MANHATTAN — A 53-year-old Department of Education administrator tasked with keeping students safe was arrested Tuesday for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy, officials said.
John DiFiore, who had been working as an assistant to a superintendent in the Office of Safety and Youth Development, had inappropriate interactions with the boy at least three times before he was arrested while off-duty in the 10th Precinct, NYPD officials and prosecutors said.
"While this alleged behavior is not school-related, It is deeply deeply disturbing and reprehensible," said DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye.
DiFiore's office tries to "create and maintain a safe, orderly and supportive school environment for students," according to their site.
DiFiore, who had worked in a middle school for 16 years before moving into the DOE's central offices, met the boy first about 4 p.m. on May 1 in a West 24th Street courtyard, Manhattan prosecutors said.
They met again 28 days later about 4:40 p.m. on the roof of a West 24th Street building, prosecutors said.
Then on June 6, DiFiore met him again in a West 23rd Street building, prosecutors said.
The boy told his parents, who notified police who in turn arrested him Tuesday, NYPD officials said.
DiFiore was arraigned on charges of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, prosecutors said.
His bail was set at $2,500 bail and due back in court on July 30.
DiFiore served 4 years as principal of K078 middle school, ending his 16-year time at the school in 2003, DOE officials said.
He had been working in the Office of Safety and Youth Development until his arrest, when he was reassigned to another post that involves no contact with students, officials said.
He'll stay there until the resolution of the case, officials said.