City schools Superintendent Eric Ely met with Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney Thursday afternoon for a lengthy session to discuss former school district employee and alleged arsonist Steven Raucci.
Ely gave a “no comment” when asked by reporters what he was doing there. He was escorted by attorney Frank Putorti.
But Carney soon confirmed that the meeting was regarding retired schools facilities director Raucci.
Raucci faces a host of counts, accused of years of intimidation, including committing bombings and vandalism. No one was ever hurt.
“Obviously we know what we’re talking about. Yes, it’s the Raucci investigation,” Carney said to a crush of television cameras shortly after the meeting concluded at 1 p.m.
“This is just another step in the investigation. We meet with witnesses all the time.”
Asked whether Ely was a witness, Carney responded, “Everybody at the school is a potential witness.
“There really isn’t a story here, guys,” Carney told the cameras. “It’s just routine.”
The scope of the allegations against Raucci have raised questions as to what others inside the school district might have known about his activities. Earlier papers filed by Carney in the criminal case against Raucci alleged that some school officials were “beholden” to Raucci. Carney did not name those individuals.
Thursday’s meeting lasted most of the morning and even went through lunch. It broke just after 1 p.m. with Ely walking out with Putorti, followed by the television cameras.
They were followed out of the courthouse and even into the park across the street. Ely declined to comment the whole way.
Ely’s job itself was the topic of discussion earlier this week as the Board of Education officially extended his contract a year. It now ends in 2012.
Raucci is accused of placing incendiary devices at four homes around the Capital Region, two of which exploded. He is also accused of damaging the cars and homes of people who disagreed with him, slashing tires, damaging paint or damaging windshields. One couple reported their car being vandalized five times.
Raucci remains in the Schenectady County Jail without bail.
The district is also facing several lawsuits or potential lawsuits from eight different individuals related to the alleged actions of Raucci.