Shocking Rikers Security Breach! Convicted Sex Offender Posing as Correction Staffer Roams Jails, No One Stops Him

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Correction Commissioner Dora Schriro has a major problem: a massive breach of jail security. The Voice has learned that a convicted sex offender with a long rap sheet was recently able to repeatedly drive onto Rikers Island and roam jails and other highly secure areas over a period of more than week, right under the noses of dozens of clueless correction supervisors and officers.

Matthew Matagrano (pictured at right), was not an inmate during the period. The 36-year-old former resident of Yonkers and South Ozone Park is listed as a high-risk sex offender in the state's registry. Matagrano has a record of convictions for sodomy, first-degree sex abuse, burglary, and, not surprisingly, criminal impersonation. He has been arrested more than a dozen times, and has served several stints on Rikers.

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Correction Commissioner Dora Schriro

At his size, 5-foot-8 and 340 pounds, Matagrano shouldn't have been so hard to miss. But he somehow was able to make or obtain a shield and a department identification card, and not only roam at least five facilities but obtain a sensitive Gate One all-access pass that allowed him to bring his car onto the island. He also is believed to have stolen at least two special correction department radios. Correction sources say the sheer number of security breakdowns alone that allowed this to happen is dizzying.

"He was able to go to the main security trailer on several different days, show his ID, and drive his car across the bridge," a correction source says. "He could have brought an arsenal onto the island. Anything could have been in the trunk of his car."

"This has to be one of the biggest clusterfucks in the history of correction," another correction source says. "They are going to have to transfer or suspend 100 people. What is the commissioner going to say? What can she say?"

Not only did he pass the secure outer ring to make it onto the island on multiple occasions, but he also got past numerous gates and secure doors in the Robert N. Davoren Center, the Eric M. Taylor Center, the Anna M. Kross Center, as well as the Manhattan House of Detention. Each of those jails have security staff who are obviously supposed to challenge and check out the credentials of everyone both coming in and leaving. They all apparently dropped the ball.

Matagrano posed as some kind of investigator, and he allegedly interviewed inmates. Sources say he even tried to get them transferred to different jails. When he visited RNDC, Matagrano was savvy enough to ask for a specific supervisor in the jail, as a way to appear legitimate, and then stole a radio, and may have been given access to a secure computer containing sensitive information about inmates. In AMKC, he was seen talking to correction staff and doctors in the medical clinic. He stole a radio in the Manhattan jail.

"He was able to wander the jails for hours," a source says. "He had complete access, walking around. This really brings to the forefront that we really should have listings of who works for who."

Indeed.

Correction officers union president Norman Seabrook laid the blame for the security breakdown at Schriro's feet. "This is another example of the incompetence we are dealing with from Dora Schriro," he tells the Voice. "If nothing else does, this sends a signal to the mayor of New York that there's a major problem here."

"This is scary, we don't know what he left behind in those jails, we don't know what he brought in," Seabrook added. "A lot of it has to do with post cuts and shift reduction, and a commissioner of the agency who is not concerned with security. Someone is going to get seriously hurt."

Among his prior criminal convictions, Matagrano pleaded guilty in 2004 to posing as a city Board of Education quality-assurance inspector. He slipped into two Jackson Heights schools, and leafed through confidential student files, according to the Queens District Attorney's office. In 1996, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl, leading to a lifetime listing in the state's sex-offender registry.

Even as a frenzied search was continuing, Matagrano brazenly tried to enter the correction department's Bronx court holding facility. It was there when sharp-eyed correction officers finally challenged him and captured him. The search had begun after he had been observed on a security camera; the license plate of his car was recorded, which gave authorities his identity and information to track him down.

When he was arrested, Matagrano had in his possession a DOC one-year legal-assistant visit pass, a card which identified him as the executive director of a jail advocates group, and a DOC parking pass that says "official business," set to expire in September 2014.

Correction officials and police are investigating. Meanwhile, the budding scandal has, not surprisingly, sparked a ratcheting up of security on the island. Mayor Bloomberg surely won't be pleased to hear about it, but whether it will affect Schriro's tenure remains to be seen.

A DOC spokesman confirmed that Matagrano had been arrested but declined further comment. "We discovered on Thursday that he was impersonating a DOC employee; we identified him and were able to collar him in 24 hours," said Robin Campbell, the spokesman.



