filings and the Indictment unsealed today in White Plains federal court:[1]

KASHAD SAMPSON, a/k/a “Shoca,” GEORGE DELGADO, a/k/a “Groc,” GABRIEL ROMAN, a/k/a “Gabe,” DALLAS ARCHER, a/k/a “Muggas,” JASIAH WOOTEN, a/k/a “Hov,” BRUCE ALLEN, a/k/a “Bam,” SYNCERE TATUM, a/k/a “Syn,” JOHN LALANNE, a/k/a “JJ,” RAEKWON JACKSON, a/k/a Tree,” BASHIR MALLORY, a/k/a “BG,” a/k/a “Bear,” MEKHI MCDONALD, a/k/a “Khi,” CHRISTOPHER TATE, a/k/a “Bag,” KRISTOPHER BURGESS CUNNINGHAM, a/k/a “KG,” and DEJON SCOTT, a/k/a “Red Dot,” are members and associates of a racketeering conspiracy known as YG.

On August 15, 2020, KASHAD SAMPSON, DALLAS ARCHER, JOHN LALANNE, and RAEKWON JACKSON, for the purpose of maintaining and increasing their positions in the YG enterprise, participated in and facilitated the attempted murder of rival gang members in Poughkeepsie, New York.

On April 27, 2021, SYNCERE TATUM, GABRIEL ROMAN, and CHRISTOPHER TATE, for the purpose of maintaining and increasing their positions in the YG enterprise, attempted to rob and shot at a rival drug dealer in Newburgh, New York.

On November 17, 2021, KASHAD SAMPSON, GEORGE DELGADO, JASIAH WOOTEN, and BRUCE ALLEN, for the purpose of maintaining and increasing their positions in the YG enterprise, shot at four rival gang members in Newburgh, New York.

On November 10, 2020, JOHN LALANNE robbed a narcotics dealer at gunpoint and discharged his firearm in Newburgh, New York.

From at least 2019 to the present, KASHAD SAMPSON, GEORGE DELGADO, GABRIEL ROMAN, JASIAH WOOTEN, BRUCE ALLEN, SYNCERE TATUM, JOHN LALANNE, RAEKWON JACKSON, BASHIR MALLORY, MEKHI MCDONALD, CHRISTOPHER TATE, KRISTOPHER BURGESS CUNNINGHAM, and DEJON SCOTT participated in a conspiracy to distribute a substantial amount of narcotics, including crack cocaine, heroin, Oxycodone, marijuana, and Promethazine HCL mixed with Codeine, commonly known as “lean.”  These individuals also possessed numerous firearms in connection with this narcotics conspiracy.

*                *                *

SAMPSON, 23, DELGADO, 23, ROMAN, 23, ARCHER, 25, ALLEN, 24, TATUM, 22, LALANNE, 23, MALLORY, 19, MCDONALD, 19, TATE, 19, and CUNNINGHAM, 28, were all arrested yesterday, and presented today before United States Magistrate Judges Judith C. McCarthy and Andrew E. Krause.  WOOTEN, 24, JACKSON, 22, and SCOTT, 27, have not been arrested at this time.

Charts containing the names, charges, and minimum and maximum penalties for the defendants are set forth below.  The minimum and maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI’s Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force, New York State Police, Town of New Windsor Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, City of Newburgh Police Department, Town of Newburgh Police Department, and Nassau County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Williams also thanked the FBI’s Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, the New York City Department of Correction, Correction Intelligence Bureau, Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, the Poughkeepsie Police Department, and the New York City Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer N. Ong, Nicholas S. Bradley, and Ryan W. Allison are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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COFFEE WITH WHITE PLAINS WEEK SATURDAY 8:30 A.M. FIOS CH. 45, WP OPTIMUM CH 76 THE DEC 2 REPORT–“CITY COUNTY ECONOMIC FORECAST SHOW” COVID IMPACTS THANKSGIVING FESTIVITIES WESTCHESTER POWER PLUGS BACK IN TO WESTCHESTER. SEE IT ALSO ON WWW.WPCOMMUNITYMEDIA.ORG

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IN THE MONEY
WESTCHESTER POWER BACK DESPITE HEAVY OBSTACLES RETAINS ITS BASE SUBSCRIBERS
COUNT CREDIT GOOD TO GO : QUILL & EYESHADERS LIKE WESTCHESTER COUNTY FINANCIALS

COME ON ECONOMY!!

