State Police Name Suspect In Trooper Slaying
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Western Wayne School Board Member Suspected of DUI

andrew gaudenzi mug

WAYMART — A Western Wayne School Board member was taken into custody Wednesday for suspicion of DUI.

It happened around 1 a.m. in Waymart.

State police said Andrew Gaudenzi, 27, of Waymart was on Gravity Plains Road in Waymart when police say he lost control and hit a fire hydrant with such force that the hydrant came out of the ground.

Investigators said Gaudenzi left the scene without notifying authorities. He was taken into custody when his car was found nearby with front end damage.

80 comments

  • Dave L.

    @Bob Woodward:

    Huh? I’m proud that I noticed AJ and Bob boozing it up in a Facebook photo? Is that somehow an attack on me to deflect attention away from the topic?

    If you had a son who plays in the same organization that is coached by a someone who has committed violence against multiple State Police officers, wouldn’t you check further, maybe poke around his friends? Maybe you wouldn’t care. I assumed background checks were performed.

    This topic hits home. I’m pretty upset. Upset enough to comment. And people like you have come to try and belittle people like me on AJ’s behalf.

    But, Bob, anyone Googling AJ’s name can see what he’s done.And I wonder what he’ll do next?

    • Bob Woodward

      Hey man, I’m not trying to defend or belittle anyone here-I’m just some guy. I agree that background checks should be mandatory for anyone working with kids, too. It seems insane that’s not a requirement in this day & age.

      All I’m saying is you began attacking this Ben character for posting fairly anodyne & in my opinion salient comment about how immature it was for someone to make anonymous deeply-personal attacks on someone in a public forum. OK, obviously, AJ has real issues and has no business working with youths while battling his demons, but how does the fact that his gf left him have *anything* to do with it?

      Essentially, Ben made a call for civility, & you responded by asking him if he does drugs. I didn’t see anywhere where he “defended” AJ, he seemed (I’m speculating) to be making a larger point about how the level of discourse here had reached grade-school level.

      Again, you responded by personally attacking HIM in a guilt-by-association type way….in 2 posts, no less! You even stretched far enough to slyly alluding to the fact that he may attack your family (!!!!!!) That seemed to be in *extremely* poor taste but *de gustibus non est disputandum,* I suppose.

      Really, you only served to illuminate his point-albeit unintentionally.

      I just chimed in to kind of illustrate how much the discussion had devolved into silliness.

      • Dave L.

        You’re obviously a sock puppet for Ben. Both of you came here to tell people what to think. Ben attacked Stacy, and you attacked me.

        Attacking and then making a call for civility is a tactic as old as any message board.

        Ben said Stacy’s comments were entirely inappropriate, that she had an ax to grind, and that she was hiding. She was spewing personal attacks and was not mature. And that Gaudenzi was only suspected of a DUI, when, in fact, he has a long history that includes violent attacks on State Police officers.

        That’s your idea for a call for civility? Yeah, right.

        And then you chimed in with some pathetic mockery about me being a wannabe reporter, or some such nonsense.

        Andrew J. Gaudenzi is a convicted criminal who is not only a Western Wayne School Board member, but also a Waymart council member. You are obviously Ben’s sock puppet, so make sure you sign out and then sign back in with the right name when trying to move the topic away from discussion of AJ’s reckless and violent criminal history.

        BTW, you guys aren’t doing your buddy any favors. Maybe you should sign in as Carl Bernstein and tell us all how I’m scum and Gaudenzi is misunderstood.

  • Dave L.

    So there are people who think someone with multiple DUI’s, recently served time for drug possession, and had to be subdued with a stun gun because he attacked an officer of the law should be around kids on a basketball court and making decisions that affect Western Wayne’s education system?

    When the area runs out of fire hydrants, will he start plowing down pedestrians?

    How awful must the resume of the third place candidate have been!

    Lastly, Google the names of the other sitting board members. Add DUI to the search. You’ll find they might be unusually sympathetic to AJ’s little problem.

  • Ben

    Stacy, your comments are entirely inappropriate. There’s obviously no screening taking place on this thread. AJ is suspected of DUI, and people are entitled to opinions on that and they’re free to share them here. You, however, have an obvious axe to grind with AJ, but you must be pretty petty to hide behind a cloak of anonymity and just spew personal attacks in a public community forum. As long as we’re talking about maturing here, you could stand to do a bit of that yourself.

    • Dave L.

