The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

STJ, Chartwells React to Robinson Charges

Princess Carroll was shocked to hear that Chartwells worker Levy Robinson is facing multiple charges and up to 25 years in prison for his alleged connection in a Valley Stream burglary.

Carroll is a Chartwells student-employee and works at the Carnesecca Arena concession stand during St. John’s men’s and women’s basketball games as a cashier.

She said she worked alongside Robinson and casually talked with him as he prepared the pizzas.

“He was just a really nice guy,” Carroll said about her co-worker. “My friend and I would always just talk and hang out
with him. He didn’t seem like the type to get angry.”

Carroll said in addition to the concession stands he worked in Marillac Cafeteria and at the outside grill.

After reading the report about how cops said Robinson broke into the Valley Stream house with another suspect, detained two adults and four children inside and attempted to rob the home while carrying a firearm, the senior could hardly believe it, because he was someone with whom she regularly came into contact.
“I saw [the article] with my friend. We we’re just shocked,” Carroll said. “When you know someone and you have interactions with them and then you see them on the news as a criminal, you’re just like, I can’t believe that’s the same person.”

Robinson’s trial date has not yet been decided, but Carroll said she was surprised to hear about the charges. “It just makes me wonder what drove him to that, because I never would’ve have imagined him doing that,” she said.

Carroll realized that she and her friends, along with many other students, don’t know much about the outside workers on campus.

Many of the workers on campus aren’t actually St. John’s employees, but are hired from private contracting firms to provide various services on campus.
TMS provides maintenance service. Large event setups are done by Metro Events Planning. And Chartwells – which provides food – has over 300 employees on campus. Every worker has a St. John’s identification card.

Dominic Scianna, vice president of Media Relations, said there are various other contractors and some University departments use outside services, meaning that the school is filled workers who are not Univeristy employees, but have access to the campus.

Carroll said  “[Having outside workers] does bother me because I am a student and I am also a resident, so I am around these people for much of my day. But at the same time I also realize that these people need jobs, and some companies need cheap labor, and when you have those two conditions, you’re going to have shady people.”

However, the University does require employee background checks from every company its hires.

“Contractually, all outside service providers must share information with the University if one of their employees has a prior record,” Scianna said. “The University would not allow someone to work on campus if we have knowledge that a person has a criminal record.”

“I agree with it,” Carroll said about the University’s policy. “But what do you do in situations like these, where someone who’s never had a record goes to the extreme.”

According to the Nassau County Public Information Office, Robinson had no prior arrests or convictions, so St. John’s and Chartwells had no reason not to employ him.

Regarding the situation Scianna said “St. John’s University includes in all of its outside service provider contracts mandatory employee background checks. We will continue to modify and improve best practices regarding these policies to insure the safety and security of our students, faculty, administrators and staff.”

The judge for Robinson’s case, his law team – represented by the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County – and the Nassau County District Attorney office, which is prosecuting Robinson, has met in court for preliminary hearings, but did not want to comment on the case.

Robinson is scheduled to be back in court on Feb. 3 with his lawyers for another preliminary hearing in Nassau First District Court.

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