Hampton Bays ex-principal pleads guilty


A former Hampton Bays High School principal pleaded guilty last week to two counts of misdemeanor aggravated harassment for making unwanted and explicit phone calls to several different women dating back to 2005.

Frank Vetro, 36, of Shirley was placed on probation and released on his own recognizance on March 26, pending his sentencing next year. According to his attorney, Nicholas Marino of Hicksville, the charges will likely be reduced to violations as long as Mr. Vetro complies with his probation.

“We did the admissions with the understanding that Mr. Vetro would receive temporary probation for one year,” Mr. Marino said on Wednesday. “Upon expiration, the charges will be vacated and replaced by violations and [Mr. Vetro] will have a clean record.”

Regardless of Mr. Marino’s expectations, there is still a possibility that Mr. Vetro could face up to one year in jail.

“It still depends on what the judge decides,” Mr. Marino said.

Robert Clifford, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, said the plea “was negotiated to spare the victims from testifying in open court.”

Initially charged with seven counts of second-degree aggravated harassment when he was arrested in February 2006, Mr. Vetro picked up another charge of aggravated harassment when he violated an order of protection by contacting and threatening one of his victims in June of that year, according to authorities. He resigned from his post at Hampton Bays shortly thereafter.

Hampton Bays School District officials declined to comment on the matter.

Upon his arrest in 2006, Mr. Vetro was accused of making calls of a sexual nature to several women, including former colleagues and a former student at Newfield High School. Before being hired as an assistant principal by Hampton Bays in 2003, and appointed principal in 2005, Mr. Vetro was employed as a science teacher at Newfield High School, which is part of the Middle Country School District.

On Wednesday, Mr. Marino reported that the two counts his client pleaded guilty to involve adult women with whom Mr. Vetro had long-standing personal and intimate relationships.

“There were no students or underaged children … these are mature women who he had at least a four-month relationship with,” Mr. Marino said. “It was in the best interest of everybody that we move this case along and not have them come in and testify.”

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