      @Ben Simmons: so in your drunken Facebook pics with AJ, was there any cocaine involved? It’s a real question. Did you only get drunk with AJ, or did you do any of the drugs he was arrested and served time for in Lackawanna?

      Also, Ben, if someone has been caught three times by police, how many times would you guess that individual has driven drunk or under the influence of narcotics and not been caught?

      Do you think the cops were lying when TWI reported in 2009:

      “Throughout the incident, state police say Gaudenzi was “unruly” and attempted to head butt state trooper Kyle Hnat and several other officers while in custody.”

      AJ was cuffed and dashing around trying to head butt state cops. Does he teach that move to Biddy Basketball players?

    • Stacy

      I’m not being petty or hiding behind anything…I’m free to say what I want just like everyone else is. What I said I know first hand, ask him then if you don’t believe it. If he’s man enough to own up to it, but he did do jail time & was on probation. It doesn’t matter if it’s AJ or someone else with this problem, they shouldn’t be allowed on or anywhere near students of any age. He is suppose to be a role model, his standards should be higher…Maybe you need to mature, get your facts before you start saying things you can’t back up. Sooner or later everything always comes out it always does.

    • Dave L.

      @Ben Simmons:

      As for your suggestion that Stacy use her full name, I wonder about your motive since you are a personal and Facebook friend of AJ’s. I think the community should be able to speak up without fear of retribution from a man who has violently attacked multiple State Police officers, or those who come to his defense.

      Someone of character who commits a DUI might spend some time asking forgiveness and promising change. AJ, on the other hand, followed up a DUI by getting caught and convicted of buying drugs. Instead of asking forgiveness, he asked for OUR vote. And instead of making a positive difference in this community, he fled the scene of an accident at 1am and showed signs of intoxication.

      BTW, my last name is Lane. Will my family now have something to worry about?

      • Stacy

        Thank you Dave!! I have to say I didn’t see anyone other than his friend give their full name & personally I don’t think it’s anyone’s business what my last name is, I am entitled to my own privacy.

      • Bob Woodward

        Dave,

        I love how you are so proud you saw that Ben & AJ were Facebook friends, you felt the need to bring up in 2 (2!) posts. Dave “2 Post” L.

        The Washington Post should hire you to investigate White House malfeasance. It should then change its name to “The Washington Two Post,” to reflect the style of its newest star investigative reporter.

  • Praying Person

    I have recently worked with AJ for a couple years now, and as I may not know of his past, what I have seen over the past few years was someone who was a good father, loved his daughter, was a hard worker and someone who has cared about his community. He was trying to turn his life around. I certainly do not condone this or any other illegal act now or in the past, but I figured while everyone is sharing their opinion on his negative behavior, I would share about my experiences. If this is in fact true, I pray that he gets the help he deserves.

    • Hope

      Yes, he should get his life together-yes, while you or anyone else is witness to his being a good father/husband etc as you describe…BUT NO he should not ‘get his life together’ WHILE he is on our children’s watch. What? He can’t raise/feed/provide for his family unless he’s working [with our children] THEN HE SHOULDNT HAVE GOTTEN BEHIND THE WHEEL in the first place. Simple lessons we teach our children the minute they’re born-actions bare consequences PERIOD

  • Stacy

    AJ is no saint, the only reason he got elected is because of his parents. He already went to jail & served time & just got off probation last Sept. for cocaine!!!! He drank the whole time he was on probation but never got caught, he was lucky….His parents are enablers, they help way to much with everything, If it wasn’t for them he wouldn’t have a place to live or a vehicle to drive. No wonder his ex gf left with their daughter, he’s no father & he’s not good for the school…He needs more then help, he needs to be held accountable like everyone else that does these things!!!! He types all these things on facebook & to the papers, he’s a liar, he tells you what you want to hear…Whatever his age 26 I think, it’s time to grow up….Very curious to see what comes out of this, the I apologize blah blah crap…Not to mention he’s a coach for Biddy Basketball?? No way in hell would my child be allowed around a person like that!!! Mommy & Daddy to the rescue no worries i’m sure…sickening!!

  • Rob

    It’s ok man I’m by ur side.. People need to chill lit and relax.. As if they make no mistakes ever. Aj is a smart guy.. He comes into my mothers restaurant all the time and is always sweet and kind. Ones take doesn’t make him a bad guy leave him alone .

