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Scarsdale Board Of Ed Responds To Former Dean's Arrest

The Scarsdale Board of Education issued a statement to the community regarding former dean David Mendelowitz's arrest and how the school is handling the situation.

The Scarsdale school community is still coping with last week's news of a former SHS dean being involved in a prostitution-based money laundering operation, which the NYPD busted after a 16-month investigation.

On November 20, Attorney General A.G. Schneiderman handed down 20 indictments, including one for former Scarsdale High School dean David Mendelowitz.

Last night, the Scarsdale Board of Education President Elizabeth M. Guggenheimer issued a statement to the school community.

Guggenheimer said that, "some students and families may well feel a sense of confusion, disappointment and dismay. The Board of Education's first concern is to protect the safety of students and the integrity of the School District.  Please be assured that I and my fellow Board members take this matter very seriously."

According to the Attorney General's criminal complaint, Mendelowitz, a former guidance counselor and dean of students, paid for prostitutes and bought crack-cocaine.

"During the time span of his alleged criminal conduct, Mendelowitz was involved in many student programs, including Scarsdale High School's Drug and Alcohol Task Force," NYPD said.

The BOE president said that in late May, an assistant attorney general told Superintendent of Schools Michael McGill "in confidence that David Mendelowitz's name had surfaced in an investigation of criminal activities outside of school. The administration immediately separated Mr. Mendelowitz from students, taking care not to interfere with the pending investigation."

Mendelowitz submitted his resignation in June, according to Guggenheimer.

"Having learned last Tuesday of the state's indictment and the specific charges, the Board of Education and administration are now reviewing the situation to ensure our students' continued safety and support," Guggenheimer stated. "We have no information to suggest that any Scarsdale students or other staff were involved in the alleged criminal conduct.  If there are further significant developments, we will apprise the community."

The BOE president reiterated that neither the BOE "nor the professional staff condones the alleged misconduct. We are all responsible for upholding the highest standards of behavior," she stated.

The board and administration recognizes that "many students benefitted from Mr. Mendelowitz's guidance and involvement in school activities and may be shaken by recent events," Guggenheimer said. "Our high school Principal Kenneth Bonamo and the professional staff are sensitive to the need for appropriate interaction and available to any current or former students who need support."

Patch Editors Kevin Zawacki and Krista Madsen contributed to this report.

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