New Canaan Man Charged in Wife’s Fatal Shooting Hires New Lawyer

The New Canaan man charged last month in the fatal shooting of his wife at their Down River Road home last week hired a new lawyer to represent him in the felony criminal case. Stamford criminal defense attorney Mark Sherman confirmed that he has been retained by 77-year-old Albert Kokoth, who faces charges of second-degree assault, second-degree assault with a firearm and illegal discharge of a firearm in connection with the May 6 shooting.  

While he declined to comment on case specifics, Sherman told that he expects to receive discovery, including the Medical Examiner’s reports and notes, from the state’s attorney’s office in the coming weeks. Albert Kokoth has not yet pleaded to the charges. He originally had been scheduled to appear Tuesday in state Superior Court, but that appearance was continued. His next court appearance now is scheduled for June 29.

Lunch Lady’s Attorney: Former Food Services Director ‘May Have Been Involved in a Fraud’

An attorney for one of the former New Canaan lunch ladies accused of stealing a total of nearly $500,000 in cash from school cafeterias said Monday that he’s “optimistic” regarding his client’s case and also interested to find out what role was played by a man who used to oversee food services for the district. Stamford-based attorney Darnell Crosland told reporters that he has made an official request for discovery, in part to find out whether there’s evidence exonerating his client, Joanne Pascarelli, and also made an inquiry into Bruce Gluck, former head of food services for New Canaan Public Schools. “There is evidence that he may have been involved in a fraud, but it’s outside of the statute of limitations,” Crosland said at Stamford Courthouse after Pascarelli appeared before Judge Gary White. She and her sister, Marie Wilson, were arrested last month by New Canaan Police and charged with first-degree larceny following a monthslong investigation prompted by a complaint from the school district. 

“The idea here is that there’s $500,000 that’s alleged they have taken,” Crosland said. “And there’s an old adage, ‘Follow the money.’ And when you look at these individuals, there’s no cookie crumbs leading us to any money here, at all.

Attorney for Lunch Lady: Schools’ Losses the Result of ‘Systemic Negligence’

The cafeteria at Saxe Middle School had “complicated revenue streams” and income that “went beyond traditional lunch lines,” according to an attorney for one of the women charged last month with felony larceny in connection with what authorities call the theft of nearly $500,000 from New Canaan Public Schools. Snack lines at the school “generated significant amounts of income” and Joanne Pascarelli, though she oversaw the food program at Saxe, “wasn’t in charge of any of those revenue streams,” Stamford-based attorney Darnell Crosland told reporters following her first court appearance Tuesday morning. In researching the case, Crosland said, his firm has learned that the school district had “systemic negligence.”

“The school as a result of its systemic negligence lost money, of which they made a negligence claim to the insurance company and the insurance company to our understanding reimbursed them every dime of that loss,” Crosland said. His comments came minutes after Pascarelli, 61, of Norwalk, appeared before Judge Stephanie McLaughlin in state Superior Court in Norwalk. She and her sister, 67-year-old Marie Wilson of Wilton, formerly the assistant food director at New Canaan High School, were arrested by New Canaan Police on Aug.

Lawyer: Former NCHS Basketball Coach’s Arrest ‘Not a Sale Case’

The New Canaan High School basketball coach arrested March 31 after police found him to be in possession of 20 bags of heroin did not intend to sell the drugs, his lawyer said Monday. Stamford-based attorney Mark Sherman, representing the coach—Jose Amor—said his initial reaction after reviewing evidence was that “this is not a ‘sale’ case.”

“We hope to clear this up at the appropriate time during the court proceeding,” Sherman told Amor is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in state Superior Court in Stamford. After his arrest, district officials said he no longer was employed by New Canaan Public Schools. New Canaan High School Athletic Director Jay Egan said at first in an email to the school community that “New Canaan Public Schools has an extensive background check for all employees and will continue to use this system for all future hires.”

Yet in a later email, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi called for a “review of every coach in our program” as well as “a comprehensive review of the background checking procedures utilized for all potential employees” of the district.