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34 comments
jp212
jp212

As a former employee this is something that been in the making that is why a lot of upper managers left. The former  3 star and 4 star did not care nor do Dora. The 3 star covered  thing up. The Security chief is just a nice guy who don't what the hell he is doing. No one is held accountable people only get promoted if you are  liked not based on your work performance. This mishap was in the making...and more to come or be covered...its all about the numbers...and Norman is a fool...he blamed everyone except that the staff that did not do their JOB...Don't get me wrong there are a lot of good staff member that above the call of duty...but they get no recognition...Only people get recognized are the hook up or friends. Dora and the empty suit Security chief needs to be replaced....

motherdragon268
motherdragon268

I work at a command where they recently removed the DEPUTY WARDEN because he didnt allow the COBA to push him around and everyone knew he was in charge that means staff and inmates. Before he got to the jail nobody did anything and the gangs ran the jail and everybody knew it and nobody wanted to do anything about it. Since he has been removed the jail is going back to the way it once was the GANGS are in charge we are allowing drugs in now so the inmates are quite and the staff is scared and nobody cares cause if someone cared he would not have been removed. This jail is getting OUT OF CONTROL

DISGRACEFUL
DISGRACEFUL

The NYCDOC has FINALLY been exposed to the public for how absolutely PATHETIC and DISGRACEFUL they are as an agency. I would call them "Key Stone Cops" but that would be a compliment! This perp was able to manipulate the "elite" staff of S.O.D./R.I.S.U./GIU/and Officers and Supervisors of multiple jails without even being questioned...because he had a fake shield lol. The NYCDOC has turned into a total disgrace and joke. It's a playground for the inmates who make fools of the "Jail Guards" daily. The State inmates cry (sometimes literally) when their city case is complete and they are being transferred back to the REAL Corrections at the NYSDOCS. The NYCDOC staff are too busy just trying to stay awake from working 17 hour tours everday that no real security work is being performed. Thank God no one was hurt or killed. This could have easily turned into a massacre of unarmed Correction Officers inside the jails. ALL the real Correction Officers who kept that place in order have either retired, been suspended or modified, or placed somewhere out of sight rendering them useless. I hope every single inmate who was in contact with this perp sues the City of New York for gross negligence of their "care and control" while in the custody of the NYCDOC.

Gladimgone
Gladimgone

I think he went to the Manhatten House because he heard the Department was going to throw another party for inmate Tuvia Stern.

Gladimgone
Gladimgone

Maybe this guy heard the Dept. of Corrections was throwing another party for inmate Tuvia Stern. Thats why he went to the Mahattan House!!TOO PARTY!!

glenn5549
glenn5549

I think they need a new Correction Commissioner and Chief of The Department.

JUSTME
JUSTME

I'M GLAD THAT I AM RETIRED FROM RIKERS BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, I FEEL SORRY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS. THINGS ON THE ROCK HAVE REALLY GOTTEN OUT OF HAND IN THE PAST YEARS AND IT'S NOT LOOKING GOOD AT ALL. LORD ONLY KNOWS WHAT THIS GUY HAS DONE OR SAID TO THOSE INMATES THAT HE INTERVIEWED. HE HAS BEEN AROUND TO TOO MANY AREAS WHICH IS REALLY NOT A GOOD LOOK AT ALL. I AM TOTALLY NOT SURPRISED AT ALL. MANY NYCDOC STAFF HAVE BEEN LACKADAISY FOR THE MOST PART, FOR YEARS. I'VE ALWAYS SAID THAT. WHEN YOU WORK ON RIKERS, YOU LEARN TO WATCH YOUR BACK & YOU TRUST NO ONE BUT YOURSELF BECAUSE THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS!! SAD BUT TRUE. NORMAN CAN NOT BLAME DORA FOR THIS ONE. SHE WAS NOT AT EACH GATE LETTING THIS FOOL IN EACH FACILITY. EVERY JAIL THAT HE ENTERED WAS MANNED BY A CORRECTION OFFICER. IT WAS THEIR DUTY TO ID HIM & QUESTION HIM & SO ON. PEOPLE ARE LAZY & THEY DON'T TAKE "THE JOB" SERIOUSLY. THAT'S ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS WITH FOLKS THAT WORK ON RIKERS.


bigal5
bigal5

From reading other comments: It seems uncomprimising security conscious personnel in this dept are shunned by the powers to be. Is this a prison system or daycare?

