Ex-New Canaan food services director charged in cafeteria scandal

May 1, 2019

NEW CANAAN — The former director of Food Services for New Canaan Public Schools has been charged with theft of town funds and tampering with evidence.

Bruce Gluck, 61, of Middletown Springs, Vt., was charged Monday with first-degree larceny by defrauding the public, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny larceny and tampering with physical evidence in a case that saw nearly a half million dollars taken from school cafeterias.

Gluck was held in lieu of a $50,000 until his arraignment, then was released on a $25,000 surety bond.

New Canaan Police said the arrest of Gluck is part of the ongoing investigation that led to the arrests of Joanne Pascarelli and Marie Wilson. Wilson was arrested on Aug. 11, 2018, and Pascarelli was arrested on Aug. 12, 2018, both charged with first-degree larceny by defrauding the public. Both have pleaded not guilty, with Wilson next due at state Superior Court in Stamford on June 17, Pascarelli on June 19.

On Dec. 21, 2017, the New Canaan Board of Education filed a complaint with New Canaan Police alleging financial discrepancies were discovered with the handling of cash in the cafeterias at Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School.

Detectives from the New Canaan Police Department Investigation section embarked on a lengthy and involved investigation into the complaints reported at both schools.

Investigators monitored both cafeteria operations and interviewed multiple cafeteria workers over the course of several months. New Canaan Police said the investigation involved some 20 interviews and examination of financial records.

For the five-year period from 2012 to 2017, about $478,588 in cash was misappropriated. While the theft of funds may have occurred prior to 2012, the investigation did not focus on the years prior to 2012 due to direction by the state’s attorney’s office because of statutes of limitation.

New Canaan Police said that Gluck emerged as another suspect as their investigation continued. Among other findings, police said banking records showed that Gluck made large cash deposits during the theft time frame. The overwhelming majority of these deposits were made during the school year and tapered off markedly when school was not in session.

“Continuing the established pattern, upon Gluck’s retirement, daily money intake totals increased dramatically,” police said in a statement. “The investigation showed that Gluck conspired with Pascarelli and Wilson to steal Town monies.”