COVID NEW CASES SOAR IN COUNTY AFTER THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
HERE WE GO! RIDGEWAY COUNTRY CLUB THE SEQUEL — PLANNING BOARD HOLDS WORK SESSION ON THE FARRELL ESTATES. PUBLIC CANNOT COMMENT TO THE BOARD AT THE MEETING.
HOLIDAY MARKET RETURNS NEXT WEEK!
JOHN BAILEY AND THE NEWS (Photo by Steve Morton)

THIS WEEK EVERY WEEK ON

WHITE PLAINS WEEK

FIRST REPORT: 2001

21ST YEAR ON THE AIR

A FRIDAY NIGHT TV TRADITION

IN WHITE PLAINS NY USA

AND HOMES AROUND THE WORLD

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“PEOPLE TO BE HEARD” TONIGHT: DIABETES, INSULIN AND ALTERNATIVES TO INSULIN ON “PEOPLE TO BE HEARD” WWW.WPCOMMUNITYMEDIA.ORG. A DIABETES-INSULIN TREATMENT SPECIAL . THE SHORTAGE OF OZEMIC THE INSULIN REPLACEMENT– THE GROWING OVER PRESCRIBING OF OZEMIC FOR DIET LOSS NOT DIABETIC TREATMENT WTH DR. AHMET ERGIN, FOUNDER OF SUGARMDs ON THE ALARMING NUMBER OF CHILDREN BECOMING DIABETIC. ALL A PARENT OR AN ADULT NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT CURRENT DIABETES TREATMENT.

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DR. AHMET ERGIN, FOUNDER O F SUGARMDS.COM INTERVIEWED BY JOHN BAILEY OF WPTV’S PEOPLE TO BE HEARD

THE SHARPLY RISING COST OF DIABETIC MEDICINE AND WHY. WHAT CAN BE DONE.

INSURANCE COMPANIES CRACKING DOWN ON THE OVERPRESCRIPTION PROBLEM

HOW OZEMIC IS MORE USEFUL TREATING YOUNGER CHILDREN WHO HAVE BECOME DIABETICS

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES.

THE GROWTH OF DIABETES TODAY.

WHO IS AT RISK?

You may also see it AT ANYTIME on www.wpcommunitymedia.org

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PLANNING BOARD CALLS WORK SESSION ON FARRELL ESTATES RIDGEWAY COUNTRY CLUB PLANS FOR TUESDAY, DEC. 6, CITY HALL 7 PM TO 9 PM. NO QUESTIONS COMMENTS BY PUBLIC IN ATTENDANCE PERMITTED.

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PLANNING BOARD MEETING
Farrell Estates at Ridgeway 
Please be aware that there will be a Planning Board Work Session on Tuesday, December 6 from 7PM to 9PM, open to the public.  The Planning Board does not take questions or comments at this work session.

Planning Board Work Session for Farrell Estates at Ridgeway
Date: December 6, 2022
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Address:
White Plains City Hall
255 Main Street- Common Council Chamber
White Plains, NY 10601
Contact: Planning Department 914.422.1300

For questions/comments regarding the proposed Farrell subdivision, please email Eileen McClain, Planning Board Secretary, at emcclain@whiteplainsny.gov – emails will be forwarded to all Planning Board members. Please note that your questions/comments will not be part of the official record for the subdivision. Only comments submitted during the public comment period become part of the official record. 

You can also mail your questions/comments to: 
WP Planning Board

City Hall, 255 Main Street
White Plains, NY 10601
Farrell Subdivision & Site Plan

Gedney Association Letter to Farrell Development Co.

