THE HEZITORIAL INVESTIGATION: Joseph Celli Unafraid to Put Our Civil Servants in Harms Way By HEZI ARIS

Hezi Aris Hezitorial 25 Comments

Ehezi_charicatureJoe Celli’s Past Conduct May Prove Him to Be a Murderer 

This Hezitorial references the conduct described in the publication of February 17, 2014, with respect to minor renovations undertaken in May 2013 at Yonkers Fire Station 12, located at 75 Fortfield Avenue – THE HEZITORIAL INVESTIGATION: A Sad Telling in the City of Yonkers – Asbestos at Yonkers Fire Station 12 By HEZI ARIS,  

The Hezitorial referenced above speaks to events as they transpired. Little as to how they came about, and even less with respect to the interaction between Joseph Celli, director of the Yonkers Office of General Services and his Manager Lenny Spano. The ramification of the harmful effects exposure to asbestos poisoning that should and could have been prevented has yet to be revealed. In contrast to that silence, in contrast to the silence over this issue, the Yonkers Tribune will no longer keep the issues under wraps. The prognosis is unknown. It may take two decades or so to learn if any negative and deleterious issues arise. Even so, nothing has been said about the predatory, domineering, bullying, and controlling conduct and demeanor of predator Celli and his placing Department of Public Works (DPW) workers and members of the Yonkers Fire Department (YFD) who work at Fire Station 12, as well as the family members, spouses and children, among other relatives, and business associates alike in harms way.

Not a a word or acknowledgment from Celli’s second in command Lenny Spano, his uncle Mayor Mike Spano, newly installed Yonkers Inspector General Brendan McGrath, Esq., DPW Commissioner Thomas Meier, Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin, Teamsters Local 456 Business Agent Louis Picani, and none of the Yonkers City Councilmembership. Yonkers Corporation Counsel Michael Curti, Esq., is mum. The Yonkers Board of Ethics will not tackle this concern. At issue is why does Yonkers permit bullying predators to run roughshod and betray the trust over the people who maintain the function of the City of Hills. There is definitely much blame and responsibility borne among the silent in our midst. 

Despite the silence of the past, there are witnesses to everything we do; both the good and the bad. This telling reveals the latter. 

It all began in May 2013, when the Yonkers Fire Department (YFD), having earned a $200,000 grant to renovate Fire Station 12. Becoming aware of the grant, Joseph Celli, director of the Yonkers Office of General Services approached the YFD and asked them to incorporate the services of select, skilled Department of Public Works employees to do the job instead of using an outside contractor to improve all the firehouses in Yonkers. The argument was that the DPW workers, under Celli’s auspices, guidance, and scrutiny would allow more workers to broaden their skills. In a sense, employing the DPW workers would be a win, win all around. The YFD, eager to work with their compatriots at DPW readily agreed. Celli’s convincing “spiel” would prove to be a fraud.

Joe Celli used the business agreement to foster patronage and favor on mostly unqualified workers to rob the fire department of the renovation effort for which they were engaged. Celli gave those workers overtime everyday at the firehouse with absolutely no supervision. The workers lacked knowledge and skills required for the job they were said to be skilled at and they consequently got bored very quickly. Even those that had some idea of what was to be done quickly tired of their effort. They had nothing to do; they had no guidance and no training. The interest to get the job done would soon be lost to finding something to do. The “crew” eventually stopped working, but the overtime pay kept accruing. While the Firefighters were completing their inspection rounds in the areaduring the daytime , the DPW crew would eat the snacks purchased by the Firefighters, leaving a mess that had to be cleaned up by the Firefighters upon their return. The DPW crew watched television. They were bored silly.

The unsupervised conduct continued until some workers began to turn overtime down because they realized the Firefighters were completely fed up with their pointless presence in the firehouse.  

