­Gary Vitta

January , 2015

 Honorable Stanley R. Chesler, U.S.D.J

United States District Court

Frank R. Lautenberg U.S. Post Office and Court House

2 Federal Square

Newark, New Jersey 07102

 RE:      United States v. Gary Vitta

            Crim. No. 15-01

 Dear Judge Chesler,


I am writing on behalf of Gary Vitta and hope that you will get to know him as we, his friends and family, know him. And by getting to know who he is, how he has interacted with us and what he means to us, you can see there is a good, caring family man at his core.


I met Gary in December 2000 while attending a family and friends Christmas party at his home, for the first time with my girlfriend, now wife. Let me just say that Gary was a very close friend of my wife’s first husband who passed away many years earlier.  I heard that they were like brothers. So of course I was not sure how I would be received and was a bit nervous. I knew about him and his family from stories my wife had told me while we were dating. And I knew that he was a very special person to her and her daughters.


From the minute I walked into his house, he and his wife greeted me with open arms and warmth, and before I knew it, it felt like I had known them all my life. He introduced me to family and friends who were there, and we got the chance to talk and know each other better. I saw him as a genuine, warm guy and knew we could be friends.


During these last 14 plus years, my wife and I have spent a lot of time with Gary and his family and friends. I have heard many stories about how he helped people in the past, and how he is always ready to lend someone a helping hand even today. I remember how he was mentoring this young man who was a friend of his daughter. Because this young man’s parents were not around, Gary helped him with advice on what to focus on in college, how to decide what career choices to make, but also, in Gary’s usual style, invited this young man to join family holidays, outings, or just a small gathering at his house, so he would have a place to go, or people to be with.


Once, Gary and his wife made a decision to donate a beautiful antique piano to the local community. Susan’s aunt was a piano teacher and had this piano all her life. After his wife’s aunt had passed away, they decided that instead of selling it, a school in the local community could use it, and they donated it. That may or may not seem like a big deal to some people, but to Gary he was giving back to the community, and it made him feel good to do that.


When my step daughter got married in October of 2013, Gary made a beautiful touching speech at the ceremony, reminiscing about her father, how proud he would be of her today, and speaking about love and being committed to each other as newlyweds. In order to speak of those things, and carry those memories, you have to have a heart.


I remember conversations we would have about his work as a superintendent of the school district. He was passionate about putting the kids first in everything, especially decisions that would affect how they learned. He made sure he was well informed about ways education methods could be improved to help kids learn better.


But the most amazing story I remember is when during a budget crisis in the district, Gary took a wage freeze, and the raise that was due him through his contract, he donated to an after school program that was scheduled to be cut out of the budget. I remember even Governor Christie wrote him a personal letter commending Gary on his generosity towards the township! That’s Gary, going above and beyond to help.


When we attended his retirement party, there were many who affectionately “roasted” him, but when all was said and done, there were many tears to see him go. I remember people saying things like, you could always count on him if you had a problem, he would work towards finding solutions to difficult problems, listened to what parents were saying about their kids and learning, and so on. Almost everyone ended their tribute to Gary with, “he’s a great guy, has

done so much for the students and the district, with heart…we’re truly going to miss him.”


Those are words spoken about a person who has built a reputation of being there for people, listening and understanding their needs and problems, and letting them know he’s there to help. We could talk about his degrees and credentials, but that just means he studied hard. It’s what people say about him, where his heart and what he feels that talks about the man, and all those who love him, personally and professionally.


The situation Gary is now facing has taken a very heavy toll on him. He is not himself, and we’ve all noticed how the easy going, fun loving Gary has sort of disappeared. The strain has become almost unbearable, even for us to watch as he’s going through it.


So, Your Honor, please carefully read what his family, friends and co-workers have said about him. Because we know Gary, who he really is, and what he has done in his life, we are supporting him anyway we can. It’s our hope and prayer that you will be lenient in your decision.



Enrico Caruso

President and Owner of Cain and Abel Construction Company