Westchester County Base Map
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MORE GREEN ENERGY COMING TO NYC

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GOVERNOR HOCHUL ANNOUNCES START OF CONSTRUCTION ON 339-MILE CHAMPLAIN HUDSON POWER EXPRESS TRANSMISSION LINE TO BRING CLEAN ENERGY TO NEW YORK CITY

Governor Kathy Hochul today celebrated the start of construction of the 339-mile Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line, being developed by Transmission Developers Inc, to deliver reliable clean energy from Hydro-Québec in Canada directly to New York City.

The construction of this green infrastructure project, which begins following the execution of a major union labor agreement between the developer and New York State Building and Construction Trades, is expected to bring $3.5 billion in economic benefits to New Yorkers while creating nearly 1,400 family-sustaining union jobs during construction. Today’s announcement accelerates progress to achieve New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to obtain 70 percent of electricity statewide from renewable sources by 2030 on the path to a zero-emission grid.

“As construction begins on this project to help deliver clean energy to New York City, our state is setting yet another example of what climate action looks like,” Governor Hochul said. 

“The Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line is a monumental step toward protecting our environment and creating family-sustaining, green jobs in both upstate and downstate New York. In partnership with union labor, this green infrastructure project will bring billions of dollars in economic benefits to our state and will pave the way for cleaner air and a healthier future for all New Yorkers.” 

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said, “The Champlain Hudson Power Express is a powerful example of the infrastructure that President Biden and Governor Hochul are committed to bring to New York and America. The project is expected to deliver clean, affordable, and reliable power while creating good-paying, union jobs.”

Champlain Hudson Power Express is the first of two historic projects to start construction under the State’s first-of-its-kind renewable energy and transmission program, known as Tier 4, that is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The program aims to responsibly deliver a significant increase of renewable energy to New York City, an area of the state that relies on aging fossil fuel-fired generation located largely in underserved communities, experiences the most significant air quality issues and health impacts from fossil fuel emissions, and has a marked need for improved grid reliability and resiliency.

Once completed, Champlain Hudson Power Express will deliver 1,250 megawatts of clean hydroelectricity, enough to power over one million homes, and will reduce carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons statewide, the equivalent of taking over half a million cars off the road every year. The transmission line is expected to be fully operational in the spring of 2026.

This milestone comes after the New York State Public Service Commission approved the project’s first Environmental Management and Construction Plan for a 17.6-mile stretch of the transmission route between Putnam and Whitehall. The initial stage of construction activities, including site preparation and construction of a laydown yard, will begin in Washington County, near Whitehall, and is anticipated to continue through November 2024. A map of the transmission line can be found here

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO, and Climate Action Council Co-Chair, Doreen M. Harris said, “With construction beginning on the Champlain Hudson Power Express project, we are helping solidify New York’s transition away from fossil fuels and demonstrate to the nation how strategic private-public partnerships can help us tackle some of our toughest energy challenges head-on. As the first of two historic transmission developments to break ground, Champlain Hudson Power Express is helping to usher in the grid of the future – all while New York continues to build the most robust public renewables pipeline in the nation that will power homes and businesses for years to come.”

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DISTRICT 5 LEGISLATOR BEN BOYKIN II SAYS: BRUSH UP YOUR DRIVING, SENIORS, SENIORS TO BE AND AGING UPS! IT’S OLDER DRIVER SAFETY WEEK NEXT WEEK FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE “DRIVING UP!”

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KEYS TO SAFE DRIVING WHEN YOU’RE “DRIVING UP
 
A series of five free programs sponsored by the County’s Department of Senior Programs and Services (DSPS) will take place during Older Driver Safety Week this December 5-9.  

The programs are presented by DSPS’ Older Driver Coalition and will offer tools, tips and techniques that older drivers can use to be on the road as safely as possible for as long as possible. The programs will also explore when it is time to stop driving and what alternative transportation services are available when seniors decide to relinquish their keys.