  • no

    AJ thinks he big and bad that he is unstopable i hope he gets what he should get jail time..if that would of happen in the day light he would if killed a poor child there are kids who run around the streets of waymart at that time of night i know this because i work all differnt times and i see it with my eyes..AJ has been to many bars in this area and he has been to few in the scranton area as well..

  • Joe

    The guy gose out has some drinks at the bar in town drives home and hits a fire hydrant and that makes him an alcoholic come on people how many of you have had a drink and drove home maybe your just a better drunk driver then he is. He def should not have left the seen but he did y only he knows but it was very cold out wed night I’m just saying

  • Rebekah

    It’s sad to say but I still go to Western Wayne (unfortunately) and I’ve expierenced my mom to try and get a full time job. But instead the school board will hire 1.students they previously had 2.family members or 3.friends o theirs. Both of AJ’s parents taught at Western Wayne so no wonder he got a job to be a school board member.

  • Carol

    A major part of this story is the fact that yes, anyone can struggle with demons and drug/alcohol addiction. However, few struggle with such disease WHILE actively commentating via Facebook and/or local newspapers in weekly letters to the editor dictating to anyone willing to read what good family values, responsible behavior, and morality is which is exactly what this person has done for YEARS. Nearly each week there are long dissertations dictating how we should all live and narrating on any shortcoming that he could find. If you are struggling with something, stay out of the public eye…don’t seek it. Additionally, his prior arrest includes behaviors such as trying to head butt a state police officer and thus a stun gun needing to be used to contain him. It is time to lay low and reflect on prior mistakes and learn from them. Stop preaching to everyone else around you and work on yourself.

  • John

    Hopefully he is good enough to resign- he can take the responsibilities of a school board and get the help he clearly needs from the comments written. It’s early into the term Western Wayne- do something quick.

      • Charly Lucky

        My children went to WW, and graduated from WW, and then went to college, and graduated, and all are doing well. Thank you WW!! I NEVER ONCE HEARD OF THAT NICK NAME.

      • Kim

        Then your children are the minority of the graduating population from Western Wayne. Kudos to you because statistically, college graduation rates in the past decade from any of these country bumpkin schools, specifically Western Wayne, are down nearly 60% compared to the rest of the state.

    • Kathy

      A ridiculous comment…Western Wayne gets dragged through the mud all the time. However, it is the stupidity of SOME not the rule for all! Such a statement takes away the incredible accomplishments of so many! It is incredibly insulting! Western Wayne has ALWAYS lacked community support and involvement! However, it is a good school that has every offering to help students be successful far into the future. It is each student and their family’s choice to take advantage of the opportunities! You have no right to trash a school that has had literally thousands of success stories!

  • tiredofyouignorantpeople

    well aren’t you all being very judgmental when it comes to him?! first off I don’t know who he is other then coming across this story, but I however am someone who has gone to that school and someone who has struggled with addiction and alcoholism myself. all you people writing negative things about him on here isn’t doing anybody any good. trust me that school needs a lot more help then just giving one person the boot. half the teachers in that school need to be let go for not actually teaching and acting more like a child then the ones going there. as far as his drinking issue that you all say has been an on going problem for years, well talking about it in a nasty way and constantly putting him down for it isn’t going to do anything but make it worse. most people with those types of problems have very low self-esteem as it is so you all are just making it worse on him. it is a disease and most people don’t know it until its too late. he is 27 not 40,50, or 60…there is still time for him to hit his rock bottom and get help. Yes his parents, friends, and family shouldn’t be enabling him but most people don’t know what to do and don’t even realize they are making the problem worse and making the person think what they are doing is ok, even though it is far from ok. honestly it doesn’t matter what people say to him because he is the only person that can make himself get help. not his family, friends, parents, cops, or judge.

    • John

      Then maybe he should have spent his time getting help before becoming an elected official. What if your elected police chief had this happen? He’d be out. Apparently he knew of his problem- did not seek or if he did he did not benefit from the help. Ran for school board more than likely his friends some with similar issues voted him in and caused a good school director , Mr Salak I think to loose his chair. I just don’t know that he or anyone realizes the responsibility of this position , and your in the public eye. Wasn’t he already on probation I heard?

      • Shawn

        Because when the public voted “Gaudenzi for School Director” they believed they were voting for AJ’s father, a retired school teacher.

