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RCSD project under FBI investigation

Rochester, N.Y. -- 13WHAM News has learned the FBI is looking into the first phase of the Rochester City School District's modernization project.

The project's first phase is worth $325 million.

It's unclear what the extent of that investigation entails because no one is saying much.

Rochester City School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas told 13WHAM News in a brief phone conversation Wednesday there was an investigation to his knowledge, but he couldn't elaborate more.

A spokesperson for the mayor's office and the city's corporation counsel, T. Andrew Brown, said they could not confirm nor deny there was an investigation.

Rochester School Board President Van White was able to shed some light on the situation.

"Apparently there is some concern by federal authorities, such that they require an investigation," he said. "I have not personally confirmed that myself, but I've heard a number of people say that. If that is in fact the case, I personally, as president of the Board of Education, not as a representative of the district, personally would have a problem with continuing on with phase two until that investigation is complete." 

White said it would be irresponsible to proceed with taxpayer dollars if there were an investigation.

"I realize there are jobs at stake, I realize our schools stand to be improved by phase two, but in my own opinion, not as representative of the board, it would not be prudent, wise or rational to proceed with phase two until these rumors are set to rest or until it's clear what did or did not happen," said White.

The school board has no control over the joint school construction board that oversees those projects.

Legislation for phase two of the project has not been submitted yet.




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Washington Times