Each session will cover similar material, registration is suggested but walk-ins are welcome.SMART Commute staff from Westchester County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW/T) will be at each session to help seniors interested in signing up for the MTA Reduced-Fare MetroCard.

For more information about the Older Driver Coalition and the help it offers year-round to seniors and their families, contact Beverly Carter, DSPS’ liaison to the coalition, at bdc1@westchestergov.com or (914) 813-6188.  The dates, times and locations for the programs are:

Monday, Dec. 5
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. 
Contact: Noreen O’Driscoll
Albert A. Capellini Community Cultural Center
1974 Commerce Street, Room 113, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
Phone: (914) 962-7447
Tuesday, Dec. 6
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Contact: Anne Russak
  James Harmon Community Center
44 Main Street, Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706
Phone: (914) 478-2380 ext. 644
Wednesday, Dec. 7
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Contact: Debbie Klein
Joseph G. Caputo Community Center
95 Broadway, Ossining, NY 10562
Phone: (914) 762-1350
Thursday, Dec. 8
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Contact: Phillis Maucieri
New Rochelle Office of the Aging
94 Davis Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10805
Phone: (914) 235-2363
Friday, Dec. 9
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Contact: Arlene Saliman
Radio station WVOX
Your Community in Action – 1460 AM dial
Phone: (914) 636-0110 www.wvox.com

en Español“Claves para una Conducción Segura” (“Keys to Safe Driving”), una serie de cinco programas gratuitos patrocinados por el Departamento de Programas y Servicios para Personas Mayores (Department of Senior Programs and Services (DSPS) del Condado, se llevará a cabo durante la Semana de la Seguridad de los Conductores Mayores del 5 al 9 de diciembre.Los programas son presentados por la Coalición de Conductores Mayores de DSPS y ofrecerán herramientas, consejos y técnicas que los conductores mayores pueden usar para estar en la carretera con la mayor seguridad posible durante el mayor tiempo posible. Los programas también explorarán cuándo es el momento de dejar de conducir y qué servicios de transporte alternativos están disponibles cuando las personas mayores deciden entregar sus llaves.Cada sesión cubrirá material similar, se recomienda registrarse, pero se aceptan visitas sin cita previa.El personal de SMART Commute del Departamento de Obras Públicas y Transporte Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW/T) del Condado de Westchester estará presente en cada sesión para ayudar a las personas mayores interesadas en inscribirse en la MetroCard de Tarifa-Reducida de la MTA.Para obtener más información sobre Older Driver Coalition y la ayuda que ofrece durante todo el año a las personas mayores y sus familias, comuníquese con Beverly Carter, enlace de DSPS con la coalición, en bdc1@westchestergov.com o (914) 813-6188. Las fechas, horarios y lugares de los programas son:lunes, 5 de diciembre
11:45 a.m. a 12:45 p.m.
Contacto: Noreen O’Driscoll
Albert A. Capellini Community Cultural Center
1974 Commerce Street, Sala 113, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
Teléfono: (914) 962-7447
​ martes, 6 de diciembre
12:30 p.m. a 1:30 p.m.
Contacto: Anne Russak
  James Harmon Community Center
44 Main Street, Hastings on Hudson, Nueva York 10706
Teléfono: (914) 478-2380 ext. 644
miércoles, 7 de diciembre
11:15 a.m. a 12:00 p.m.
Contacto: Debbie Klein
Joseph G. Caputo Community Center
95 Broadway, Ossining, NY 10562
Teléfono: (914) 762-1350
jueves, 8 de diciembre
1:00 p.m. a 2:00 p.m.
Contacto: Phillis Maucieri
Oficina de la Tercera Edad de New Rochelle
94 Davis Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10805
Teléfono: (914) 235-2363
viernes, 9 de diciembre
1:00 p.m. a 2:00 p.m.
Contacto: Arlene Saliman
Estación de Radio WVOX
Tu Comunidad en acción – 1460 AM marcar
Teléfono: (914) 636-0110 www.wvox.com
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MEMO TO PLANNING: HEADS UP TO FARRELL BUILDERS ON THE RIDGEWAY CLUB PROPERTY. DO WATER STUDY NOW BEFORE SITE PLAN PRESENTATION

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AERIAL VIEW OF THE RIDGEWAY COUNTRY CLUB AT TIME IT WAS SOLD DECEMBER 3, 2021–ONE YEAR AGO.

