Gary VItta

Anthony V. DeFina, Ph.D.

402A Lisk Avenue

Staten Island, New York 10303


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

United States District Court

Frank R. Lautenberg U.S. Post Office & Courthouse

2 Federal Square

Newark, New Jersey 07102


Re: United States v. Gary Vitta

Crim. No. 15-01


January 12, 2015


Dear Judge Chesler:

I am writing this letter with respect, personal concern, and support on behalf of Gary Vitta, who resides at 44 Copeland Road in Denville, New Jersey. I wish I could translate into words the tone and emotion of my conversations with Gary in these past months over his present circumstance, the outcome of which rests with your valued experience and compassion as you weigh all of the factors in his case. His reflections, hindsight, and anxieties have generated internal anguish, remorse, fear, and shame. I don’t select those descriptive words lightly for I have known Gary Vitta and his family since 1973, when he and I began our teaching careers at Bishop Ford High School in Brooklyn. Over those many years I have seen Gary develop high esteem and earn professional dignity through an effective career with accomplishments in service to students and education in both New York and New Jersey over nearly four decades; this was evident by the outpouring of affection and regard demonstrated by so many ranking educators who attended his retirement celebration.

As a young teacher, Gary always displayed a passion for the classroom, and a willingness to go beyond the minimal expectations. He exhibited competence coupled with personality, which earned him the respect of both his students and his colleagues. Gary continued to exhibit and apply such valued qualities as he furthered his professional career in educational administration. His achievements are varied and extensive as you review his leadership in West Orange, West Essex, Carteret, Hunterdon County and Rockaway School Districts. Gary in his capacity as Superintendent of Schools was as passionate to achieve and as committed to provide effective education beyond minimums as he was an enthusiastic new classroom teacher forty-two years ago.

            He has the ability to project a positive vision and then apply his talents and focus to bring that vision to reality. In addition to performing his county and district responsibilities, Gary has presented numerous workshops and action labs at New Jersey School Board Conventions, and has traveled extensively to further improve his skills and knowledge. His leadership is masterful and skillful. He is a “people person” and understands the value of generating a productive atmosphere for success at all levels.


I also know Gary as a kindhearted and gracious man. In all the years I have had the privilege of being his friend and colleague, I can say without reservation that he is a responsible and loving husband, father, and grandfather as well as a loyal and caring friend. In my forty-two year teaching career I have come across few who have the same level of passion and  integrity as Gary Vitta.

 Gary takes responsibility for his actions, and understands accountability for his decisions. He is a man who realizes that he made an error in judgment and spoke the “wrong words” out of fear and anticipation. Please do not erase from your deliberation his decades of valued service to so many students, teachers, and administrators as well as his devotion and need for family and friends who continue to love and support him through this unfortunate situation.  

I trust in your sense of fairness and leniency as you exercise your power of justice and decide what consequence befits his offense, especially in view of the personal sorrow and distress he struggles with every day as he tries to cope with your pending decision . Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance on behalf of Dr. Gary Vitta. Thank you for your consideration.







Anthony V. DeFina, Ph.D.

Wayne Hills High School, Science Department Lead Teacher and Former Supervisor

Montclair State University, Biology Department Adjunct Professor