      • John

        They may or may not have. Aj has very sting parental figures and Mcdonough is known for sports. Also the people who voted for AJ probably never voted in their life- just to get a bud in. I bet Mr Salak is not there to deal with this- read the paper where Salak is mentioned over the past 8 yrs on the board- all good. The public can’t condone this behavior, it’s one thing to drink that doesn’t make you an alcoholic but to serve time, do drugs be on probation do it again…. Come on grow up. If one of your children were under AJs care and they got injured while he was intoxicated I bet you’d sing a different song you wouldn’t say give him a break then.

  • April

    U know what. People make mistakes. There are SO many ppl that have done worse things in that town and got away with it. Aj has a good heart and a passion for western wayne that dates all the way back to elementary school when he would were the black and gold proud along side his dad. He has always had the districts best interest in mind. And he loves what head done. I have watched him grow from an annoying little kid to a wonderful man who loves the district and who loves his family. Again PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES. STOP TRASHING HIM ON HERE and stop bullying him!!

    • Constituent

      He is an elected official. Part of his position is to be a role model for kids. The constituents that voted for him should be ashamed of themselves. Everyone knew this was going to happen. This soon after being sworn in is surprising even to me.

      • April

        And what about all the ppl in the past that did the same thing. Again PPL MAKE MISTAKES. HE IS HUMAN!! BACK OFF!!

  • Jen

    The magic word right now is “suspected”. And AJ would not be the first and I am sure he will not be the last in the Western Wayne school district to have a DUI. I wonder how many of the people throwing stones have driven drunk in Waymart. My guess would be the majority. Sick I bet you all would be nice to his face if you saw him tomorrow too. Glad I am out of that town full of backstabbers. Instead of trying to help anyone you just crucify them.

    • Dave

      Jen, He didn’t “just” drive drunk in Waymart. He took out a fire hydrant. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that he broke numerous other laws! If you don’t feel drunk driving is a serious transgression, what about leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident? You might consider not brushing this off as “something we’ve all done”. But then again, you are only a product if your Waymart environment. As other posters have commented, this sort of thing isn’t taken seriously in Wayne County schools.

    • Dave L.

      Jen you realize he’s recently spent jail time for drugs, fighting, DUI, fleeing, etc., right? The cop in the Jan. 2009 DUI had to use a stun gun because AJ was attempting to cause great bodily harm to an officer. I know I wouldn’t want him around my kids.

  • Jamie S.

    Sad to say it but some things just won’t ever change but this time our small school will suffer. Western Wayne only makes the news for negatives anymore, nothing positive happening here anymore.

  • Kathy

    The sad part is that a school district cannot control who gets elected to their boards. This is when constituents must be informed. Also, an interesting fact, in PA you do not need to be a tax payer to serve on a school board. You just need to live in the voting district. This is a major problem and part of this story. We all need to be involved in our local communities and speak up when it is obvious something is not in the community’s best interest.

    • Joann

      Good point Kathy, I had no idea you do not have to be a taxpayer to serve as a school director. Makes you think, if he were a homeowner in the community and not a renter or worse, freeloader, he would have much more invested in the community and school district.

    • Mark

      You’re right. This something that needs to be considered. In this case, many knew it was all wrong right from the beginning, but it seems as though perhaps not enough loud voices spoke up. Truly a shame as this could have been prevented had constituents made their point sooner.

    • Greg

      The Law does require that a candidate be of Good Moral Character. It was my understanding there were some people that were going to challange that. This of course is a law suite and would require a reasonable some of money to do. As to everyone else this position is about having and exersising Good judgement. IF he did choose to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, and then choose to leave the scene, and then choose to not report the accident, is this the kind of judgement we want or need guiding our school district?

  • Sandy Bannon

    What I want to know is what kind of job does this guy have if he doesn’t need to be asleep, or working at 1am on a Wednesday. I hope he doesn’t have a family or children to be out driving drunk in the middle of the night. Then, I’d want to know why a school would put a twenty something year old partier with no family on a school board that exists to enrich the lives of fellow families in the community.

    • Stacy

      He works at Weis Markets, parties all the time, hell let’s take it a step farther, cheats on his girlfriend that lives in Jersey…He thinks people don’t know what he does, it doesn’t matter if you party in the area or scranton area eventually it ALL comes back!!

  • Sharon

    Voters should be humiliated-Western Wayne Schools should be nothing short of humiliated-Lucky he didn’t kill someone-They better ban him from coaching and any other affiliation he has with the district-Problem is small town districts are often okay with these kinds of things-Send him to jail

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