Celli continued to employ workers who spent time at Firehouse 12  for earning overtime, nothing more. This became evident when the $200,000 grant was quickly reaching depletion and the renovation effort was nowhere near being completed.  Those employed had no idea what they were to do and they no longer cared. Celli was delinquent in not teaching those he employed to learn the skills necessary to complete the project as he initially said they could. YFD has Joe Celli to thank for talking them into hiring workers who did not know how to repair the much-needed repairs in all of Yonkers Firehouses. The overtime handed out by Joe Celli became more of an after hours hangout consisting of playing pool, throwing darts, and sleeping in the firemen’s lounge by general services finest. 

Then came the revelation of the asbestos problem. Once again, thanks to a lack supervision and the lack of knowledge required for the job, everyone who had contact at Firehouse 12 and those that would come in contact with them were potentially at risk of asbestos poisoning, even death. 

Joe Celli told his workers that the Firefighter’s sleeping dormitory flooring tile had to be ripped up and removed. Without supervision, the workers did as they were told; for a week’s time, they began to rip up and remove the floor tile. They placed the ripped up tiles filled with asbestos into black bags and dumped the bags at Yonkers City Dump as if it were “normal” garbage, which should not have been disposed of like normal garbage. Approximately one month after the floor was ripped up, some Firefighters questioned why the asbestos laden tiles were removed. Some of the Firefighters knew that asbestos could have been present in the removed tiles and that asbestos residue was likely left behind. The Firefighter took air samples in the room in which the tiles once were and asbestos was found to be present in that environment. The “air test” was done a month or so after the tile was ripped up. Firefighters were sleeping in that room all that time. No new flooring was ever applied. 

Word got to Joe Celli that asbestos was found in that room and he allegedly ordered workers to duct tape the doors of the room with signs that read keep out. About four months passed and the doors were still not taped shut and no asbestos was removed. Asbestos remained in the firehouse for about five months until finally, an asbestos removing company showed up to remove the asbestos from the contaminated room. 

There will be some who will not care about the potential harm and possible death this may cause the workers employed at Fire Station 12, the Firefighters assigned to that station, their spouses and children, friends, or associates. Asbestos adheres to clothing, skin, and fills lungs with every breath taken. Firefighters and the workers assigned to the renovation job were betrayed by Joe Celli either because he was ignorant of what was required to complete the job correctly or because her didn’t care. But there may be financial concerns. 

One has to wonder how much the asbestos removal company cost the taxpayers of Yonkers? Asbestos removal is not cheap because it is a deadly and lethal material that must be handled with prescribed standards and protocol. What was the total cost for the incompetence and lack of responsibility by Celli in exacting his responsibilities? 

Not only did Joe Celli not advise the Firefighters to evacuate the building once he knew of the asbestos and immediately engage the services of an asbestos removal company, he continued to send his own workers there to work on repairs in other rooms for an additional five months. It took five months for Joe Celli to recognize the deadly material his untrained and unsupervised workers were exposed to and that they and the Firefighters, and their respective families were in harms way. No excuse given by Joe Celli is acceptable. He betrayed his responsibilities. He is a thug who continues to earn $140,000 per annum. Is that the price for a responsible servant of the public trust or is that the price for a killer? Does Yonkers need a murderer within our midst?

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Hezi ArisTHE HEZITORIAL INVESTIGATION: Joseph Celli Unafraid to Put Our Civil Servants in Harms Way By HEZI ARIS

Comments 25

  1. jimmyj

    I would love to tell the people of yonkers how there tax dollars are wasted on incompetent people who work for yonkers But there friends & family.If tax payer only knew they would be sick.If most of the yonkers work force worked in privet sector they would be fired in a week.GOD BLESS CIVIL SERVICE

  2. One termer

    feds are here they are just watching and gathering facts and Intel, you are right they do take time, but that’s why over 90% of fed cases defendants don’t go to trial……….

  3. A Facebook User

    Its just my opinion that the FEDS really want nothing to do in CoY
    Or they would of been here a LONG time ago but but there investigation
    Do take up to 3 years.I really want to find out why they got the IG out
    And what investigation was she and her office working on last.

