June 2, 2003
Strikes Back • Squanders Public Money
Dares FNYN To Publish Delusional E-mail
by Stewart S Lilker
School Board Vice President, Dr. Joe Cattano, aimed a mean spirited
and venomous attack at FreeportNYNews.com Publisher, Stewart Lilker,
who is also a candidate for school board. Cattano holds a doctorate
in clinical social work and claims to focus his private practice on
adolescent behavioral disorders. Cattano, who is known in some
circles as Joey Soprano, both for his demeanor and attire, dared
FNYN to publish his paranoid and delusional e-mail.
It appears that the Cattano diatribe was spurred when he read
about the board's attendance at the
National School Board Association's (NSBA) annual conference in San
Francisco. Lilker said, "The school junkets, wherein the Board and
the Superintendent squander the district's money, willy-nilly, is
something a board member must guard the public against.
Board junketeering by Cattano is nothing new.
Last year, Cattano and his road buddy, Board member Michael Raab,
headed off at public expense to New Orleans for fun and frolic.
Cattano was instrumental in seeing that the public was never able to
see his and Raab’s original receipts for this junket. When former
Board member, Joyce Lisi, applied under the Freedom of Information
Law (FOIL), to see Cattano and Raab's receipts, the district simply
ignored her request.
Sometime after Lisi first FOILed the receipts,
Lisi's husband told FNYN, "Cattano approached me at one Board
meeting and said, "'Tell your wife not to FOIL for my expense
reports. Remember, you're a fellow Mason.'"
Your reporter also applied for the receipts of
Board members Cattano and Raab, as well as Superintendent Eversley.
it became clear that the District was ignoring the request, your
reporter, at two different board meetings, asked Board President,
Sunday Coward, and the Superintendent why he couldn’t get an answer.
Coward ignored the question, Eversley said he would look into it and
Cattano said nothing.
When the receipts still didn't appear, a
written appeal was directed to Superintendent Eversley. He ignored
it. The original receipts were never produced..
This year, out of the public eye, in a district
that is struggling to make ends meet, road buddies Cattano and Raab
decided to bring new board member, Carman Pineyro along with them to
San Francisco to the NSBA conference.
NSBA's statistics show that only 17.5% of
districts from the Northeast attended the conference in San
Francisco. An examination of
NSBA’s web site
clearly shows that the majority of events, speeches and handouts are
available over the Internet.
It appears that the only things Cattano and his
road gang couldn't get by staying on Long Island were the food,
booze and San Francisco air.