Hardy Plumbing
November 15, 2006

Parks Official Accused of Double Dipping

Sources say he went so far as to have a town employee drop him off at his second job. This week Rob DiFusco, East Hampton Town's assistant superintendent of parks, is on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of double dipping. He could not be reached for comment at press time.

Supervisor Bill McGintee said he first learned of the allegations about 10 days ago. The town board was slated to discuss complaints that DiFusco, whose responsibilities include setting up and running all the town's recreation programs, has been working as a coach for a local private school on town time.

"I really can't talk about it," Parks chief Bob Rogers said Monday. McGintee was similarly mum. "Right now we merely have allegations and the board is going to investigate," he said. Councilman Pete Hammerle predicted the board would have a better idea as to how it would move forward after a behind-closed-doors discussion. By law, personnel matters must be kept confidential.

"It's premature" to publicize anything about the case, Pat Breen, the town's head of human resources, affirmed. If a resolution terminating employ is adopted, it then becomes public record, she informed.

This is not the first time issues surrounding second jobs have arisen in the Parks Department. Earlier this year, Michelle Leach quit working for the town. Breen said she resigned because she was moving out of town, but confirmed there had been complaints about her moonlighting. She worked as a sports coach in the high school. Problems with her ability to be in two places at once were discussed during her employ, Breen allowed. However, she said those issues were worked out, though another source said she was given an ultimatum to resign or face a possible firing. Hammerle noted that Leach was not a double dipper. "She was not getting paid for both jobs at the same time," he said, leaving the impression DiFusco might have been.

Why have moonlighting complaints surfaced in the Parks Department twice in a short period of time? One government insider noted that when former longtime Parks Department head Ken Scott became ill, oversight of staff lagged. "People were taking liberties," the source, who asked to remain anonymous, said. In February Rogers took the helm of the department and sought enhanced accountability.

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