Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim announced Tuesday the former Director of Environmental Services for the New Rochelle Schools District has pleaded guilty to bribery, which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
Fifty-three-year-old John C. Gallagher Jr. of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania requested and received over $150,000 in cash from an independent contractor for the school district, which receives approximately $10,000 in federal funding each year. Those contractors bid for contracts on an annual basis, with the lowest bidder awarded the contract in most cases, according to court records.
Mauro Zonzini, owner of a Westchester County-based company that had a contract with the school district for masonry work, previously pleaded guilty. Gallagher received bribes from Zonzini in exchange for influencing the school district to award his company masonry work from 2009 to 2013.
Gallagher was caught on a recorded conversation saying he kept the bribe payments “in my car or in my trunk.” He utilized the money for college and credit card payments.
Gallagher’s sentencing is scheduled for February 16, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
“As he admitted today, John Gallagher demanded and received more than $150,000 in cash bribes from a contractor for the school district where Gallagher worked,” Kim said in a statement. As a school district employee, Gallagher was a public servant, whose job it was to do what was in the best interest of schoolchildren and taxpayers. Instead, Gallagher corruptly did what was in his own interests, lining his pockets with bribes. Combatting public corruption at all levels in government remains one of the Office’s top priorities.”