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. November 30, 2022:

Subject: for the Planning Board . . .a suggestion for the Farrell Estates project

Regarding the Farrell Estates project. . .you could save time and money with less misinformation for everyone involved if the City ordered (with reimbursement by Farrell) an independent “detailed water flow analysis” for the old golf course property. . .now rather than later.

Because an independent “detailed water flow analysis” will determine how many houses can be safely built according to current zoning. . .and will insure that the new construction does not add more water problems to existing Gedney Farms neighborhood homes.

And by knowing the right number of new houses before all the thousand page environmental reports are submitted. . .all the other major issues of traffic, roads, sidewalks, setbacks, fencing, etc. will fall more easily into place.

Dear White Plains Planning Board Members,

We are Marie and Ron Rhodes of 22 Robinhood Road where we have lived for the past 43 years on property bordering Parcel B of the old golf course property.  And we like the idea of new single family homes coming into our neighborhood. . .providing they can be built without risk to surrounding home owners.   

As you already know 100 years or so ago the original developer of this golf course covered up underground streams with piping and in the process created an unusual golf course consisting of 4 Parcels of land with each Parcel separated by public streets and private homes.  To us it appears that he also had a concern with water issues and because he lived on Oxford Road, he may have created each Parcel to be “sloped” away from Oxford rather than being flat surfaces.  And most of the surrounding residential properties he created at the same time of his golf course were also sloped to drain onto the golf course property.  Surrounding homes like ours have been dealing with water challenges for as long as we have been here. . .so we are concerned about a new developer making our current water issues worse.  

For instance, over our own 40+ yeas of living here we have experienced all types of weather conditions on Parcel B of the old golf course.  In his preliminary plans Farrell is planning to build 4 homes right near our home where there is about a 3 ft drop down from the rest of Parcel B. . .on land which floods after rainfalls.  And even if homes are built there without basements. . .we believe that these homes will have water on their 1st floors during every rainfall.  For us this is an indication that maybe Farrell’s Consultants do not know as much as they should about the specific water issues and problem areas.  Our concern is whatever Farrell’s possible water solutions are. . .they could cause problems for ourselves and neighbors’ own properties.  And if Farrell’s new houses are also being built on top of the underground streams our problems may be greater. . .as even in the prior FASNY discussions we have never seen a current map on where these underground streams and pipes are actually located.

Strangely no one from FASNY or now Farrell has ever knocked on our door and asked our opinions on what we have seen and experienced with water flow while living next to the golf course for so long.  There are other areas on the old golf course that also flood and you would have to speak to residents there to get their specific water concerns.  The Consultants Diego and Zarin during their years representing FASNY were less than forthcoming and transparent and like all consultants they follow the instructions of those who pay their fees.  Recently Diego told the residents of Gedney Farms that “he walked the golf course property”.  Does this mean his day or so of walking gave him as much info as the residents like ourselves who have lived here for years?  And he also informed residents that we will have to “wait for his Storm Water Plan” to see what Farrell’s solutions to the water issues are.  For us this is unacceptable as after Farrell sells his 99 homes and leaves along with Diego and Zarin to go on to their next projects. . .who would residents look to for “remediation” if the Farrell and his consultants’ water changes and solutions do not work?

A good starting point would be for the Planning Board to require a current map identifying all of the underground streams and pipes to see how many of Farrell’s 99 new houses are being planned for development over underground streams. 