elcochiloco24
elcochiloco24

I want to second what cm2010 stated bc those who question, are pushed out. Those who want to do their job to ensure security, get pushed out. Those who know nothing about doing the job, are given the power to make decisions on how the job should be done. Those who have never done the job are place in positions to judge those who do the job. The dept once revered as an elite dept is now a disgrace. She has destroyed DOC and even if she now wanted to implement immediate changes with diligent measures, she may not have the people she would need to do so...for she has managed to get rid of those she would need to effectively make the changes necessary to turn around this dept. Yes Ms. Commissioner, great job!!!

cm2010
cm2010

I am not surprised that this horrific breach happened. This crime went unnoticed because a lot of Officers are afraid to question any one in authority. They take great pride in hiding from controversy instead of challenging it, and mock & criticize the few Officers who stand up, speak out and ask questions. It's so obvious how this imposter was able to make a mockery of our profession simply because he carried a supervisory shield. Officers have been conditioned to be obedient and fearful of all those who possess supervisory and/or investigative credentials. Why? Because they all fear that if they dare question anyone in authority, no matter how wrong or suspicious they are or seem, it will surely lead to very harsh retribution and punishment;, so unfortunately many Officers decide to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil against supervisors, and their actions ends up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. I speak from experience!

Fedup
Fedup

Dora Schriro is totally absent from the city jails. She is too busy politicking for self-preservation. She is a pathetic example of a city leader. Her legacy will be none other than a classic city snake who managed to fool the powers at be in her soft, meek, and sadistic voice. Hopefully this incredible security breech will crumble her House of Cards!!!!!

achillisheal
achillisheal

To those who know better this is not uncommon this is the norm now in the Department there is no security the inmates are allowed to do what they desire and the staff show no interest protecting and doing there jobs and those staff members that avoid situations will be tomorrow leaders for this Department has successfully removed all those people that cared about doing their job. There is nobody left and the jails are more dangerous now tan ever

bigal5
bigal5

This reprehensible breach of security falls on the shoulders of each respective Warden where this ex-con sex offender was allowed entry and access to the prisoners without scrutiny. One would think all ports of entry and exit into prisons are the most scrutinized and hardest to breach. Yet this sex offender had unchallenged access to all areas of rikers island, sensitive data, equipment, but most troublesome of all contact with the weakest of all prisoners, the adolescent population.

eastcostfinest111
eastcostfinest111

You cant make this s**t up.... This incident is a testament to how poorly this agency is managed at all levels. Nothing will be made of this other than casting blame on eachother and shuffling high ranking members to other areas within this agency. If even that. Its very clear that there exists serious problems in this agency. Whatever happened to all the hard nosed jail staffers that inmates despised and stayed clear of rikers island upon their release. This guy must of had such a pleasant experience in jail that he went back.

elcochiloco24
elcochiloco24

This is another example of incompetence we are dealing with in regards to Norman Seabrook and the Commisoner for they are both individuals who are nothing more than empty suits. Norman is correct we dont know what was left behind by that individual roaming the halls yet I am confidant it is nothing more serious than what his staff has been  bringing in on a regular basis to the inmates DRUGS, WEAPONS and SEXUAL FAVORS and then vehemently defends them as though their actions have not threatened the intergrity of the jail.

Both parties Norman and Commisioner Schario are about self preservation and have no real vested interest in correcting the problems and ensuring that the correct people are in place to thwart the violence that continues to feaster and threatens to undoubtly overtake Rikers Island shortly.

Having this individual being able to gain access in the manner in which he did is a testament to have the mighty have fallen for there is no longer accountablity associated in the DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS just scheming and backstabbing.

geekgirliustitia
geekgirliustitia

All I can say is this never happened on Commissioner Bernard Kerik's watch! Just Sayin'!

gryphonusa1
gryphonusa1

Norman Just shut up !!! it's not the Commissioner that mans post it's your Correction Officers.

Norman are you saying that when they pasted multiple check points that it was Commissioner Shriro that waved them through and checked their ID's.

Norman in the morning take a long look in the mirror and say to yourself I'm the leader of the 2nd largest uniformed union in NYC the keystone cops and then resign.

But in all fairness this is deeper then that what were the Captains and Tour Commanders doing ?

You know the ADW's Sidney Schwarzbaums's crew of Losers.

I bet you Rose Gill Hearn is saying " Call Mike Caruso Call Mike Caruso" and her aide says you fired him remember madam.

Wow How we long for the days of Law and Order we miss you dearly Mr. Kerik see you soon.

cm2010
cm2010

@jp192 Nice comment, but I have to disagree about your assesssment of the Security Chief. He is a supervisor & leader of high quality, he is no nonsence, and he puts his staff's safety first everytime. Trust me I know.

jaybiz
jaybiz

@DISGRACEFUL Get your FACTS together before you speak, to avoid making an ass out of yourself...just some advice brother.

