Friday, 30 April 2010 00:00
Late last year, Larry Wornum voted to hire fellow school board member Rocco Lanzilottta to a $50,000 a year job as the school district clerk. (Prior to that vote, the job was a part-time position paying only $13,000.) One of the responsibilities of the clerk is to oversee the annual election of school board trustees to ensure that it is conducted in a fair, unbiased manner.
Mr. Wornum is running for re-election on May 18. We now have an alarming conflict-of-interest wherein Mr. Lanzilotta is charged with overseeing an election in which his benefactor, Mr. Wornum, is a candidate.
How can the other candidates and the general public feel confident that the election is being conducted fairly? How can we trust that Lanzilotta, who will need Wornum’s vote to be re-appointed as District Clerk in July, won’t make decisions that favor Wornum’s candidacy? Lanzilotta should take an (unpaid) leave of absence until the election is over.
Wornum voted to appoint Lanzilotta despite warnings about the conflict of interest. Now we know why. Let’s hold him accountable on Election Day (May 18).
(Editor’s Note: Connie Locascio is a former member of the Westbury Board of Education.)