  4. CSLewis

    Cuomo is trying to do, with the help of his puppet mayor Mikey, what his father could not do as governor–break the firefighter unions. Cuomo is an evil, fascist dictator who needs to be tried for crimes against humanity. I hope that McGoey stays the course and nails this banana republic city regime through the eyes. How sad that a once great city, so old and rich in history and a beacon for city folks fleeing for the suburbs, has become a national embarrassment. Corruption, graft, scandal, moral and fiscal bankruptcy, city council members who can’t see the light of day……….
    It’s time for the feds to pay a visit to City Hall.

  5. CYO

    Mikey’s the lovable idiot. He is part of the Spano Machine. Every political office attained is to protect and enhance that machine. Again look who backed Mikey fro mayor, not just the Dems but all the old republicans. It is the same group who has been running this city for decades. Every once in a while someone else gets elected who tries to do the right thing but how many times do you want to beat your head against !
    Celli is a hired hand for that machine. Mikey is not asleep he is a part of everything that’s wrong.

  6. mjs

    Not surprising…amazing how the mayor knew everything about a firefighter’s salary and NOTHING else in YO two months ago.
    Meanwhile, he looks FOOLISH now that 100+ million deficit in the school budget. He will blame any and all to deflect the true leadership lacking of his tenure as mayor dumbo.
    Never trust….never believe…

  7. 22Months left

    on his swearing in just 2 years ago his theme was a breath of fresh air, now 2 years later it seems like the smell of nicks and johns farts that are ruining mik,these guys think they are really are giving good advice to mikey is absurd.Remember nick lost that election to cousins back in 2004…thank god for that bag of 18 votes found in the basement of the BOE for him, point is it shows nick was a loser back in 2004,not 2006,when she beat him the 2nd time around………..wake up mayor

  8. Bunch of Idiots

    Don’t let Spano and his underlings get away with this the way Amicone got away with removing the Guardian papers and violated the First Amendment. Obviously, this is more serious as it goes straight to the firefighters health, their spouses and children’s health. But the principle is the same. Legal action will be taken. The idiot mayor and his idiot followers have to pay out of their own pockets. The taxpayer should not and will not pay for the atrocities and legal bills of the idiots that run this city. Things never change unless we change them. Every firefighter who spent more than 5 mins in that firehouse should get a lawyer. And every taxpayer should file a class action lawsuit against the Mayor, Celli, Meier and whatever other idiots were involved in this. I think this is grounds for impeaching the idiot mayor and firing every employee who gave the ok. Impeach a mayor that would put the risk of any civil servant employees’ health and life at risk, but putting the health and life of those that protect and save the lives of citizens everyday is disgraceful. This administration should be ashamed of themselves.

  9. Blame Spencer

    McLaughable won’t make a peep, nor will the rest of the Irish Council mafia. Don’t forget that Johhny Spender and Kathy brought reformed Celli to City Hall and gave him a high paying job for which he had absolutely no qualification.
    As history is written, it shall be proven that Spender and kathy destroyed city gov’t in Yonkers by such outrageous actions.
    People like this guy should never have seen the inside of City Hall and would not have in the old City Manager days.

  10. YO

    Hezi, good story but if you think Celli hasthat much freedom in the present administration your off base. As far as the FD having control over grant money for repairs again you are off base. The FD may have received the grant but no money gets spent without Gerry and Meier giving the OK. Celli is just a convenient fall guy. As far as the workers not having the skills??? Who knows

  11. Billy Wilson

    I heard they tryed to dump it at the recycling center but they were turned away because the didn’t have a Yonkers address drivers licence or registration.So they headed straight to the new private dump on vancourtland pk ave AKA Putnam train tracks dumped it there and covered it up with dirt the cat bulldozer was still there that day.
    They didn’t know a homeowner has camera’s filming 24 7 behind his house and was filming way before they DPW started dumping there along with PRIVATE CONTRACTERS TRI AXLE TRUCKS.Sooner or later
    It will all be excavated and removed and the taxpayers will pay once again.

  12. Scandal

    Another fabulous Hezi expose
    Who in city hall is Celli’s protector???? Mike Spano???? Strange that this thug was rehired after being rightfully terminated after wrecking not one, but TWO city vehicles. Yet he is re employed on our dime , same with DPW DelBene fired and re hired after operating a limo business on city time..,. FEDS please !!!

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