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Locals: Arrest of Former School Employee Upsetting

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Former Hastings High School assistant principal Michael Rossi recently pled guilty to endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly having inappropriate contact with a student, according to the Mid-Hudson News .  Local residents shared their reactions and some were rattled by the charges against the former Hastings administrator.

“My family is friends with Mr. Rossi because he is a kind caring man,” said Lori Brink Moore on The Daily Hasting's Facebook page.  “We were all shocked by the charges against him. At no time did we believe that he could be responsible for what he was accused of.”

Others said they were less than surprised by Rossi’s situation, alleging similar incidents may have occurred during his time in in Hastings.

“I’m obviously not surprised and I’m disappointed that the people in Hastings were leveraged as part of his strategy to put the maximum amount of pressure on his accuser,” said former Hastings resident Rich Sauerhaft.

Hastings Superintendent Timothy Connors said Rossi worked at Hastings High School from September 1982 to June 2005 before leaving to become a principal in Washingtonville. Connors said he never knew Rossi, as he is only in his second year as superintendent in Hastings, but he believes Rossi was respected in the community during his time in Hastings.

“I can tell you that people have clearly said that he was well liked and a really well respected assistant principal,” he said.  “Again, I wasn’t here.  I have no idea at all.  As I said, what I know is he did a really fine job, he was well respected and he moved on to assume a position.”

Rossi was originally arrested in 2010 and faced other charges, including third degree sexual abuse and forcible touching of a student before pleading guilty last week to endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Mid-Hudson News .

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