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Scott Yandrasevich, manager of Rye Golf Club, steps down amid allegations of financial wrongdoing

The Rye Golf Club. (Dec. 20, 2012)

The Rye Golf Club. (Dec. 20, 2012) Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

As the Rye City Council continues its investigation into possible financial wrongdoing at the city-owned golf club, the man at the center of that probe has resigned, a lawyer representing the city said late Friday.

Scott Yandrasevich, 48, of Rye, who was placed on paid leave in October after he was accused by club members and city officials of misappropriating funds and having a conflict of interest, has stepped down as manager.

In a letter to the city, he also agreed to vacate his residence at the golf club by Feb. 28, according to Kristen K. Wilson, the city's Corporation Counsel.

"The City has already taken affirmative steps to ensure that the club operations will continue without interruption, and the City looks forward to a successful 2013 season," Wilson wrote in an email sent late Friday.

The city is probing more than $2.2 million of payments to the staffing company Yandrasevich hired in the past two years, including city-paid overtime expenses since 2007. Club members also allege Yandrasevich took tips intended for staffers and used them to pay for club expenses.

Mayor Doug French said Saturday that the city had hired an interim manager.

"The city council has been investigating the golf club so we knew there was a possibility he might wish to resign," French said.

The investigation, he said, remains ongoing.

"There's nothing he's admitted to at this point."

Members of the club's board of directors -- which was supposed to have oversight over the budget -- have told council members they were left in the dark about the club's finances, which were controlled exclusively by Yandrasevich.

City Manager Scott Pickup said James Lopolito has been hired as the club's interim manager. Lopolito, who started work on Monday and has a contract through the fall, had no prior relationship to the golf club, Pickup said.

"I didn't know (Yandrasevich) would resign but we reached a point where we hasn't had a full-time manager on the complex since October. We were at a point where he had to have someone on site to start gearing up for 2013," Pickup told Newsday on Saturday.

The golf club includes an 18-hole golf course, pool, and restaurant at Whitby Castle built as a private residence in 1852. It has been owned by the city since 1965 and is run by a manager and board of directors.

Memberships run upward of $4,500 a year for access to the golf course and amenities. Members do not have to be city residents. The city collects more than $400,000 a year in revenue from the club, including a portion of the restaurant's proceeds.

Pickup said Yandrasevich has not yet moved out of the house on the golf course where he lived rent-free. He has until February to do so.

Lopolito, he said, will not live in the house. He's being paid weekly as a contract employee, Pickup said. Though he did not know exactly how much Lopolito is earning, he said it was less than Yandrasevich's more than $100,000 annual salary.

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