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RGC Investigation Continues After Manager Quits

The Rye City Council is continuing its investigation into Rye Golf Club management and financial practices.

Scott Yandrasevich, the now former Rye Golf Club manager who was the main focus of a city council investigation, resigned from that position on Jan. 18 -- but the investigation into RGC management continues.

“Just because he (Yandrasevich) is gone, does not mean the investigation is over,” said Councilman Joseph Sack, who has been actively meeting with the commission and commenting on the golf club situation since the investigation began in October, 2012.

“And it is misleading to suggest that the city council is running over to the district attorney’s office,” Sack said, referring to a Journal News headline that quoted Rye Mayor Douglas French who said the city will turn documents over to the DA.

Sack said that “any sharing of information will certainly happen as appropriate and in due course,” but that the city is still continuing its own investigation. He and other council members would not comment on the details of the city’s probe or on when charges may be made public.

Yandrasevich was on paid administrative leave since the middle of October 2012, when the city launched an investigation into his conduct, and management and financial practices at the RGC. At that time, questions were raised over the club’s dealings with its temporary staffing agency, RM Staffing, and with Yandrasevich’s ties with the agency.

Any potential city charges against the club manager are now “moot,” Sack said. "those would have been potentially to remove him. The city is considering what other avenues it may pursue to protect the city's rights and interests," he said. 

The council informed Yandrasevich they were prepared to file charges by a certain date and he then decided to resign.

“There was no deal,” Sack said in regard to Yandrasevich’s resignation.

“(Yandrasevich's) decision was to resign, which I think is a positive thing because it spares the city the ordeal of having to go through a more drawn out process and allows us now to pivot to other aspects of the investigation and permits the golf club to get ready for a successful upcoming season without any undue distraction.”

The current chair of the RGC Commission, John Duffy, shares Sack's sentiment.

"I am happy that Scott Yandrasavich has chosen to resign," Duffy said in an email statement to Patch. 

Since the city launched the RGC probe, members have referenced a city auditor’s report from 2010 that stated the city council should be bidding RGC contracts, maintain signed contracts with vendors and agencies, and perform regular inventory of the cash flow going through RGC, specifically in Whitby Castle. -- all matters which have been recently questioned. RGC had not bid out the RM staffing work and has had no signed contracts with the agency from the past five years, according to City Clerk Dawn Nodarse, in response to a Patch Freedom of Information Request filed in October, 2012.

In response to the recently revealed information, city officials created a committee to consider the future of the Rye Golf Club, specifically the future of Whitby Castle management. And the RGC Commission has created additional committees to examine several other aspects of the club’s management.

The Rye Golf Club was set up as an enterprise fund in 1965, which means it is a city owned property that is self-sustaining through membership dues and fees, not subsidized by tax payers. Last week, former manager at the Historic Capitol Theater (now The Capitol Theatre) Joe Lopolito, was hired on contract as an interim manager for the club.

"I think Jim Lopolito will be a great asset to RGC," Duffy said. "He has the experience in the food and beverage service that is needed for Whitby castle. I look forward to working with the Commission, Committees, and Mr Lopolito to make RGC an even better facility."  

Rye City officials have acknowledged the extra work and time that commission members have dedicated to the club since the investigation began.

Now that Yandrasevich has resigned, the city will not need to move forward with the civil service hearing for which they had been preparing. But, officials are still quiet on when any information will be made public. 

Councilman Sack said that although he thinks "everyone would like to come to a conclusion sooner rather than later," those hoping for it to end quickly because of time and cost are “misguided.”

“It is important to do the investigation right and to restore faith and confidence in the RGC members and the people of the city of Rye. Based on that, I would like to see it through thoroughly and completely.”

The Rye Golf Club Commission will meet on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Whitby Castle. 

The Rye City Council will meet on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. at City Hall. The golf club is not specifically mentioned on the agenda, but Mayor French has been providing updates at most recent council meetings. 

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Editor's Note: A request for information from Rye City Mayor Douglas French was not returned. 

This article has been changed slightly from its original version to provide more context to Sack's quote about city charges.

tedc January 23, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Bob – Yup. You’d typically see that. But Kevin Plunkett is deep in the DA’s office; Commissioner Connors was found authorizing large RM Staffing invoices and The Fed’s – well – we don’t know where or when The Fed’s might come down. I have faith in them. But Janet DiFiore? See the following local story link from this summer and read down to the bottom. I’m glad the investigators we hired try to keep a spotless public profile. And that they lean Democratic. I told the public this on video the night B&R was retained… http://nycrubberroomreporter.blogspot.com/2012/08/westchester-da-janet-di-fiore-more-bad.html
Ken McGuigan January 23, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Restaurant/Banquets is a drag on the Golf/Pool experience and was a loser when I was a member.
French Whine January 23, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Agree with Bob, council chose not to charge Club Manager when they could have. Spinless: "A request for information from Rye City Mayor Douglas French was not returned."
Bob Zahm January 23, 2013 at 07:31 PM
My primary point continues to be that the Mayor and the Council have not explained how they are pursuing this entire situation. Pursuing Yandrasevich for the purposes of termination would now be a total waste of time. Pursuing him for other reasons might not be, but the public just doesn't know.
dita von struedel van trappyodel January 23, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Mayor French and Scott Pickup enjoy my whole hearted, unquestioning support and loyalty on this and all other issues. They are doing a great job.

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