Our suggestion is that the City should order (with reimbursement by Farrell) an independent “detailed water flow analysis” taking into account the sloping of the original course and surrounding homes, the underground streams and current flooding areas.  In other words have an independent and detailed water evaluation of Farrell’s proposed 99 new home development done now and be transparent with the results. . .so everyone can get a feeling up front on how many houses can safely be built.

Thanks in advance for trying to safeguard current residents,  

Marie and Ron Rhodes         

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FORMER LONG ISLAND SCHOOL OFFICIAL PLEADS GUILTY IN KICKBACK SCHEME

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Ex-Director of Food Services for Hempstead Public Schools Steered Contracts to Co-Defendant in Exchange for Kickbacks

WPCNR FBI WIRE. From the Federal Bureau of Investigation. November 30, 2022:

Tuesday, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, Sharon Gardner, the former Director of Food Services for the Hempstead Union Free School District (“HUFSD”), pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud in connection with her participation in a kickback scheme. 

Gardner’s co-defendant, Maria Caliendo, the owner of food service providers Smart Starts NY, Inc. (“Smart Starts”) and Prince Umberto’s restaurant in Franklin Square, previously pleaded guilty on October 27, 2022 to the same offense and is awaiting sentencing. 

Tuesday’s proceeding was held before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert.  When sentenced, the defendants each face up to 20 years in prison.  As part of their respective pleas, Gardner has agreed to forfeit approximately $120,000 and Caliendo has agreed to forfeit approximately $160,000.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI); Bethanne M. Dinkins, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG); Terry Harris, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General, Eastern Regional Office; Thomas Fattorusso, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, New York; Anne T. Donnelly, Nassau County District Attorney; and Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller, announced the guilty plea.

“Gardner abused her position of trust as a school official in order to enrich herself with kickbacks she used to pay for overseas vacations and home furnishings.  Now she will face the consequences for her greed,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “This Office will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute corrupt officials who illegally profit from our public institutions.” 

“As today’s guilty plea demonstrates, the defendant exploited her role in order to take advantage of the taxpayers for her own personal enrichment.  The FBI and our Law Enforcement partners are committed to fighting public corruption and ensuring that those officials who abuse the trust placed in them are held accountable for their actions in the criminal justice system,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll.

USDA-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Dinkins stated, “The School Breakfast Program (SBP) was created to provide food and nutrition to those who truly need this assistance. Those who are involved in fraud and abuse of USDA feeding programs will be investigated by our office to the fullest extent.  This joint investigation identified individuals who sought to profit from the SBP through illegal schemes. The USDA Office of Inspector General will continue to dedicate investigative resources, working with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, in order to protect the integrity of these programs and bring to justice those who commit fraud.”

“I am proud of the work of OIG Special Agents and our law enforcement partners in holding Ms. Gardner accountable for her criminal actions,” stated DOE-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Harris.  “We will continue to aggressively pursue those who misappropriate federal funds for their own selfish purposes.  America’s students and taxpayers deserve nothing less.”

“This defendant leveraged her power as a Hempstead School District official to line her own pockets and those of her co-defendant for nearly two years,” stated Nassau County District Attorney Donnelly.

 “Gardner orchestrated the scheme, shirking her responsibilities to follow a legitimate bidding process and handing over the contract to Maria Caliendo, a local restaurant owner who had previously hosted Gardner’s holiday parties. Public funds are precious and finite. Individuals who exploit their positions to access those funds for their own financial gain will be found and prosecuted. I thank our law enforcement partners for their diligent work ensuring these defendants are now held accountable for their crimes.”

“Gardner exploited her position and betrayed the students, parents and taxpayers of the Hempstead School District to enrich herself,” stated Comptroller DiNapoli.  “I thank United States Attorney Breon Peace, Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly, the FBI and the Inspectors General for the Departments of Agriculture and Education for their partnership in holding Gardner accountable for her actions.”  

