So, a local hero will not be serving in the Trump Administration after all. Vincent Viola, the billionaire owner of the Florida Panthers ice hockey team and St. Cecilia’s graduate, has decided not to pursue his nomination by President Donald Trump to serve as Secretary of the Army. It was widely reported by many American newspapers on Friday that Viola informed President Trump on Friday that he would be unable to accept the nomination because separating from the companies that he had built over the last 35 years had proven too difficult, according to the Chicago Tribune. Some reports say that Viola could not divest himself from his stake in Eastern Airlines, which he would have been required to do under conflict of interest laws cabinet members must abide by. The New York Times reported that Mr. Viola had been negotiating to swap his stake in Eastern Air Lines for a stake in Swift Air, an airline with government subcontracts. If his nomination had continued, he would have faced controversy by potentially becoming a government official who profited from federal contracts. Viola becomes the first nominee chosen by Trump to remove himself from the nomination process. Continue reading
President-Elect Trump has tapped Greenpoint born Vincent Viola to be his head of the Army. In the early 1960’s, few of the kids attending St. Cecelia’s School on Monitor Street ever imagined that they would be going to school with a member of the president’s cabinet and a billionaire, but Viola would turn out to be a huge local success story.
Viola, born locally in 1956 into an Italian-American family, is the son of a truck driver who served in the military in World War II. Vinny went on to Brooklyn Tech, the best public academic high school, where he was such a good student that he was accepted into West Point, where he graduated from in 1977. He also graduated from the US Army Ranger School and after served as an officer in the 101st Airborne following West Point, reaching the rank of major. Continue reading