Yonkers IG chides deputy DPW commissioner in new report

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YONKERS — A new inspector general report faults a top Department of Public Works official for approving repairs performed in part by his son’s contracting company after Superstorm Sandy.

In a report released Wednesday, city Inspector General Kitley Covill said deputy DPW commissioner Sam Borrelli didn’t follow contracting protocols when he authorized a private plumber to do additional work at a flooded city garage.

It was “particularly concerning,” she wrote, that Borrelli approved the change order sought by plumber Peter Grotto knowing that Grotto often used SVB Contracting Inc., the deputy commissioner’s son’s company, for excavation work.

Grotto at the time had already secured a $40,000 emergency contract from the city to make repairs at the Nepperhan Avenue facility after a broken pipe disabled its fire suppression system three days after Sandy.

The change order that Grotto requested and Borrelli approved was for an additional $25,000 to replace some of the aging pipes.

According to Covill’s report, Borrelli told her he did not think excavation work would be necessary when he signed off on Grotto’s request for the change order.

Covill also acknowledged in her report that emergency circumstances after Sandy meant Yonkers officials had to sidestep protocols requiring that a city engineer sign off on such change orders.

Going forward, Covill said no Yonkers employee should approve work on behalf of the city to be performed by a relative — “to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.”

She also recommended having the city come up with a list of pre-approved plumbers and ensuring officials document all quotes sought for contract work, even in emergencies.

Mayor Mike Spano’s spokeswoman, Christina Gilmartin, said late Wednesday that the mayor was reviewing Covill’s findings and was not ready to comment.

Borrelli receives a roughly $140,000 from the city.

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