Schenectady County

School board to meet on Raucci

The Schenectady Board of Education will meet in executive session tonight to discuss the future of S

The Schenectady Board of Education will meet in executive session tonight to discuss the future of Steven Raucci, its facilities director accused of incidents involving planting bombs dating back to 2001.

Raucci, 60, of Niskayuna, is on unpaid suspension after being charged in three separate bombings or attempted bombings, one each in 2001, 2006 and 2007, as part of what authorities say was a pattern of intimidation.

Board President Jeff Janiszewski issued a statement Wednesday evening saying the board has been monitoring the situation and authorized his suspension last week but is revisiting the issue in light of accusations of workplace misconduct.

Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney disclosed a sexually harassing memo that Raucci had allegedly sent on July 7, 2008, to a new hire. In the letter, Raucci informs that person that she has won a “messenger” position and included 11 “additional conditions of the appointment,” among them, “Take time every day to keep your appearance pleasing for your supervisor.”

The memo also includes a “Cc:” suggesting a copy went elsewhere, but Carney reiterated he has no evidence that it did.

A federal lawsuit also was filed last year by former employee Ronald Kriss alleging sexual harassment from Raucci dating from May 2003 through October 2006.

Janiszewski said that while the criminal allegations were troubling, it was not the board’s business to investigate them. Investigation of crimes is up to law enforcement officials, he said.

But, he said in a statement, “The workplace allegations and the insinuation that a supervisor may have failed to act upon knowledge of such allegations warrants immediate attention and possible action from the board.”

Superintendent Eric Ely addressed the sexually oriented memo in a letter to staff on Wednesday.

“I do want to point out that I have never seen the letter that was brought to light in court documents released via the investigation,” Ely wrote. “I do hope to have more information to share once the investigation is complete and the facts are known.”

The board will meet 7:30 p.m. at Mont Pleasant Middle School. It is closed to the public but Janiszewski said the board would issue a statement following the meeting.

Carney wrote in motion papers this week that Raucci is suspected in five separate incidents that could be prosecuted involving explosive devices, including one involving a device found in his Mont Pleasant Middle School office on Feb. 20.

Admissions by Raucci also support charges in as many as 13 separate criminal incidents, Carney wrote.

Incidents involving vehicles or unoccupied homes would generally have a five-year statute of limitation.

In the incident that resulted in a terrorism charge against Raucci, Carney alleged Raucci won a power struggle in the school district “secure in the knowledge” that “higher-ups were beholden to him.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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