NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Speaking on the steps of City Hall, Councilmen Louis Trangucci and Richard St. Paul revealed to reporters more details about the unfolding scandal of Department of Public Works Fleet Manager Richard Fevang, who was indicted of 66-counts on Tuesday -- of which 22 are felonies.
Reportedly, Fevang drew the attention of the Westchester District Attorney’s officer after a tip from Public Works employee Pat Pappalardi, who told Councilman Trangucci about the alleged fraud in January of 2010.
Immediately after receiving the tip, Trangucci notified the District Attorney’s office and provided two years’ worth of invoices to the district attorney. The 18-month investigation culminated in Fevang’s arrest on Tuesday.
In response to the high-count indictment, Councilman St. Paul called for an independent financial audit of the city’s finances and asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate the alleged crimes that have taken place since 2005. “I have information that more parties were involved ... parties that crossed statelines into areas outside of New York,” said St. Paul. He said he would elaborate more on this information on July 7 and where he asked for a line item in the city agenda to discuss the recent indictment against Fevang.
According to the councilmen, Pappalardi, a mechanic, provided an invoice for a truck that never received any repairs, however, the invoice shows that the city was billed $12,000. After receiving the fishy invoice, Trangucci notified the district attorney and the investigation began.
Trangucci said, “It is a sad day in New Rochelle, but in no way does it diminish what DPW does for the citizens.”
In a statement, City Manager Charles Strome said, “The City Council is fully aware that the charges here concern only a single municipal employee in the Department of Public Works. In fact, the District Attorney has advised us that the investigation of this matter is closed and that no other city employees are suspected of misconduct.”
The district attnorey’s indictment does not allege that Fevang benefitted financially, but Trangucci asked why not? “He’s not going to change the invoices just because he wants to see the invoices changed,” said Trangucci. “There are some other reasons behind it, and I’m sure they might be monetary … but that’s for the district attorney and courts to determine.”
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