Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 15, 2013

Wives of school board members Destino, Restaino hired to work at Falls school district

Niagara Gazette — The Niagara Falls City School District recently decided to fill two open secretarial jobs with wives of sitting board members.

Julia Destino, wife of former mayoral and state senate candidate Johnny Destino, and Diana Restaino, wife of former state assembly candidate Robert Restaino, were hired in provisional roles to fill vacancies in the district’s central office.

It’s a questionable move considering the district’s past of seemingly hiring friends and family members of important officials.

“Everyone knows someone here in Niagara Falls,” School Board President Russell Petrozzi said. “It’s always an issue when it’s a relative of a board member. But I don’t think we should punish anyone just because they’re a relative. Both still have to pass the civil service exam and have to score in the top three.”

To take the positions, both will need to score in the top three of the next civil service exam to retain the position. Both will receive $33,920 salaries, with Destino’s position not starting until Aug. 1. Restaino’s position started July 1.

Destino’s case is especially noticeable, considering her husband was vocal in trying to stop alleged nepotism in hiring human resources director Maria Massaro, daughter of the district’s attorney, Angelo Massaro.

At the time, Destino said, he simply believed the district needed to display more transparency in its hiring practices. He said the board had it within its power to change the job description for Massaro’s position so she would be better suited for the position’s requirements.

Concerning his wife, though, he said the job she interviewed for and was ultimately hired to do, pending her civil service exam results, had less requirements which she more than qualifies for.

“The secretary position requires a high school diploma and two years of secretarial experience,” he said. “My wife has a college degree and has spent 10 years as an administrative assistant and a paralegal.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results