Josh RultenbergOct 11, 2017, 10:59 am

Ex-New Rochelle school director admits to pocketing $150K in bribes from contractor

Prosecutors: John Gallagher, Jr. 53, took cash from company that in return got work at the district

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A former school director in New Rochelle admitted in court to taking $150,000 in bribes from a construction company.

John Gallagher, Jr. 53, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery in White Plains Federal Court on Tuesday. He admitted he demanded and received bribes from a contractor for the school district he worked for.

According to the indictment, Gallagher’s co-conspirator, Mauro Zonzini pleaded guilty back in May.

As the director of environmental sciences, Gallagher could decide which contractors won contracts and could determine the exact specifics of their work. Zonzini owned a construction company based in Westchester County that did yearly masonry work for the school district.

Over the course of four years, prosecutors say Gallagher took cash bribes from Zonzini. In return Zonzini's company would get to work at the district.

The two met routinely in person after the work was done where Zonzini would give Gallagher a 10 percent kickback his company got from the district. All together it was more than $150,000.

Gallagher hid the payments and admitted, in a secretly recorded conversation, that he kept the cash in his car or trunk.

Gallagher will be sentenced in January. He could face a maximum 10 years in prison. Zonzini will learn his fate a month later.

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