SCRANTON — The former executive director of the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit in Lackawanna County has agreed to plead guilty in a scheme that accuses him of exploiting the unit for his own needs.
Fred Rosetti’s plea agreement was filed in federal court on Thursday.
Former NEIU Executive Director Fred Rosetti, 63, was facing a long list of federal charges for allegedly using public NEIU money for his personal expenses. If the plea agreement filed Thursday is approved, Rosetti will plead guilty to only two charges: theft and mail fraud.
According to documents filed in federal court in Scranton, Rosetti and the US Attorney’s office came to an agreement that Rosetti will plead guilty to two charges instead of 13.
In exchange, Rosetti has agreed to spend 12 to 18 months in federal prison and pay a $120,000 fine.
Dr. Clarence Lamanna is the current executive director for NEIU 19. The agency helps school districts in our area educate kids with special needs.
Rosetti is accused of stealing money from the NEIU, using staff for personal reasons, and taking vacation days that were not documented. Lamanna said Rosetti’s plea agreement, instead of a trial, is the best outcome for the NEIU. He said the agency is trying to rebuild its reputation.
“We were anxious, the truth be told, that would open up wounds that were just beginning to heal,” said Lamanna.
The NEIU is in Archbald. The same place where Rosetti lives and educated others for many years. Rosetti’s plea agreement was welcome news to many people in the mid-valley.
“So many people called him Mr. Rosetti because he was their principal in school, and then we saw him make good and go up the line and we hoped for the best. It’ a heart-break,” said Mary Nervegna of Archabld.
Others said a trial would maybe mean a stricter sentence, something they believe Rosetti deserves.
“They say that he chose 18 months, since when do you get to choose? If you’re guilty you should do the time,” said Joan Kolesar of Peckville.
“I feel that he should have gotten something more severe and paid a higher penalty,” said Sally Spudis of Eynon.
This plea agreement still needs approval from a judge, and Rosetti will need to show up to federal court in Scranton to enter his guilty plea.
The 12 to 18 month prison sentence is much less than the maximum 30 year sentence Rosetti could’ve received, and the $120,000 fine is only a fraction of what Rosetti is accused of stealing from the NEIU.