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Ex-New Rochelle Schools Director Heads To Federal Prison For Bribery Scheme

The federal courthouse for the Southern District of New York in White Plains.
The federal courthouse for the Southern District of New York in White Plains. Photo Credit: Google Maps Street View

A former New Rochelle Schools Director who was implicated in a corruption scheme is heading to federal prison following sentencing at the United States Courthouse in White Plains.

Last year, John Gallagher Jr. pleaded guilty to bribery for his role in a four-year corruption scheme while he was an independent contractor working with the New Rochelle School District. He faced up to four years in prison and must pay thousands in fines.

Gallagher was originally scheduled to be sentenced last month, but that got pushed to Wednesday, where a judge sentenced him to a term of four years in federal prison, followed by two years post-release probation and he must make restitution of more than $100,000 to the New Rochelle School District, according to a Talk of the Sound report released from the courthouse.

According to the school district, Gallagher was an employee of Aramark Management Services, which held contracts to provide the district with facilities management service dating back to the 1980s. The indictment states that between 2009 and 2013, Gallagher received more than $150,000 in kickbacks from the independent contractor.

District officials dismissed Gallagher and the entire on-site Aramark team for “unsatisfactory management and supervision” in July 2014. When the current administration was brought in, they “remained unsatisfied,” and the Aramark contract was terminated in its entirety on June 30 last year. The district now handles facilities management internally.

“A school district official should be doing what is best for our children and their education," officials said of Gallagher last year. "Instead, John Gallagher demanded and received more than $150,000 in kickbacks and bribes from a contractor for the school district."

The independent contractor did construction work for the district for several years “as the low bidder on annual time and materials bids for repair and construction services,” though he too was dismissed in 2013 because officials were “generally dissatisfied with the performance of time and materials contractors, and the use of time and material bids.”

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