According to court filings and facts presented at the plea proceeding, Gardner, in her capacity as the Director of Food Services for HUFSD, helped secure lucrative contracts for Caliendo’s company, Smart Starts, to provide prepackaged breakfast meals for Hempstead public school students.  In exchange, Caliendo kicked back a portion of the contract proceeds totaling more than $100,000 to Gardner through fraudulent payroll deposits and other payments.  To conceal the illegal nature of the arrangement, those payments were deposited into a bank account that was created in the name of one of Gardner’s family members.  The kicked back funds were spent by Gardner on international vacations, a leased vehicle, and home furnishings.  Approximately $13,000 in kicked back funds were also withdrawn by Gardner in cash from ATMs located near her home and workplace.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Anthony Bagnuola and Charles P. Kelly are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendants:

SHARON GARDNER
Age:  56          
Lindenhurst, New York

MARIA CALIENDO
Age:  57
Elmont, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-CR-229 (JS)

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WESTCHESTER POWER IS BACK!

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SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER/ WESTCHESTER POWER SWITCHES ON ELECTRICITY BACK TO ITS SUSTAINABLE CUSTOMERS AFTER 4 MONTHS OF CON ED DELIVERING ELECTRICITY SUPPLY.

CONSTELLATION ENERGY A SEPARATE AND INDEPENDENT COMPANY FROM CON ED SUPPLIER—NOT A SUBSIDIARY OF CON ED.

Kwh RATE OF 15.126 CENTS TAKES EFFECT FOR SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER RETURNING CUSTOMERS THURSDAY.

WPCNR THE POWER STORY. By John F. Bailey. November 28, 2022:

A postcard  from Con Edison created confusion among Sustainable Westchester/Westchester Power customers last week.

Westchester Power is the cooperative formed six years ago that combines the purchasing power of 24 towns and cities plus Yonkers in Westchester to achieve stable discount power rates on green energy generated electricity, guaranteeing  the same rate for two years

WPCNR, being a Westchester Power customer was confused too.

The postcard from Con Edison seemed to say that Cca-Constellation New was my new electricity supplier. Since I had opted to stay with Westchester Power 5 months ago, I was surprised. So were hundreds of Westchester Power customers.

When I called Westchester Power Monday morning, I was told there were 49 other persons ahead of my call (probably with the same question).

Persons who received this card previously had obviously wondered what it was all about and were wondering who would take care of the electricity if it went out.

I left my name with the press representative (explaining I was a member of the press) for Westchester Power who called me back this morning.

Jessica Meister, Customer Service Manager  assured me CCA-Constellation New is an independent Electric Supply Company under contract with Westchester Power to supply the electricity from green energy sources and was the same company Westchester Power had been using the last 5 years.

She said customers staying on with Westchester Power would be transferred from Con Edison electricity to Constellation electricity effective December 1 with billing at the new Westchester Power Rate of 15.126 cents per kilowatt hour, guaranteed for the next two years not to go up.

I asked if she had an idea how much electric rates were going to go up the next year. She said she did not, but said Con Edison had published a press release warning Con Edison expects rates to rise by 27% this winter, or 4.01 cents more than the current Con Edison rate Westchester Power customers were paying (11.5 cents per kilowatt hour), which would equal the 15.126 cents per kwh the new rate Westchester Power will have in effect beginning Thursday.

Ms. Meister said the new rate would go into effect beginning Thursday.

She said there would be no rebate on any of the months Con Edison supplied electricity while Westchester Power went back to Electric Supply Companies to get a new sustainable rate. A consulting firm that had previously conducted a power supplier survey to aid Westchester Power in hammering out a sustainable rate took over the search. The new rate was announced by Westchester Power in September.

Asked what would happen if Constellation Energy failed to supply electricity through some situation, Ms. Meister said she would get back to WPCNR on that issue. She disruptions in “Delivery” caused by physical problems with Con Ed equipment and facilities delivering electricity would be handled by Con Edison (as they always have been).

For the record the Con Edison note that caused the confusion of the last two weeks called the “new” company which was not new, “Cca-Constellation New”. The company is the same as Constellation New Energy which has been on my bill from Con Ed the last five years I have used Westchester Power. (Very happily I might add).

