Gary Vitta

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

RE:  United States v. Gary Vitta

          Crim. No. 15-01

United States District Court

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

2 Federal Square

Newark, New Jersey   07102    


RE:  United States v. Gary Vitta

          Crim. No. 15-01



Dear Judge Chesler,


        I have known Gary Vitta for over twenty-five years.  He was the superintendent of schools at West Essex Regional High School and I at Fairfield elementary who sent its students to West Essex.  Our contact was at first, strictly business.  Gary was an honest well -intended professional educator, who cared deeply for  “his” students.  He treated them as if they were his own children and made decisions in their best interest. 


          Our relationship began to change as the years past and we became friends.  I am not one to socialize, but my wife and I began to enjoy his company and we absolutely loved his wife, Susan.  They are a loving couple with two great kids.


          Over this time, Gary and I would discuss and dissect our jobs, responsibilities, bosses and education in general.  He was always positive about education and life.  He believed people were mostly good and honest to the point of   naiveté.  We argued about it but he always held his ground.  He believed it and lived it.  Being decent and honest was important to him, and he treated people with kindness and courtesy. 


          One issue got my blood boiling and he was the culprit.  As superintendent of schools, we are reviewed each year and contracts were given in three-year increments.  It always was a contentious fight to get a well-deserved raise.  He had the nerve to turn one down at the suggestion of Governor Christie, to help pass one of his annual budgets.  I went nuts; he earned the raise, worked hard for it.  I and other superintendents were not very pleased. The pressure on him was pretty high, not to do it.  He did it anyway.  Gary was never about the money; he was about the correct thing to do.


          He is now in a situation that has un-nerved him to the core.  He screwed up and he faces a situation that is hard to fathom.  His life revolves around his family, friends, and job.  The thought of taking it away is terrifying to him. I have never seen a man so filled with remorse.  He has punished himself a thousand times over for the mistake he fully acknowledges he made.


          If punishment were needed, he is doing an exemplary job all on his own.  Life is learning lessons and he has learned a very tough one.


          Your honor, please see this man as ninety-nine percent pure and one percent as making a rare mistake.  A mistake that will haunt him for a lifetime.


          I hope, your honor, that one mistake does not completely tarnish and label a man’s lifetime devotion to kids, family and friends. 




                                                          Respectfully yours,




                                                          Barry A Spagnoli

                                                          Former Superintendent of Schools in Fairfield, NJ