WHITEISNOTRIGHT
WHITEISNOTRIGHT

@DISGRACEFUL  Dude seriously where do you get your facts from? Keystone cops? Let me tell you something first and foremost why don't you wait for the real facts to come out before you make an idiot out of yourself. This guy had an ID from a charity from a paralegal, second his ID was legit and there is no way to validate it officers do not have those tools, and he had a REAL shield he obtain, so tell me where did you get your facts from. Plus I might add the use of PERP tells me you must be a POLICE OFFICER or a STATE CO and think you can do a better job than a REAL Correction Officer from Rikers's Island. I would put a NYCD officer against any other system and we will see who is the best I already know. So I say again since you already look like a jerk now you can go learn to read first and then comment because calling a NYCD Officer a JAIL GUARD tells me your a complete idiot. Damn jerks that know chit and comment about a job kills me, read and learn first. I have to say you know the commands names and other facts and I', really wondering who you are because I would love to me you inperson and school you in the facts.

jaybiz
jaybiz

@JUSTME  You are 110% RIGHT! I've been on the job for 2 years now and we have some scared people with no BALLS! or HEART!..and I come from 16.5 yrs in the military and countimg with corrections experience. One thing that I take very serious is security and its unfortunate that not everyone else does!.....Its scary and a damn SHAME!...smh

notsurprised
notsurprised

Well...how 'bout that!  She did the same thing in AZ DOC.  Just sayin.

jaybiz
jaybiz

@gryphonusa1 I am a CO, yes I agree that this is a DISGRACE and some things are TRUE..BUT! It is not true about all of US!...Keystone Cops....really!?..you sound like a jackASS!....the WHOLE SYSTEM IS F@&KED UP....so this was bound to HAPPEN at some POINT!....it's called a REALITY CHECK!..thank GOD NOBODY GOT HURT! and hopefully EVERYONE WAKES THE HELL UP!!!..enough said

jp212
jp212

@cm2010 @jp192 Most supervisors and managers put the safety of their staff first..He is a good supervisor...but he no manager or leader. just the former 3 star butt boy...for starters has the island been totally searched yet..let me answer NO.....the first thing that  should have been performed is  a total island wide search..because you don't know going on or what was planted. He a nice guy with a bunch of groupies..but leader no way...Trust me I know him from when we was in ESU... 

gryphonusa1
gryphonusa1

@WHITEISNOTRIGHT @DISGRACEFUL  You should shut your mouth you are a disgrace wait for the facts you said. A fat slop walks into your jail with a id from a charity and that gives him access to housing areas. Are you stupid no your one of Normans members that makes you a moron and an idiot. There is absolutely no way this fat piece of shit should of gained access to any jail let alone several. It’s obvious you are one of the many useless CO's running around with a shield thinking you are all that you should be ashamed of yourself. I liked to meet you and take your sheild , ID and terminate you from the job.

gryphonusa1
gryphonusa1

@jaybiz @gryphonusa1  You should be ashamed of yourself I'm not the jackass the reality is you and your fellow CO's are incompetent if the system is fucked up it's not an excuse not to do your job. He had an ID from a charity and you let him walk through the jails and into your housing areas. I am ashamed today of the NYDOC and you should be too!

jaybiz
jaybiz

@gryphonusa1 @jaybiz 1st of all, read again. I said agree on  some things are about fellow officer and for your information, I do MY JOB and SPEAK TRUTHFULLY WHETHER IT'S LIKED OR NOT!, that's why NOBODY tries to pull a FAST ONE ON ME..SO NO I AM NOT ASHAMED OF MYSELF...but I am a team PLAYER that takes my  JOB  VERY SERIOUS, just like my 16.5 yrs of  MILITARY SERVICE AND COUNTING ...I am ASHAMED of the officers on those post, ..but I forgot it's easy for people to talk when you'll DON'T HAVE ALL THE FACTS....so who is you let him through the jails? not ME...get it RIGHT and have more knowledge about the system 1st then SPEAK! and before you say I'm incompetent and making excuses get your FACTS STRAIGHT!....I represent myself....do your research....THANK YOU!..oops I forgot HE NEVER CAME TO MY FACILITY....hmmm HE NEW BETTER.....fyi he went to 3 out of 10 plus facilities....which means not ALL!...good day!

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