7 Exclusive: New emails show NCCC president mocked board members, may have deceived state officials

More details of alleged bid-rigging scandal
Posted at 6:08 PM, Feb 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-27 18:21:30-05

New emails obtained exclusively by 7 Eyewitness News show that Niagara County Community College President James Klyczek not only participated in the bid-rigging scandal we first reported last week – but he also sent emails that officials are concerned may have deceived the state and NCCC board members.

He also put to writing lewd remarks and emails that appear to mock and demean former and current board members, some who will determine his future.

In a 2008 email regarding financing for the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, Klyczek and one of his vice presidents discuss the idea of taking funds donated to the project by the City of Niagara Falls and using them to match state funds. 

Klyczek and the VP said they were unsure whether that was allowed, and Klyczek writes, "Who is going to question if in fact we get the money from the city and transfer it to the county...how will the state "know" where the county money came from?...who would know or bother to follow this?"

Other emails show Klyczek and VP Bill Schickling discussing ways to make sure appraisals for the culinary institute property do not exceed $20,000 -- so that the threshold for competitive bidding is not triggered. 

In another email, Schickling is not happy that a vendor was chosen to remove old signs from the Rainbow Centre Mall, again without bidding or even written quotes. 

Schickling writes: "Hopefully, the auditors won't pull this transaction for testing purposes."

Klyczek also appears at one point to be saying one thing to his VPs regarding bidding, and something different to the NCCC board. 

While the architecture bids were being organized in a way that appeared to favor Cannon Design -- a setup that one VP called a "charade" of a bidding process -- the president emailed the college trustees to remind them that the bidding was advertised publicly. He told them, "We've already received 35 inquiries!" 

Klyczek takes a polite tone in that email, but in one from 2008, the president sends an email where he appears to mock two then-current college board members. 

"At 8 I will be in the car with the two grumpy old men on the way to Albany," Klyczek writes. "At 3:30, there will likely be the ‘change your Depends’ afternoon break for all the trustees.” 

Other emails are more off-color, referring to the private parts of one college official and stating that an unnamed person should "French kiss the trustee in question."

We reached out to board members and asked if they would like to comment for this story. They were eager to see the emails for themselves and said they would reserve comment until they had a chance to view them in their entirety.

Klyczek, through a university spokeswoman, did not respond to an interview request for this story.