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Furthermore, AWE’s successor, Phoenix Transportation Company, also began soliciting schools for “cash trips,” while lacking required state permits. Te day before she was fired, O’Riley had intervened to stop Mercy College from using Phoenix buses for a field trip with district students. Despite losing those vendors, O’Riley consolidated routes and eliminated stops along “heavily congested Yonkers Avenue,” as well as the need for 45 buses. In an affidavit, Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada asserted that O’Riley was fired, not for sticking to the rules, but for circulating a budget of $34 million to vendors after the board of education approved only $3 million. Since this task actually fell under the responsibility of the facilities manager, New York Supreme Court Judge George E. Fufidio found this reason for termination unconvincing.


“Te facts presented She is a stickler for obeying the


law and she reads everything.” Attorney Ron Dunn, on his client, Shelley


O’Riley, who the New York State Supreme Court ordered Yonkers City School District to reinstate as director of transportation


by the parties, as this Court finds them, demonstrate that by all accounts the petitioner was performing satis- factorily,” wrote judge Fufidio.


Te judge also


determined that, “Te reasons put forth by the respondents as to why they fired the petitioner are trivial in the face of her two year employment


and do nothing but convince this Court that they were put forth as a pretext to cover the true motivation behind the petitioner’s termination which was to appease the CSEA and Reverend Lopez.” Fufidio ordered Yonkers City School District to reinstate O’Riley as of Oct. 31 and


awarded her back pay. As permanent transportation director, O’Riley was to be paid an annual salary of $122,484, as well as benefits and retirement. After the city appealed, O’Riley counter-appealed on Nov. 30, so that she might also be compensated for attorneys’ fees. O’Riley is currently employed as a driver trainer for rural Shenendehowa Central Schools in upstate New York. Shenendehowa’s staff of 250 drivers, monitors and dispatchers drive 200 buses over 2.1 million miles of routes each year. While she would not comment for this story, at the behest of her attorney, O’Riley posted a link to other news stories in November on her Facebook page, asking friends and family, “Please share! It’s all out there. I knew going into this that I may never work as a director in NY Education again, but I know in my heart I did what was right and fair for the 25,000 children, 600 bus monitors, and taxpayers in Yonkers.” ●


28 School Transportation News • JANUARY 2019


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