Published Online: January 25, 2005
Published in Print: January 26, 2005, as Former N.Y. School Administrator Charged With Stealing From District

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Former N.Y. School Administrator Charged With Stealing From District

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A former school administrator was charged with grand larceny last week for allegedly stealing $688,000 from a school district on Long Island, N.Y.

Thomas J. Spota, the district attorney for Suffolk County, charged Daniel Cifonelli, 70, with stealing money from the 11,000-student William Floyd school district and the New York State Teachers Retirement System.

Mr. Cifonelli, who was the district’s assistant superintendent for business, is charged with acting as a consultant to the district and illegally drawing retirement benefits at the same time.

He is also accused of taking money from district accounts that were used to pay employees’ life-insurance premiums. The treasurer of the district, James Wright, who was charged last June with writing $650,000 in checks to himself from district accounts, is alleged to have helped in the transactions. Mr. Wright is cooperating with the investigation.

Vincent Pascale, the president of the William Floyd school board, said in a statement last week that the district has fully cooperated with the investigation and has developed new internal controls and auditing protocols to guard against future theft.

Mr. Cifonelli pleaded not guilty last week and is expected to return to court March 14.

Vol. 24, Issue 20, Page 4

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