Con Edison has been mailing Westchester Power customers  frequently the last 9 months at least once a month offering electricity from a company called Clean Choice Energy offering a non-guaranteed rate of 16.40 cents per kilowatt hour with future months at a variable price depending on the market rate.

So had any consumer opted for this you would already start the cancel at any time contract  paying more for Con Edison “Clean Choice” Energy than the rate Westchester Power Constellation New Energy will be charging you beginning Thursday for the next two years.

Ms. Meister said the Westchester Power agreement allows a customer to leave the program at any time and come back if dissatisfied with your current choice if you left Westchester Power.

I asked her if Westchester Power had lost many customers during the pause of the last five months or leading up to the return to West and she said no, it was the usual pattern seen over the last 5 years.

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WESTCHESTER COUNTY OCTOBER SALES TAX DOLLARS GROWS BY 11% SHOULD TOP OUT AT $903 MILLION

Hits: 68

REAL ECONOMIC GROWTH IS ONLY 3%.

WHITE PLAINS UP 8% ON TARGET FOR $54.7 MILLION BY JUNE,  A RECORD.

WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE By John F. Bailey November 29, 2022 UPDATED:

Westchester Sales Tax collections  have grown 11% over 2021, fueled by the extradordinary 8% inflation. Real growth of the Westchester economy is roughly only  3%.

Westchester, through October, according to the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance, has collected $703,206,310 in sales tax receipts through October 11% more than the $657,124,249 the county collected through the first 10 months of 2021.

The county, IF they collect the same revenues from sales taxes they received last October and December,  $61,536, 612 and $94,640, 895, the county will gross  $886,383,917 for the year.

The County, if county resident consumers spend at the current 11% growth rate in sales tax dollars in November and December will earn $17.1 million more putting them over $900 MILLION  ($903,563,342).  

In order to reach the $909,850,000 million in sales taxes budgeted for 2023 by the county financial experts, the county would have to have a 15% increase in the November December  two months in order to reach the $910 Million. It is possible.

 In 2021 the December sales tax went up to $94,640,995  million over $83,763,988 in December of 2021, an increase of 13% in one month one year over the other.

If the county does continue steady in its present growth it may fall short again as it did 6 years ago.

Optimism without reason has got the county into trouble in the last two years of the Robert Astorino administration. Projecting continued growth in the county economy based on an inflation-created revenue surge is going 90 miles an hour down a Dead End street and the brakes are gone (Thank you Hank Snow).

Thanks to covid, the county has had its deficit erased by millions in covid aid which they used to pay off their deficit caused by overoptimistic budgeting 6 years ago, and use the rest of it to replenish their fund balance, which actually should have gone to victims of covid. 

Now, this record sales tax year is being looked on as a perpetual phenomenon. Is the county again betting with chips they do not have?

Maybe. Or as an sportscaster friend of mine Steve Gilmartin of WMAL TV once said after the Washington Senators went 18-10 in their first 28 games, “We were living in a fool’s paradise, my friend.”

This 11%, figure watchers,  is not real growth. It is created by inflation in prices. Consumers cut back. The consumer has fixed income. So when higher prices bring in increased revenue companies and governments gain, but the growth is not real.

It just looks like the economy is growing and happy days are just around the corner.

But the growth is not real.

One trip to the supermarket will tell you that.

How’s White Plains doin’? Steady and Stable. 8% growth Not betting chips they do not have.

The City of White Plains is UP 8% after the first 4 months of its fiscal year with  $18,921,084 in sales tax revenues. If we match last year November December figures, we are sitting on $25,164,856 in revenues for the first 6 months.

If the city economy matches last the first six months of 2022 (when the city gained  $27,335,160 in sales tax revenues), the City of White Plains will post $52.5 million in sales tax receipts a sales tax record. White Plains should benefit from some inflation in those months, too. IF the first six months continue at 8% growth, the city will gain an additional $2,186, 812 dollars creating a final figure of $54,686,828.

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